Lately, I’ve started to wonder if we’re celebrating our children too much.
No, that’s not right.
Lately, I’ve started to wonder if we’re celebrating online too much and not enough in person.
Yeah, that’s better. Not totally there, but getting there…let me see if I can work this out as I write this post.
We all see posts from friends about their kids’ grades, sports, events, how busy they are, how popular they are, etc.? Amazing stuff. All posted on social media for the world to see. And I know, I knooooow you’ve rolled your eyes over a post now and then thinking “there she goes again…”. But, in this social media age, it’s just the norm. I do agree that you should be proud of your kids, and social media allows you to broadcast every one of those accomplishments. That’s the way we live right now.
Unfortunately, I’m finding that the online braggy braggertons out there are slowly wreaking havoc on parents’ confidence in showing pride for their children not only online but also in person. I’m finding that more and more parents don’t talking about their kids and the good they’re doing because…well…they don’t want to become “that” braggy friend we all have. We’re now so worried about over-sharing that we’re forgetting that it’s okay, no, that it’s critical, that we do celebrate the “big deals” in our children’s lives.
I’m talking about the events when your child does something wonderful for another, achieves something they’ve worked hard for, or times they have overcome an important life obstacle. I’m of a firm mind that you should be announcing your pride to the world. No more humility when it comes to your child and their accomplishments. Celebrate. #dancedammit…for THEM. Both online and in person.
Here’s what brought this up: a little girl in my children’s school raised a BUNCH of money for our school’s Terry Fox run. Through her own initiative, she put together a hot chocolate stand to raise money for her run. Cool right? Okay…it gets better. On the day of the Terry Fox run, the school did a few draw prizes, the biggest prize being a Terry Fox t-shirt. And, the little girl who raised money from the aforementioned hot chocolate stand randomly got chosen and won!
I was so excited for her. I kept thinking “you put good out, you get good back”. That’s just awesome. You bet that should be announced! Go little gal! Go Mama! You should be so proud of your gal! And her Mama did post about it. I commented about how awesome it was and she responded that she felt silly that she was so excited for her daughter.
WHY?! OMG…you should be shouting that from the rooftop! Your child did something amazing and raised a lot of money for cancer research. And, when her name was announced she couldn’t have had a bigger smile. She was PUMPED about the t-shirt and that smile on her face made me tear up. This meant something to her. What a lesson to teach your child! How amazing. Not only did she learn about donating money for a good cause, I also believe there’s a lesson in “good out, good in” that she’ll remember.
And yes, even if she hadn’t won the shirt, the warmth of giving she received and so obviously felt towards her little money-making business was awesome.
But, we shy away from pride. Why is that? Is it because social media has allowed us to be so very prideful about the small things in our children’s lives that we’re nervous to also celebrate the big things? Have we created a society where we celebrate every small thing but fail to truly celebrate the monumental, important stuff?
Now, I’m not saying your child reading a book isn’t important. Or the fact that he ate his first solids today isn’t super special in your world. Those are big things. Absolutely. I’m just nervous that, as parents, we’re getting inundated with, to-be-honest, fairly mundane celebrations; so much so, that the big events aren’t being broadcasted the way they should. Or worse, that we are embarrassed that we’re celebrating our children…once again.
I’m not sure what the answer is. All I know is that when my child overcomes something, or does something good for himself, or does something good for herself, or if they achieve something I know they’ve been working towards, I’m choosing to celebrate them. I’ve decided to not care if I am becoming “that” Mom because I know when to celebrate my child and when not to. So yeah, maybe I’ll be “that Mom” out there crying over her child’s first goal. But, you don’t know the anxiety he overcame to get that goal. So, I’ll celebrate for him. I’ll celebrate for me as a Mother. And, I’ll celebrate for us as a family.
I’m going to celebrate this guy and the fact that he had a panic attack before his first cross country race in 2 years (last year he was too nervous to run) and then finished 80th, his best placement yet.
You can bet your sweet buns that I’m going to unapologetically celebrate in person so that he can see me celebrate his accomplishments. I’m going to yell and cheer and dance and cry. I’m going to give him a big hug as soon as I get to him and I’m going to tell him repeatedly how proud I am of him. Same goes for when my little gal does something that she should be proud of. All the excitement, all the love, all the hugs, all the tears…just for her in her moment. I’m choosing to be “that” Mom.
I’m sooooo going to celebrate my gal with this photo and let you know that she stayed back and helped a scared friend in tears. And, I’m going to let you know that she stomped her foot in anger when she saw how she placed but was then reminded that kindness outweighs being a good friend sometimes. So she received her 173th place in her run and was okay with it. I’ll celebrate that she’s a good friend and that my husband and I taught her the importance of supporting others.
And then, yes, I’m absolutely going to post about it on social media because that’s the way life is now. So, I’ll also celebrate there…for all to see.
Let’s start to choose to celebrate the big things, the events that mean something to our kids. It’s so important. Let’s choose to not be embarrassed or feel silly. Own your pride, Mamas. OWN IT. And let your kids see it. Acknowledge the little things but celebrate, and celebrate big time, the big things.
Celebrate the big stuff, Mamas. No one knows your story. No one knows your child’s story. So, if you feel pride, announce it. Don’t feel silly. Don’t be embarrassed. #DANCEDAMMIT