People mean well… but sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all.
- “I know how you feel… my dog is so cheeky!”. Firstly, you’re comparing my child to an animal. Only I am allowed to do that. Secondly, when your dog grows opposable thumbs and smushes strawberries into the carpet, or throws a screaming tantrum in the supermarket because you didn’t let them pick up every single packet of biscuits, then we’ll talk.
- “Just wait until the terrible twos – you haven’t seen anything yet!”. There’s this thing called ‘blissful ignorance’, and it shouldn’t be disturbed.
- “You’re so mean to them”. It’s called ‘not raising a little asshole’, and your parents should have tried it with you. If stopping them from choking on tiny objects/running out into a busy road/pulling a shelf of heavy items down on top of them is “mean”, I will wear the badge of Mean Parent with pride.
- “It’s because you’re doing _______ wrong”. Sorry, did I ask for a critique of my parenting skills? The only thing worse than hearing this phrase, is hearing it from someone who doesn’t have kids.
- “They’ll grow out of it”. In six or seven years. Maybe. You’re not helping!
- “She has lots of tantrums. Could it be autism?”. There is a pretty big difference between an ASD meltdown and a few toddler tantrums over teething pains and being forced to wear people clothes. This phrase is only acceptable if you are a behavioural psychologist.
- “Do you give them lots of sugar?”. There’s no link between sugar and hyperactivity, that’s been disproved. Science aside, can we stop blaming my parenting for my child’s perfectly natural tantrums?
- “How could you call her a monster? She’s a little angel!”. That’s exactly what she wants you to think.
- “When are you giving her a little brother or sister?”. Consider that the person you’re asking may either be a) not wanting any children in the future, or b) desperately trying for another and getting upset that it isn’t happening yet. Mind your own business.
- “You just need to give them a good smack”. Fuck off.