So after reading our lovely guest column ("Game On") by Amy Overbay, all I can think of is, "I resemble that remark." I have been each one of the competitive types she mentions - the Blatantly Competitive Parent, the Negatively Competitive Parent, and the Secretly Competitive Parent at various times in my "professional" parenting career.
See it all depends on the type of competitive mom staring me down as to which one I become. Because like so many players, I rise and fall based on the level of competition I am facing. However through the years, I have been plagued by game related injuries. Those mind numbing hits and tackles you take when you try to brag about your kid only to realize the person you are bragging to is about to bury you with their kids accomplishments. Or when you show your ugly side and comment jealously about the kid who wins everything only to find that a spur of the moment comment which you regret has been used against you ad infinitum. The worst and most humiliating hit was one I took when I bragged about my kid to someone only to find out she had a special needs child and was just hoping he would learn to walk. One of my children has ADHD and I can empathize with a child who doesn't meet "normal", but what I have encountered is nothing compared to some.
I've taken so many hits in fact that I have hung up my cleats more times than Brett Favre. Of course another reason I had to resign from my pro contract is that my sons are teenagers now. When they do have stuff to brag about, I'm usually the last to know. I found out one kid was first chair in his instrument only when I asked the band director if he would get to play in the high school band next year (when he moves up from middle school) and if so, would they still let him play his instrument or ask him to change instruments. Now that was embarrassing, and incredibly funny all at the same time, (and see I managed to brag about it here). I think the fact that I just have no clue means I can't keep pitching with the pros. But I can brag about their humility...right??
How do you handle competitive parents? Does it make you want to start playing the one up game?
Do you brag about your child's accomplishments or just keep them close to your hearts (perhaps still telling grandparents for the reward opportunities)?
Have you ever embarrassed your child?
Have you shown your jealousy of other's children?