To wonder what is wrong with talking to your child?

(185 Posts)
SpanielFace Tue 16-Jul-13 20:54:48

Genuine question... Please don't flame me!

I've seen several threads on here criticising parents who talk loudly to their children in public, sing to them, encourage them to answer questions, and so on. "What colour is that flower? What noise does the cat make?" etc. Apparently this is called loud parenting, or performance parenting, or just plain pushiness.

DS is only 10 months, but I chat to him loads. Not loudly, not constantly (he has plenty of time playing by himself while I potter around doing things) - but I do tend to tell him what I'm doing, I point things out to him in the buggy, we read books, we sing action songs.

My understanding (from HV, Surestart centres etc) was that talking to and encouraging your baby was a Good Thing. In fact, I received a bookstart pack today with a free story book, and a leaflet of suggested activities ("Talk about what colours you can see in the book. Can you see any of these colours in your home? Can you make a noise like an owl?")

So who is right? Where is the line between interactive parenting and stimulating your baby, and pushy parenting? And am I one of these annoying "loud parent" types I keep reading about?

YouTheCat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:45:06

grin Brilliant!

ChasingDogs Tue 16-Jul-13 22:47:11

In fact, I'm pretty sure there's room a for beverage-orientated kid's book there. Along the style of Pratchett's "Where's my cow" and Adam Mansbach's "Go the fuck to sleep". smile

MorrisZapp Tue 16-Jul-13 22:48:21

Of course it's class based. On every PP thread there's reference to Tarquin, Jocasta etc.

Pretty sure I'd get torn a new one for slagging off the kind of parents who yell at little Beyonce and Keanu.

I do know what PP is, I see it a lot. But I'd rather listen all day to a conversation about fair trade grapes than see a child ignored or sworn at. Which I also see a lot.

Belchica Tue 16-Jul-13 22:50:21

Kawliga 'There was this one time, on a train'...sounds like you had a bad experience with a PP on a train. No need to take it out on OP.

kim147 Tue 16-Jul-13 22:50:49

My child talks to me a lot.

About Pokemon.

YouTheCat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:53:09

Mine also talks about pokemon. 12 years of pokemon I've had, at least.

Morris, the ones who shout at little Beyonce and Keanu could also be classed as PP, if they are doing it to get a reaction.

MorrisZapp Tue 16-Jul-13 22:58:10

I agree. So why is it always Tarquin and Jocasta?

kawliga Tue 16-Jul-13 22:59:59

I guess I am still raging at the many train journeys I have endured listening to hapless children being interactively stimulated with questions just like the ones you listed in your OP: "Talk about what colours you can see in the book. Can you see any of these colours in your home? Can you make a noise like an owl?"...There must be a time/place where you can do these exercises with your baby where other people don't have to listen to you.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 16-Jul-13 23:01:37

It's not surprising that people parent for a wider audience when in public, as other people are constantly judging parents as this and other threads amply demonstrate. As you get older and wiser as a parent you tend to gain confidence and a thicker skin. But I'm not surprised that some people feel so insecure as a parent that they feel they have to justify every part of their lives when they have an audience. Or even sadder, lots of other people are so self-conscious they can barely mumble a word to their child in public.

kim147 Tue 16-Jul-13 23:03:26

Children need to learn to speak. As a teacher, I see a lot of children who struggle to communicate and who have a limited vocabulary as well as poor listening skills.

A parent's job is to develop and model communication skills. Learning language is incrediby complicated and interaction helps.

I know I've done that stuff on a train and a bus. It helps a child develop.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 16-Jul-13 23:06:24

There are a lot worse things I can think of than hearing people talk to their children on the train. The problem is most people on commuter trains don't talk at all so any conversation could be seen as an irritation.

Turniptwirl Tue 16-Jul-13 23:06:51

When the parents are louder than the kids it's irritating

When all you hear is a monologue from the patents (when the child is old enough to join in but isn't given the chance) it's irritating

Talking to your child is fine! I would rather that than many other annoyances in public places like loud music or teenage squealing. But let's use our indoor voices and not perform for the whole county shall we?

Turniptwirl Tue 16-Jul-13 23:16:25

kawliga totally agree I'd rather have a cheeky giggling little darling than their cross shouty parent trying to probe they can control their child.

Children need to learn to entertain themselves. There is nothing wrong with thrusting a colouring book and crayons at them and keeping then quiet for a few minutes. You don't need to narrate the exercise with what colours they're using and what they're colouring and how crayons are made.

Once on a train listening to a family who had no indoor voices (kids around 4-8 years old) performance parent through most of the welsh border. Even my little dog who was being uncharacteristically well behaved gave me a look as if to say. "Why won't they shut up? I just want to sleep!"

