Wednesday 29 June 2016

Sometimes Facebook Really Riles Me

Now, please don't get me wrong, Facebook can be a fantastic tool for sharing, connecting and reaching out to people. I can often be found cooing over a cute sloth video or puppy picture, or belly laughing at some of my more humorous friends creative status updates. However, there is one type of post, I really detest, with a passion, may I add.

No it's not the prolific poster, the one documenting almost every minute of their life on FB. Nor is it the person who likes to let you know how much more exciting their life is than yours. I quite enjoy both these types of FB poster. My pet dislike is the OPP (Overly Proud Parent) who feels the need to make PB posts (Parental Bragging). And from recent conversations with other parents, it seems I am not alone.

As parents we are, of course, proud of our offspring and want to give them praise and positive feedback on their achievements and quite rightly so. We may want to share these with friends and relatives and so we should. It's a great way of building our children's confidence and encouraging them.

So why, you may be asking yourself, do I dislike PB posts so much? Well, to be honest, not everyone on your friends list is going to be equally as enthusiastic about your child's latest academic achievement. If we go over the top, if we shout and scream about how super amazing little Johnny is and how very bright he is and, did you know he has an IQ of 150 at age 5, are we actually doing little Johnny any favours? Is it for his benefit or yours? More's the point how about the person on the friends list whose child isn't as bright as little Johnny? How does that parent feel if they have a child struggling to keep up at age 9?

Is little Johnny being given the message that he is better than everyone else? Is your PB post alienating that parent with the child who just can't make sense of that maths problem? And, are you prepared for that one friend who will make a negative comment to your post (because there's always one)?

We are all OPP's from time to time, we all want to make that PB post, but I personally try to hold back a bit so as not to offend (at least with regards to my children's achievements). I'm not suggesting at all that we shouldn't share those amazing milestones and exciting moments on FB, that's what it's for, sharing. I'm just suggesting we should post thoughtfully and not go completely OTT. So rather than:

Little Johnny's pre-school teacher is so excited to have such a bright child in her class. He already has a reading age of 7 and can recite his times tables up to 12!!! So proud to be told he is streets ahead of his peers. Such a proud mummy/daddy. 

How about:

So proud of little Johnny, he's doing really well at pre-school. So glad he's settled in and enjoying learning.

Well that's my rant over. Happy Facebook posting.