Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: Our circle of friends have babies born within a few days/weeks of our child. This is a great situation for us as they have built-in playmates. The only negative is one couple who is obsessed with trying to compete with the rest of us. First it was who was finding out the gender first, then it was who was going to deliver. Now its about the weight of the babies, who has teeth first, who rolled over first, etc.
What is the best way to handle such silliness? We have tried changing the topic, but that hasnt worked. We suspect a good deal of this stems from insecurity.
No, all of it stems from insecurity.
This couple might find their way out of your social circle eventually, since different kids follow different trajectories with sports, hobbies, clubs, even schools. In the meantime, though, humor, topic changes, and the occasional Hey theyre all great in their own ways and on their own time are all your allies in this anti-silliness campaign. Each is a way of declining to enter the competition, and thats the only way youre going to keep it contained.
Two side notes, though:
(1) Watch the we (We have tried changing the topic ), especially if we includes other members of this circle of friends. Then youre veering close to the ganging-up line.
(2) The more mindful you are of where your kid falls on the distribution curve (as most parents are, given that little voice that nags, Is my kid OK?), the more vulnerable youll be to someone who is overt about it. Something to have in mind when these parents are getting on your nerves.
Re: Competitive Parenting: A good response is to smile serenely and say, you win. If they dont get a clue and grow up, eventually theyll get so miffed theyll stop hanging around. Either outcome is a win for you.
Its funniest with first-to-get-teeth bragging, but keeps working through college-admissions bragging, career bragging, and countless other applications.
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