Kids (4-12)

5 Traits of Stage Moms


We’ve all watched the stage moms of reality TV in horror and thought, “I’d never do that!” But just because you’re not breaking the family budget to pursue tiaras for your toddler doesn’t mean you’re immune to the perils of stage mom syndrome.

Are you a stage mom? Most of us would think not, but an honest look at how we feel about the challenges and opportunities our children experience can sometimes reveal troubling symptoms. Take a look at these stage mom characteristics and you’ll be better equipped to recognize these attitudes in yourself and keep them in check.

1. Stage moms are, at the root of it all, insecure. We often think of insecure people as mousy or shy, but the most insecure among us are often working overtime to make sure you think they’re as good as, or better than you. They don’t possess the inner confidence to rest easy in their own self-worth without constant affirmation. With stage moms, this has carried over into their parenting. They need to feel that their kids are the best, and the only way to get confirmation is to constantly subject their children to competitive environments where they get quantitative “proof” of that fact.

2. Stage moms love to compare their kids to others, whatever the activity. For a stage mom, it’s not enough to say ‘my son loves baseball.’ She has to throw in the fact that he made the all-star team. It’s never sufficient to have her daughter participate in the dance recital. She makes sure that you understand that the role her daughter plays is the lead. For a stage mom, it’s not enough for the child to experience success—she needs for others to know about it.

3. Stage moms will sacrifice other very important things, like family time, the family budget, or church attendance to pursue accolades for her kids. It’s dangerously easy to rationalize subverting your spouse’s idea of reasonable spending or your own conscious about the time and effort involved. Stage moms tell themselves that the benefit to the child outweighs all the core principles that are trampled on the way to these achievements.

4. Stage moms don’t appreciate the lessons that come with losing. A true stage mom rarely thinks that having her kid ride the bench or come in runner-up may be more beneficial to the child’s character than the win would be. She doesn’t see the value in the total experience. For her, the time spent in the activity is a means to and end, and that end is first place or MVP.

5. Stage moms occasionally live in the past. If you’re still reminding people, all these years later, that you were the Queen of the Vidalia Onion Festival, you may need to move on. Unfortunately, for some, moving on means making sure their little one gets that Onion Queen sash and crown, and a whole bunch of others that mommy didn’t win. We need to realize as parents that our time has passed. What our children achieve—or don’t achieve—is theirs. It doesn’t validate or undercut who we are as parents or as individuals.

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