MrsDeVere Tue 16-Jul-13 23:17:11

People always ignore what these threads are actually about and start banging on about there being nothing wrong with talking to kids hmm

SpanielFace Tue 16-Jul-13 23:19:44

I listed those exercises as they were on the leaflet that came in my Bookstart pack from the HV today. I also received a very nice picture book called "Wow! said the owl", hence the owl noises. The suggestions are far too old for DS, he does a very good owl screech but mostly when he sees the cat. Nice to get freebies though. (Thanks Bookstart!).

Do people really have children called Jocasta and Tarquin in real life? They're all Evie and Alfie around here. Mind you, I did meet a little Jemima recently, which I thought was quite sweet.

SHarri13 Tue 16-Jul-13 23:44:02

I talk to my kids on the train to stop them trying to hang from the luggage racks, pull the emergency alarm or scream. All of which would be far more annoying to precious commuters.

SaucyJack Tue 16-Jul-13 23:52:58

Oh for heaven's sake.

Now I'm being criticised for making my children sit still on trains?!

Sighs.

BramshawHill Wed 17-Jul-13 00:08:53

I talk to my 9 month old about anything and everything, we're a bit isolated where we live so it's mainly to stop me going insane from lack of human company.

Though I do the same to the dog...can you get performance owner-ing??

I have noticed what seems like performance parenting at baby group/clinic but I always try to presume they're doing it for themselves rather than an audience, since I'd hate for them to think that about me!

kawliga Wed 17-Jul-13 00:46:27

SHarri, you are allowed to talk to your kids on the train or anywhere else. But you can use your indoor voice to do that, right? Talking to children does not need to involve the entire train, it is between you and your child. Also you can practice discipline and quiet entertainment options (colouring in, sticker books, toys) when you are not on a train, so that when you have to go on a journey you are not forced to keep up a constant stream of chatter as the only way of distracting them. I commuted with my daughter on the train for two years, and it takes a huge effort to teach them how to behave appropriately in what is at that time mostly a space for tired grown-ups on their way to/from work. Commuting is stressful and it's worth respecting that by being considerate to other travellers. Nobody chooses to be on a rush-hour train everyday twice a day, the vast majority have no option so I think it's just not the right place to practice stimulating and interactive parenting in a loud voice.

kawliga Wed 17-Jul-13 01:15:58

Now I'm being criticised for making my children sit still on trains?!

Depends on how you go about making them sit still. Do you (a) use a firm voice at a normal volume with brief but effective commands, or (b)use a shouty voice loud enough for the entire carriage to hear and take a very long time (say two hours non-stop) to try and get them to sit?

This applies to dogs too, Bramshaw, I've seen people saying firmly 'sit, sit' to their dog on the bus and the dog paying no attention.

Thing is with dogs and children, everybody understands that they are not robots and they will sometimes not do as you ask (forgiveable). But that's no reason to bang on about it in a loud voice (unforgiveable).

WafflyVersatile Wed 17-Jul-13 01:46:28

I'm going to visit my DNs in a few weeks. I'm totally going to try some ostentatious auntying when i'm there.

Where is this dress I bought you from darling? Mini-Boden, yes that's right. Did we buy it in the sale? No, no we didn't. We pay full price don't we? How much did we pay? We paid £500 for our matching outfits didn't we?

what do you call this? That's right wasabi. Now does wasabi taste hot sour or umami? Yes, of course we can get an extra portion with our salmon nigiri and mackerel sashimi and after lunch you can draw me some of your favourite Japanese characters. Can you remember how to spell your name in Japanese?

mawbroon Wed 17-Jul-13 02:06:49

I heard my first ever loud parenting the other week.

Not at home I may add, I've never once heard it where I live.

I was elsewhere in the UK, but don't want to say where grinwink

Xihha Wed 17-Jul-13 02:10:37

Bramshaw, I'm so glad you asked about performance ownering, i talk to my dog constantly too. I once pointed out ducks to him and asked him how to spell duck before remembering I was talking to the dog not my kids. blush

garlicagain Wed 17-Jul-13 02:34:05

I performance mumble.

You parent types do realise you're doing most of this talking for your own benefit, don't you? I stand in front of the fruit counter alone, ruminating (aloud, but I hope to god not LOUD aloud) on whether persimmons are the ones with thin skin and lots of seeds, or the ones with flesh a bit like a peach and then lots of seeds ... ramble ramble ... You, having Tarquin or Shanisse to hand, pursue these thoughts vocally as well, but louder because you're pretending to talk to your child. As Xihha points out, folks with dogs do it to them instead.

I witnessed a lovely PP the other day.
Boy: Yes, please, pasta!
Mum: Pasta! That's interesting!
Boy: hmm
Mum: Which shape pasta would you like? They've got conchiglie, fusilli, farfalle, penne, spaghetti ...
Boy: Yes, I can see that, Mum. Just get the ones you like.
Mum: Oh, but we prefer wholewheat, don't we? Now let's see which shapes they have in wholewheat. Come and have a look!
Boy wanders off.

Mum was still rambling away, though ...

garlicagain Wed 17-Jul-13 02:41:17

Waffly, I demand a video of your Ostentatious Auntying!

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