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The Rise Of The Braggart

By Dan Hutton on April 8, 2016 in Other

Andrew Peacock

Photo: Andrew Peacock

In this competitive middle class world of fads, bandwagons, trends and yoga, one personality stands tall: the braggart. The braggart has always been hovering in the background, but in the past their presence was restricted to the ultra affluent North Shore, where the need to show-and-tell wealth was a mark of success and masculinity. But in this new world of selfies, one-upmanship, reality TV and homogenised wealth, the braggart has been released from the white, Anglo-Saxon. Upper class bubble and now reigns supreme, much to the disgust of modest Pearl.

The rise of the braggart is one we should all be concerned about. Not only are braggarts boring, ruthless and egotistical, they’ve also become omnipresent in the childhood realm, overshadowed by (and emulating) their like-minded parents.

The gravity of the situation was recently brought home to me following stints as a relief swimming coach and children’s tennis umpire. By the end of it all I was in desperate need of resilience training against confidence-deflating child braggarts and their overbearing, win-at-all cost parents.

I am absolutely appalled at the bragging that goes on in the younger generation, the aggressive need to be the best (even if it means cheating) and children and receive constant recognition, and the gall to openly deflate others. Unfortunately the obnoxious, overconfident child that needs to be brought down a peg or two is everywhere, informing you of his trip to Europe, the many languages he speaks, and the broken arm from falling off a $1,000 hoverboard. Then there’s the spouting about how fast he can swim (compared to the next kid) and how many tennis matches he has won. OMG, child, just shut up!

Mummy and daddy might have the Mercedes and designer clothing to show all, but only bragging will really tell. Behind every bragging child is the trendy parent living through their child’s success, making sure little Winston wins at the expense of others so that he can live to tell the tale at school on Monday. Clogging suburban streets on the weekend, taking in every swing of the tennis racquet and arguing with the umpires (like myself), the braggart’s parent is forever hovering, ensuring that his or her little brat will be on the podium in the ultimate act of one-upmanship.

If loitering around football fields or tennis courts isn’t the parent’s gig, they’re hanging outside tutoring academies, ensuring that Orson is so advanced of the Australian curriculum that he can challenge teachers, belittle other students and show off his superior rote learning skills by entering the Great Australian Spelling Bee. And no one is above a bit of cheating, in sports or education, to get results. It’s just like the stock market out there.

Relating the words of one ultra competitive Yummy Mummy at the pool’s edge: “I make no apologies for ensuring my children are the best at sport and school.”

No doubt she has the photos on Instagram and Facebook to prove it!