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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

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.

Scuttlebutter Sat 08-Dec-12 18:48:33

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.

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.

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

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!

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.

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

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?

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?

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

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

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

YABU. Badly behaved children affect us all.

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

can a penis? shock

What to call a penis

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


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.

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

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.

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!.

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.

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.

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?

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.


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!

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!

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!

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

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