To get a bit angry when people who aren't parents judge children and parenting

(74 Posts)
PartyFops Thu 06-Dec-12 19:12:08

(Sorry - slightly facebook themed)

Someone who is not a parent has just posted on facebook a news article from the daily fail about how grandparents think that laid back parenting has led to badly behaved children. ( I probably agree)

She commented on the link saying that there is nothing worse than bad mannered children and saying that all children should ask to leave the table, be polite, not interrupt, don't talk with mouth full etc etc. I completely agree that this would be lovely in an ideal world if every child behaved like that, but it really isn't that easy, and can be a long road of really hard work to get children to learn their manners. And also some children are easier than others.

Grrr angry just makes me so angry that a non parent can be so judgy!

rant over. smile

BrawToken Thu 06-Dec-12 19:13:11

Why should people without children not be allowed an opinion?

BrawToken Thu 06-Dec-12 19:14:09

FWIW, I agree with her.

She commented on the link saying that there is nothing worse than bad mannered children and saying that all children should ask to leave the table, be polite, not interrupt, don't talk with mouth full etc

^ this isn't judging anyones parenting, this is an opinion. Are non parents not allowed opinions about manners?

BigGiantCowWithAKnockKnockTail Thu 06-Dec-12 19:15:16

I agree with her too. She has an opinion about how children should behave, not what the parents are or aren't doing.

OrangeLily Thu 06-Dec-12 19:16:03

Because being a parent makes you an expert on children??


TidyDancer Thu 06-Dec-12 19:16:19

Generally, YABU, because people who do not have children have no less of a right to an opinion than parents. And there is no reason to think their opinions are any less valid.

cricketballs Thu 06-Dec-12 19:17:12

I have insisted on all things on that post, even with SN (autistic and learning difficulties) so I can't understand why anyone would think its difficult to do; you just have to be firm and consistent

I think those things and I am a parent whose two year old is a mess with manners. I comment on gay marriage (positively). I did when I was neither gay nor married.

HazleNutt Thu 06-Dec-12 19:18:28

YABU, unless you keep all children in some bubble so childless people never have to have any contact with them.

TheReturnOfBridezilla Thu 06-Dec-12 19:19:22

YANBU. Until I had children I honestly had no idea about them (I know this isn't the case for everyone btw) so didn't offer my (rubbish) opinions.

WorraLorraTurkey Thu 06-Dec-12 19:19:49

I agree with her 100%

YABU, I disagree.

AngelGabrielWreakinHavoc Thu 06-Dec-12 19:23:28

I agree with her. Children should have manners.

fenix Thu 06-Dec-12 19:26:10

Being a parent makes you an expert in your child(ren) only. Not children in general, child development, early years education, paediatric health etc. So people who are experts in these areas have very valid opinions, and it's usually in a parent's best interest to listen to them and take some advice on board.

On a wider level, we all have to care about how children are raised because it is in our mutual interest to see a happy, productive and caring generation of adults emerge. And in everyday life, we all come into contact with each other and have to get along.

So yes, everyone is entitled to hold or voice their opinions. Their opinions might be poorly justified and so you can dismiss them, or they might give you something to think about. But you have no place to wish to silence them.

How many opinions do you hold which relate to situations totally outside of your own experience? Probably thousands. And how many more opinions do you have about situations within your experience? Thousands more. I'm quite sure none of us can claim to be non-judgemental.

PartyFops Thu 06-Dec-12 19:28:00

FWIW I agree with her too. But I just feel that some people think that things like having children with impeccable manners is easy, but it takes a long time of hard work of being firm and consistent.

Maybe its just me, dd is starting her terrible twos at 19 months and if she doesn't want to do something she wont do it, and she doesn't really understand me properly to be able to reason with her. But these things start early and take a long time to instill.

freddybanana Thu 06-Dec-12 19:29:59

I agree with her and I don't have children either.

Some people seem to be incapable of controlling their children. Talk about make a rod for your own back.

She never said it was easy, or offered any advice on how to get children to have manners though confused

riverboat Thu 06-Dec-12 19:34:35

I think if she was actually directly criticising you directly, or telling any parent how she thought they should be raising their children, you might have a point.

