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to just not want to get involved with all that competitive parenting malarky?

(59 Posts)
CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Fri 27-May-11 20:36:53

I really can't be bothered with it all!

I like to meet up with friends for a coffee and a chat, but why the heck do some people turn everything into a competition? Met up with a friend yesterday who has a DS 2 weeks younger than my DS (almost 2). My friend proceeded for our entire meet-up to compare the boys "Oh I love the way Minibubbles doesn't talk properly, it's lovely to hear baby talk compared with my DS's proper grown up talking". Asking me how much I pay for an activity my DS does and then saying "Oh the one we go to is much more expensive than that" and all sorts of passive aggressive comments aimed at DS "Oh no, you don't still drink from a beaker do you? My DS is in much more of a hurry to grow up than you are!" etc etc.

Like I said, I cannot be bothered with it all; I am happy for my DS to do things in his own time. I'm in no hurry to make him drink from a glass or to potty train him. My older children did these things when they were ready and I intend to let DS do the same. I couldn't care less if her DS is more advanced than mine, as it happens I'd say they are actually very similar ability wise, and probably very average for 23 month olds, but even if he was more advanced it just wouldn't bother me, I'm happy to let my son be himself and do things in his own time.

Rant over!

TotalChaos Fri 27-May-11 20:44:39

yanbu. possibly she is masking massive insecurity, but disparaging remarks about your DC to big herself up just aren't on. either drop her as a friend - or calmly and patronisingly tell her that it's not a race.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 27-May-11 20:46:28

god how annoying

cerealqueen Fri 27-May-11 20:52:43

YANBU. Its boring and unnecessary.

An alternative and even more annoying form of this is the indirect competitive parenting and boasting where your friend tells you how wonderful/talented/funny/advanced the nursery/preschool says their DS/DD is on whatever aspect they want to highlight, be it drinking from a cup or speech. Yawn.

I agree with Totalchaos on the handling strategy.

honeybee007 Fri 27-May-11 21:02:09

Cereal I have one of those friends, she goes on to say how much better my dd's speech would be if I could afford for her to go to nursery for even just one morning a week. As though being at home with me at 16months old is the worst thing imaginable.makes me cross,doubt myself,question oh on if we are doing the right thing,which gets me a metaphorical kick up the bum so I remember dd is happy at home and says an appropriate amount for her age.and we could afford it I just don't want to send her while I'm a SAHM.

babybythesea Fri 27-May-11 21:11:24

Am with you.

I think I may come across as competitive though. I do often initiate conversations but it's because I don't really know anyone near me with kids the same age as my dd (I just have one other friend with a toddler) so when I do meet others it's useful to get a handle on whether I'm doing things at the right point. It's not about being competitive, or what she can do, it's more what I should be doing and am not. Stupid things, usually. Like giving her sippy cups. Didn't occur to me to see what she did with a normal cup, I was sort of stuck in the habit and didn't have any plastic cups without lids. I saw someone else giving their kid a normal and commented on it. I don't remember what i said but I don't think I came across well. But it was a remark borne out of guilt that I hadn't bothered to even see what my dd made of a normal cup. Supernanny, I'm here - skin me alive and public please. So I do an element of competitive parenting but it's mainly to make sure that I'm not blocking my dd from opportunities through lack of thought, IYSWIM!

mummissinghermind Fri 27-May-11 21:16:16

Feel your pain OP, if the kids weren't there, you'd just scream "Your boring the tits off me, shut up".

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Fri 27-May-11 21:30:16

Lol Mummissinghermind, yes I definitely felt like shouting that at her yesterday in particular. She seemed to be in extreme competitive mode.

babybythesea, it doesn't sound to me as though you're competitive at all, in my experience competitive mummies gloat over what their child can do that yours can't and try to make out that your baby is inferior to theirs. I have also met one mummy years ago that was very competitive about birth experience, even saying to me and another friend "Really??? You had stitches?? Yuk"

purplepidjin Fri 27-May-11 21:32:29

Perhaps you should reply "It's such a shame you're missing out on such a joyous part of childhood" with a sympathetic arm pat...

razzlebathbone Fri 27-May-11 21:40:45

I find the best way to handle this kind of bollocks is to do what they least expect - completely join in with their praise of their child. Fully agree with them and heap it on even more, without even a hint of insincerity or sarcasm. You see, what they want is to detect your annoyance, a rise to their passive-aggressive challenge, because this assures them that you're jealous and they're superior.

Just act totally complicit and unaware of what they're doing if it happens again. That will annoy the shit out of them.

Be secure. These people can't bear that; they feed off insecurity.

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Fri 27-May-11 21:53:23

That is just so so true, razzle

purplepidjin Fri 27-May-11 21:54:10

Ooh, razzle, you're even eviller than me <respect>

MadamDeathstare Fri 27-May-11 22:01:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alitesneeze Fri 27-May-11 22:12:19

I have a friend like this who also feels free to completely rewrite history ('DD just decided herself to stop using nappies' - erm no, I was there when you spent weeks potty training her! Or when my dd has a tantrum 'I'm lucky my dd never had tantrums' erm, she just had one half an hour ago!)

Come to think of it I don't see much of her now...

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Fri 27-May-11 22:16:37

Alitesneeze, funnily enough my DS had a mega paddy yesterday lasting for about half an hour and my friend kept saying to her son "Oh, you never do anything like that do you? Isn't he being a naughty boy". She was actually really relishing my son playing up and enjoying being smug about it all

animula Fri 27-May-11 22:18:43


It is utterly, utterly soul-destroying behaviour - it'll eat her from inside out, it's aimed at shoring up her fragile self-esteem by chipping away at that of others, it will turn what should be a positive parenting-of-her-own child into some weird competition for her , and it will alienate any right thinking person from her company.

Another thread has just brought back to me the single worst experience I had of competitive parenting.

You are so not BU.

alitesneeze Fri 27-May-11 22:20:16

Callmebubbles, were you tempted to punch her?!

MadamDeathstare Fri 27-May-11 22:22:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 27-May-11 22:22:43

Definitely not unreasonable, OP. It's really sad when parents think that their DCs are a source of competition, it's unnecessary and it's probably down to their own poor self-esteem that they need to brag/exaggerate to score a point. Feel pity for them if anything, but definitely don't allow yourself to feel inferior in ay way.

All DCs are different, they develop at different rates and have different skills at different times... and in the end, they all catch up with each other. So all the 'competition' is for nothing and all that is achieved is that the competitive parent misses out on time they can't replace - all because they take their eyes of the prize that is their DC's childhood.

Don't be pushed or pulled in any way, OP, carry on just as you are. Nobody else is going to love your DCs the way you do, or know them as you do. smile

MadamDeathstare Fri 27-May-11 22:23:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mum765 Fri 27-May-11 22:24:41

Wait til she gets on reading levels. YANBU

exoticfruits Fri 27-May-11 22:32:26

She is insecure. Don't get drawn in. Sound like a broken record 'I'm just enjoying the preent stage' or 'they are all different' and change the subject.

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Fri 27-May-11 22:36:53

Alitesneeze, believe me I was very tempted to punch her. But then I'd have been very "naughty" like my tantrumming toddler...

Mumcentreplus Fri 27-May-11 22:37:01

Instantly stop CARING!!..she sounds like a prat..

MadamDeathstare Fri 27-May-11 22:43:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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