8 Phrases You Need To Stop Saying To Parents
Good advice is great. Who doesn’t appreciate advice at some point in their life? Sound advice comes in many forms; expert opinion from professionals like your GP, or wise words coming from experienced family and friends who’ve been there before, offering invaluable knowledge to get you through a tough situation.
But sometimes, advice isn’t always so helpful – or welcome. Some people love nothing more than sharing their unsolicited advice and strangers top them all, imparting their irrelevant remarks with a patronising smile.
Now, I was brought up to be (as any good Yorkshire lass) socially respectful and will happily talk to anyone. But sometimes I really wish I wasn’t so polite – I could tell people where to stick their unwanted parenting advice!
I’m still a fairly new mum with a 13 month old to my name yet I’m pretty sure I’ve heard all the advice already. Here’s my top 8 most annoying phrases people will come out with – and I’m probably guilty of saying to the next mum myself. (To be fair, some of these pretty much depend on the person who’s come out with it!)
1 – “In my day…”
Just because in your day babies were purposely stuck outside in their prams come rain or shine to ‘toughen them up’ doesn’t mean I should do the same for my child. Fair enough, advice changes so rapidly you never know when you’re coming or going, but some of what you did ‘in your day’ is frowned upon now. How you raised your babies was different to what your mum did back in her day, and I bet you never listened to the advice of the previous generation.
2 – “Take that doddie out!”
For one, it’s a frigging dummy. Two – just no. My son loves his dummy! I remember loving a dummy when I was little so I’m not going to come between my child and his beloved dummy. It comforts him and will keep him content whether he’s nervous or tired. And it’s not like he has his mouth plugged all day, you just happened to see him at the moment he has his dummy.
3 – “He’ll never get used to being without you.”
My son is 13 months old, not three. And he’s not going to nursery so I don’t need him to get used to being without me. Until my little boy goes to playgroup as a pre schooler I don’t need to worry about leaving him without his mum or dad. And besides, it may be tough being a 24/7 parent but I feel it’s my place being present for my son and I love it.
4 – “He’s tired.”
No sh*t, Sherlock, I think I realise my son’s due his nap. He just doesn’t usually get this ratty, only when nosey old cows get in his grill.
5 – “He’s lovely but wait till…”
We know milestones bring their own challenges and upsets, we don’t need people reminding us what’s to come with the negative warnings. Why can’t he just be lovely? Why be so negative about babies growing up? Won’t my child be as loveable when he’s a teenager? Okay, I get things will change up a gear once the backchatting commences, but that’s life, children are a blessing, period. My son may be more challenging now he’s found his feet but that doesn’t detract from how wonderful he is. Just let me enjoy my baby, alright?
6 – “He’s a big lad!”
So he’s a freak, giant baby now? Look, he drinks milk, he doesn’t “love his milk”. And he doesn’t eat a ton of crap either, if that’s what you’re implying.
7 – “You shouldn’t have him in your bed.”
From the passive “you shouldn’t have him in your bed” to the melodramatic “do you want to kill your son?!” (yes, I really did get that), everyone has a vocal opinion of bedsharing with a baby. It may be the socially accepted norm to put babies in cots but it doesn’t mean co-sleeping is inherently wrong and it certainly doesn’t warrant anyone free speech on what works for one family. Anyway, we tried it and it didn’t work. Our son feels safe sleeping with us, we love sleeping with him, and we all get a full night’s sleep every night. I’m not shaking that up for anything!
8 – “My child did that (at such and such age).”
And let me guess, they were much younger/ did it earlier / much cleverer than my child. Kids develop at different stages, what one child does before another doesn’t make them more intelligent or more advanced. Of course we can all indulge in this kind of talk without realising how it comes across, because we’re all proud of those milestones, but come on, if I’m worried or have insecurities for why I’m not doing something or my son isn’t by a certain age, don’t make me feel worse. If it’s not helpful or encouraging, zip it.
What piece of advice are you fed up with hearing? I’d love to hear what unsolicited parenting advice anyone’s ever given you. Do let me know in the comments below.