But she's (presumably) posted an article on her own Facebook wall, and given her opinion on it. Not trying to tell anyone directly what to do. Nothing wrong with that. She lives in a world with children in it and has opinions on how she would like them to behave.

LRDtheFeministDude Thu 06-Dec-12 19:39:31

I don't have children and I guess I do have opinions.

I would snigger a bit at someone being passive-aggressive in commenting on badly behaved children without having them, though - this is a golden opportunity for you to file away in your memory and refer to later if she has kids! grin

JockTamsonsBairns Thu 06-Dec-12 19:40:22

YABU. It's fine to have an opinion on stuff which you don't have direct experience of. I'm fairly certain I'm totally against apartheid even although I've never lived in South Africa and I'm not black.

However, YANBU, as I know where you're coming from. Pre-DC's, I had all sorts of ideas on what I was going to tolerate and not going to tolerate - but I now realise it's not always as simple as that.

quoteunquote Thu 06-Dec-12 19:43:37

I think it's so unfair on children to not install good manners in them, it's such a disadvantage in life not to be able to have natural good manners.

Anyone can have an opinion on children, they are a part of society.

flatpackhamster Thu 06-Dec-12 19:44:12

I don't know anything about carpentry but I can spot a well made table when I see one.

chinglebellsbatmansmells Thu 06-Dec-12 19:44:32

YABcompletelyU to get angry when "people who aren't parents judge children and parenting".

Why on earth should they not be allowed an opinion on parenting? Being childless doesn't make you stupid.

ANYONE, with or without children might not be able to comprehend another persons parenting experience, but everyone is entitled to an opinion.

PartridgeInASpicyPearTree Thu 06-Dec-12 19:45:43

YABU, and sound very chippy/defensive. She didn't say it was easy. She made an observation which I would guess the majority of people, parents and non-parents, would agree with.

Floggingmolly Thu 06-Dec-12 19:47:32

There is nothing worse than bad mannered children
They'll be basing that opinion on other people's children they've observed, they don't need their own children to come to that conclusion.

BackforGood Thu 06-Dec-12 19:50:46

YABU to 'get angry when people judge', as she's not judging. She's offering an opinion on a newspaper article - it's called taking part in a discussion. She's not said "I think your children are rude / ill-mannered / whatever because you aren't doing a good job of parenting", she's offering her twopenceworth into a debate.

anewyear Thu 06-Dec-12 19:52:01

My boys are 14 & 11, so a Parent, also at present a Childminder/Pre-Schooler Practitioner, have worked as an LSA, School parent Gov'nor and an Ex Youth Leader.
Im not perfect nor are MY kids but totaly agree with her...

HazleNutt Thu 06-Dec-12 19:53:02

So you also agree for example that non-dog-owners should not have any opinions about dog ownership and how dogs should behave? If teaching some manners to kids is not easy, training an animal not to jump or bark or come when called is certainly not easier. For some reason you can see those topics on MN quite often, where people who have never had dogs voice their opinions about badly behaved ones.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Thu 06-Dec-12 19:57:00

Why on earth should someone who hasn't had the luck/desire/opportunity to procreate be denied the chance to express an opinion.

Personally, I think there are children out there who are horrendous, due to poor parenting. There are also children who are delightful. Why should I not be allowed to say this because I have fertility issues?

Do I sound chippy? I don't care.

Are you one of those people who wonder what the childless are doing on MN?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Thu 06-Dec-12 19:57:46

I missed a question mark there, I was so cross.

PartyFops Thu 06-Dec-12 19:58:00

hazlenutt I have a dog and a child, give me a dog to train any day.

My dd does not respond to liver cake unfortunately smile

StickEmUp Thu 06-Dec-12 20:14:58

Im loving the responses. Im childless and being talked at by parents then told to shut up when expressing an opinion can be very hurtful.

Id like to thank you Ll smile. Because i was starting to feel a bit shit about it!

StickEmUp Thu 06-Dec-12 20:16:49

Thank you all rather.
And the difficulty factor is but 1 that made me decide against it.
So in a way, we do know how. Hard it is ;)

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Thu 06-Dec-12 20:18:53


Gingerodgers Thu 06-Dec-12 20:21:03

Well I was much more likely to have an opinion before dc. Now I just accept that they are all different, my youngest is well mannered, the oldest..... Not so much, not for lack of trying.

fenix Thu 06-Dec-12 20:22:12

Not to mention that we are all entitled to an opinion on parenting, because we are all somebody's children!

