27/11/2011 15:31 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Boasting About Kids Online: Not Cool, Not Clever And Not Funny

mum on laptop with baby Rex

Everywhere you go online these days you'll find mums bigging up their babies. From Twitter to Facebook, it seems nowhere is safe from this new internet phenomenon of boasting about your kids online.

You're right to be thrilled that little Seraphina got a glowing school report but do you really need to tweet it to the world?


Please, parents, save the boasting for when you're on the phone to Granny, and instead direct your energy towards congratulating your little ones in private - not stroking your own ego in public.


But I'm over-reacting, according to my friend Leanne, mum to a six-year-old. "It's normal," she insists. "We don't go around telling the world about the bad things our kids do, unless they're funny, so mentioning their achievements on Facebook is just an extension of that. It isn't boasting."

Leanne decided to run two Facebook accounts so that she could keep relatives and friends updated about her family without broadcasting the details of her personal life to her colleagues and acquaintances. "For me, with family spread around the globe, Facebook is a really useful tool," she adds.

But another friend, Michaela, shares my view. "It's the boasting disguised as faux exasperation that winds me up," she agrees. "Those mums who write stuff like 'I wish my two-year-old would stop reciting his eight-times-table 24 hours a day,' for example. Urgh."

Urgh indeed. Even Leanne agrees that some mums take boasting about kids online a step too far. "My pet hate is those updates written as though they are 'to' the child, who can't yet read, or to someone they live with and see every day. Like 'Icky wicky just wants her cutie pie hubby to know how lovely he is'. No you don't. You just want to tell everyone else in the world."

But online boasting about kids isn't just cringe-inducing. It's the undercurrent of competitive mum syndrome that lies beneath those sort of posts that is really infuriating.

Rachel, mum to Maya, says she has several friends who boast about their kids online but says it's posts about babies that really bother her. "I think those kind of boasts can get really competitive.

"I'm really struggling with getting my baby to sleep through the night, so smug posts about how much so-and-so got done during their baby's nap, or how someone else's baby slept for 12 solid hours make me want to scream," Rachel admits. "I actually think it's quite insensitive when everyone, especially other mothers, knows how tough looking after a baby is. I guess I should just stop reading them."

Catherine, mum of two, says her friends don't boast online about their kids, but what does irritate her is people sharing tedious updates about their child's every move.


Why tell us that 'Little Edward loved the scrambled eggs he had for lunch today'? I so don't care.


But Laura, mum of two, thinks we're just mean-spirited. "I see nothing wrong in feeling genuine pride when your kids do something cool - whether it's my younger son finally learning to walk at 14 months, way behind all his peers, or my oldest son writing a story 'all by himself' - I think it gives the children confidence knowing that I am proud of them," she says.

"We live in such a snarky, self-deprecating, belittling culture so I say celebrate your kids' achievements, don't hide them like they're something to be ashamed of. And if people don't like it, that's their problem."

She's right, of course. And if you really can't bear the boasting brigade anymore there's always the 'hide' or 'unfollow' buttons. Or if you're really brave you could try sharing this page on Facebook...!

What do you think? Do you hate boasting parents or are you one yourself, and proud to be?