If we've had particularly good or bad experiences based on what our parents did, they're worth sharing.

bluer Thu 06-Dec-12 21:01:30

I don't have children but I work with teenagers every day so am I entitled to an opinion? Of course I fact I'd day my opinion is more important as don't wear the blinkers many parents do. Oh and in case and one cares: you have no idea puff the manners and behaviour that your children exhibit when part of a group or when out of your sight. I have had many parents bring utterly shocked when I get Jamie or Anna to explain exactly what they've said or been up to. I have in fact made several parents cry...its a sad state but I do therefore feel qualified to make an opinion. angry

bluer Thu 06-Dec-12 21:02:30

Oh and ranting made my auto correct nuts wink

Hobbitation Thu 06-Dec-12 21:07:37

They are entitled to an opinion, but I'm also entitled to take the opinion with a pinch of salt. Generally people become more forgiving of other parents when they become parents themselves.

I agree with the FB friend in the op. Manners cost nothing. I felt this way before dd and I feel like it now. Even at 11mo dd says "ta" when I pass her something and "down" when she is finished her meal.

I know a few parents who feel the same and a few who do not. Those who do not generally refer to their dcs a "spirited" and "creative" and "frustrated". I generally refer to them as 'little buggers'

charlmarascoxo Thu 06-Dec-12 21:18:43

Agree she was just making an observation. She is allowed an opinion.

I do however remember a great phrase someone said on here - I was the perfect parent until I had children.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 06-Dec-12 21:51:11

YABU - the woman is right. Not being a parent doesn't mean one can't have an opinion nor does being a parent make you an expert.

whois Thu 06-Dec-12 22:01:05

I don't see the problem. She doesn't like ride children? Who does?!!

She wasn't saying it was easy to bring up children, or saying how to do it.

Lottapianos Thu 06-Dec-12 22:10:09

I don't have children but I have over 10 years experience working with under 5s and their parents. That doesn't make me a parenting expert but I have learned a thing or two along the way. People without children can bring a different focus to debates about children's behaviour - it's easier to be clear about what kind of behaviours are unpleasant to be around without the emotional involvement that parents understandably have.

Furoshika Thu 06-Dec-12 22:13:43


It's too easy to say things when you don't have kids. But to be honest, some parents are shit. Before I had children I knew a family who almost put me off procreating. We talked plenty about them behind their backs. Everything I said about their parenting still stands.

PickledInAPearTree Thu 06-Dec-12 22:16:19

I agree with you to an extent where people (seen it on here plenty)

Say no child of mine is going to have a tantrum/be naughty etc etc in a really judged way.

But it's perfectly reasonable for a non parent to say they think its important to have manners as that's an opinion.

catwomanlikesmeatballs Thu 06-Dec-12 23:35:04

yabu, everybody has to live with the consequences of other peoples parenting, so everybody has the right to judge on what impacts them.

silvercup Fri 07-Dec-12 00:12:32

YABU because she wasn't judging, she was expressing an opinion.

I had plenty of opinions about children/how I would want to bring them up WAY before I had my own. And do you know what, not one single opinion of mine has changed. I'm parenting exactly the way I imagined I would 10 years ago. Doesn't mean I was or am judging anybody else...

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Fri 07-Dec-12 00:25:01

It is really stupid of people to think that people who don't have a child/dog/car/horse/lawnmower aren't allowed to have an opinion about said things.

It sounds like you are struggling to be the parent you thought you would be - there is help available smile

niceguy2 Fri 07-Dec-12 00:48:09

I don't get angry at those without kids who pass comments, I just laugh at their naivety. If pushed I tell them to come back to me once they have kids of their own.

That said I totally agree with the whole manners thing. I don't have many hard and fast rules in my house but manners are something which is enforced without compromise.

Tonight I saw a girl about 6 years old in a shop shout at her mother then stick her tongue out rudely at her after being told she wasn't allowed something. What shocked me was not the child's rudeness. Afterall she's a child. But the fact her mum did/said nothing AND the dad also stood there like a statue!

teacherandguideleader Fri 07-Dec-12 07:40:53

I had this argument with someone who used to help at my guide unit. She disagreed with the way I did things. My girls are very happy and well looked after - I have a lot who started at 10 and are still attending at 16 which I think says a lot. Her main argument was what do I know since I am not a mother. I may not be but spend the vast majority of my time looking after children. I also had the misfortune of teaching her children - her parenting skills were nothing to be proud of!

ChunkyPickle Fri 07-Dec-12 07:55:29

They're allowed an opinion, but the trouble is that without the experience they can be a bit overambitious with how achievable whatever it is, is.

For instance, I have a pretty good 2 year old - he says thankyou, he's good in a restaurant, doesn't throw food or yell - but there's no chance he'll wait to speak to me for very long, and if he's tired or hungry then a tantrum is possible no matter how good he's being.

Some people without kids find it really hard to understand that he's only 2, so he has fairly poor impulse control and lives in the now. There's only so much that's actually possible to train into him so far!

MrsBW Fri 07-Dec-12 08:02:58

I don't have a dog. Does that mean I can't have an opinion when I see dog shit on the pavement?

If I am subjected to a child running around and screaming in a restaurant, when I'm trying to have a quiet meal with my husband then yes - I will judge the parents.


Hobbitation Fri 07-Dec-12 12:20:05

Tonight I saw a girl about 6 years old in a shop shout at her mother then stick her tongue out rudely at her after being told she wasn't allowed something. What shocked me was not the child's rudeness. Afterall she's a child. But the fact her mum did/said nothing AND the dad also stood there like a statue!

You see this is a prime example of a snapshot judgement. You don't know what the mum did after she went out of the shop. Maybe she was just trying to be calm and not yell in public and told her daughter off later?

Janeatthebarre Fri 07-Dec-12 14:28:37

That's like saying a non driver can't criticise a bad driver when they see one. Or a parent who isn't a qualified teacher can't criticise one of their children's teachers.
Do you never make a negative comment about a politician or a rude shop assistant?

Just because someone has children, it doesn't necessarily make them good at parenting.
And just because someone doesn't have children, it doesn't necessarily mean they know nothing about children.

rabbitonthemoon Fri 07-Dec-12 14:35:21

Your friend certainly has strong views on how she expects young children to be at the dinner table that are perhaps a tad unrealistic.

However, YABU in using the angry to add oomph to your comment that non parents shouldn't be judgey. I am not a parent - I am still allowed to have views on what I deem desirable/undesirable about children's behaviour! Just because I am a non-parent (horrid phrase) this does not mean I don't know anything about children or understand them. I've worked with very young children all my life and have two young nephews - I get it! When my brother says nothing when my nephew smacks his mum I comment. it doesn't go down well, but that is what I think. And even if I didn't have a lot of experience, I would still be well within my reason to state what I thought. There is nothing that makes me more angry than the wait til you've got kids gang. I'd like one by the way, but fertility isn't always very fair.

MyBaby1day Sat 08-Dec-12 10:11:28

She never said it was easy and YABU she has a right to her opinion. All my friends (most of whom are parents plus my is grin) feel the same way. They should have manners, not talk with their mouthful etc. we all know that whether we are parents or not, it's not rocket science!.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 08-Dec-12 12:33:42

I am not a parent, I work with teenagers.

I know some good parents with really bad DC.
I know bad parents with really good DC.
The same way that I know bad parents with bad DC and good parents with good DC.
When a child hits the teenage years there are a whole host of external influences that parents cannot control and parents have my sympathy.

I do however find that when parents allow their DC to do things that affect others, that is when they are going to be judged.

scottishmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 12:47:11

parents don't have special dibs on opining
before was a parent I still judged if kids were naughty

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 08-Dec-12 12:54:56

'That's like saying ... a parent who isn't a qualified teacher can't criticise one of their children's teachers.'

I like that idea. Let's make it a MN campaign!

But I also agree with Boneyback, there is a difference between criticising someone's parenting when it is a personal choice that affects no one else; feeding choices, allowing your DC a cuddly at 16, what to can a penis etc and criticising how people parent when it is impacting on others; such as bad manners, foul language, aggressive behaviour and the rest.
The second set of scenarios do invite valid critical comments from people who are being negatively affected by it. Parents or not.

greenrabbits Sat 08-Dec-12 13:32:02


TheNebulousBoojum Sat 08-Dec-12 13:34:17

can a penis? shock

What to call a penis

samandi Sat 08-Dec-12 13:36:30

YABU. Badly behaved children affect us all.

scottishmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 13:41:22

op are you an indulgent parent who thinks no one can comment in your kids?

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 08-Dec-12 13:44:57

scottishmummy, is that really you?
What happened to the Post Of Three Lines that was a signature?

PimpMyHippo Sat 08-Dec-12 14:02:45

I make snap judgements of every parent who brings their children into my workplace - there is a bell on the counter that acts as a Parenting Barometer. Every single child is irresistably drawn to ding the bell - if they do it once and the mum (or dad) says "don't do that" and they stop, they are deemed Good. If the mum asks the child to stop but the child can't resist doing it once more before stopping, they are Average. If the mum asks the child to stop and the child completely ignores her, they are Ineffective. If the mum doesn't even attempt to stop the child, and just ignores them as they bang away on the bell making an awful racket, they are Bad.

The other day a lady came in with a little boy and he said "look, there's a bell". His mum said "yes - you don't need to ring it though, please" AND HE DIDN'T. She was deemed an Excellent parent indeed. grin

Can you tell I get bored at work?

AllezBaBa Sat 08-Dec-12 14:23:57

PimpMyHippo, that made me laugh!
I don't have children but I do have opinions about them.
And in some cases, yes, I judge parents. And in a lot of cases, I am right grin

nannyl Sat 08-Dec-12 14:29:43


im a parent.

i have the same view, i had it before i was a parent, (and a nanny) and now.

with the right parenting (or care from whoever looks after the children) there is no reason why children cant learn and have good manners.

FolkElf Sat 08-Dec-12 15:08:00

I also agree with her.

I have two children. I held this view before I had them which is why I instilled those manners in them. I still think it's important now.

Do they always remember? of course not. They're children. Do they get reminded when they forget? Of course they do.

Of course it's hard work and not easy and I think that some people without children don't always realise that. My brother used to comment on how "lucky" I am that my children are so well behaved. Maybe I am, but it's luck that came with blood, sweat and tears!

Pimp I like the sound of your Parenting Barometer. grin It probably isn't always accurate, but i still like the sound of it!

Angelico Sat 08-Dec-12 15:29:52

YABU. I agree with the 'non-parent'. I was until very recently a 'non-parent' myself but knew a lot about kids after spending my career working with them in various capacities. And with a few I longed to tell their idiotic parents how to raise them.

No doubt this will all come back to bite me on the arse as DD gets older... grin

sandberry Sat 08-Dec-12 15:59:47

I have no children and only give an opinion if directly asked, however I have a job which is all about giving advice to pregnant women and new parents, I tend to just offer suggestions, no judgement (well I sometimes think it, such as when someone told me it was easy to leave her hours old baby to cry as she didn't want him to be spoiled)

However I have noticed parents judge each other far more than non parents judge them, perhaps everyone could do with being a little less judgy.

I don't have children. But I feel perfectly qualified to express an opinion on the behaviour of anyone, old or young, adult or child, whose behaviour impacts on me and those I love. In particular, manners are about helping all of us get along in the public realm/social sphere. A child who is sadly untaught these things will be at a social disadvantage in later life and will impact negatively on those around them. In general, I don't make judgements where I can see the parent is genuinely trying, or the child is a toddler having a tantrum - that happens. But I will judge the parents of a child who for instance is out late at night in a nice restaurant, is tired and grumpy and is now making the evening a problem for those around them. That's not the child's fault but it is an example of bad manners where people fail to consider the impact of their actions on those around them. Or worse, consider them and do them anyway.

Joiningthegang Sat 08-Dec-12 20:05:38

I can't remember who said it or where i saw it but -"i knew most about parenting the day before i was pregnant"

Anyone is entitled to an opinion and hers doesnt sound that unreasonable to me.

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