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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?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 16-Jul-13 21:16:05

badguider - that is true. I used to bore myself sometimes

OP there's a middle way between always talking to your child and never talking to them Remember that and you'll be fine

wewantyouasanewrecruit Tue 16-Jul-13 21:18:26

It's allowed, Wilson as long as you come on here after having done it and tell us your best ones.
It takes me ages to post; yours hadn't yet come up when I was writing. Thank you also for the grin
Sparkling Loving it.
My mother used to do this to me as a child. I remember her holding up a pair of knickers in M&S (at the time their underwear was definitely the best) and asking me if I liked them, etc. I knew at the time it was a performance to show people how discerning she was.
Obviously I was mortified.

SpanielFace Tue 16-Jul-13 21:26:10

Kawliga, I'm not trying to imply that I'm special (no one else seems to have thought this was my aim by my post hmm), more that I had assumed this was normal and therefore wondered why people complained about it.

I don't want to turn this to being a thread about a thread, but I was driven to post this by someone complaining about their neighbour playing and singing loudly with their child in their own garden. Clearly not done for public effect, but someone still had an issue with it, and described it as loud parenting.

As I said, I've not come across people encouraging their children to recite in French or talk about their preference for organic food. That may be to do with the area I live in. I can understand that could get annoying.

WidowWadman Tue 16-Jul-13 21:27:39

Why all the hate for parenting in two languages? I raise my children bilingually, hence do it all the time, not to show off to anyone, but how else is the child to learn the vocab for both languages? As it is, my older daughter also does a third language in preschool, so we occasionally also talk about that language too.

I get people being annoyed at "loud" parenting, if they feel it's just done in order to put on a show. But there's nothing wrong with chatting to a child about different words in different languages, or any other topic. Inverse snobbery is just as bad as standard snobbery.

WilsonFrickett Tue 16-Jul-13 21:33:52

Not seeing any hate Widow. It's a light-hearted thread. And most PPs aren't actually raising their children bilingually, they're poncing about trying to teach Tarquina French so she gets into that lovely prep school...

WidowWadman Tue 16-Jul-13 21:45:34

Light-hearted inverse snobbery is still snobbery.

kawliga Tue 16-Jul-13 21:53:03

OP, of course talking to children is normal and all mothers do it, there's nothing to 'assume' about that and nobody complains about people talking to children hmm so your thread title is completely disingenous. Nobody says it is wrong to talk to children hmm I have never heard anyone saying there is something wrong with talking to children.

Loud parenting is still the most annoying thing imaginable especially if you are confined in a small space with the smug loud parenter eg on a train. Also, loud parenters tend to say things like 'I chat to my children a lot, I like engaging with them and stimulating them'. Please. That's just as ridiculous as saying 'I feed my children healthy meals because I would like them to grow strong and healthy'. Um....yes.

Public Service Announcement: if people are pissed off with you and giving you hmm looks it is not because talking to children is wrong, it is because you are too freaking loud, try lowering your volume a notch or two. Thanks.

MrsDeVere Tue 16-Jul-13 21:56:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kawliga Tue 16-Jul-13 22:02:05


Um, nobody is annoyed with cheeky little Charlie what they are annoyed with is Charlie's loud parent trying to demonstrate their fantastic disciplining strategies to the entire train.

YouTheCat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:03:55

That kind of shit always makes me hmm

I really wish my kids were young so I could PP around Sainsburys and amuse MrsDeVere. grin

Layl77 Tue 16-Jul-13 22:04:42

If I didn't talk. Constantly. Loudly enough. To my first baby she would scream to get out of the pram and everyone would look at me like I was strangling her. She was a nightmare but needed constant attention through her ears, she's fine now but talkative!

MrsDeVere Tue 16-Jul-13 22:06:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpanielFace Tue 16-Jul-13 22:07:15

Kawliga, no-one is giving me hmm looks. I have only ever heard of anyone having issue with this on MN, which is why I asked.

MrsDeVere Tue 16-Jul-13 22:08:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouTheCat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:09:20

I would but dd is 18 and it's her holding up the fair trade bananas and telling me why I should fork out extra for them. She doesn't Performance Child loudly though. She does mutter a lot and complain about unruly children on scooters though.

TheSurgeonsMate Tue 16-Jul-13 22:14:32

I started a thread about this once when I realised why I talk loudly when I talk to dd in the street. It is because she is very short. Her ears are far away from my mouth. It isn't like talking to an adult of equal height.

Willdoitinaminute Tue 16-Jul-13 22:16:11

I had to talk loudly to my ds who had chronic glue ear from early on. Now he just has chronic male ear.

kawliga Tue 16-Jul-13 22:20:52

Well, OP you asked whether you are an annoying loud parent so here is the test. Be aware of your environment while you are doing your 'interactive parenting and stimulating your baby' (excuse me while I heave). If people can hear you and you have been wittering on for a long time, put a sock in it. If you are in confined space with others, stop it. And above all, never ever, on pain of death, do your 'interactive stimulation' for your baby on a train. Please. As a kindness to fellow passengers some of whom may be suffering with migraines, etc. You will have plenty of time to interactive-parent with your child when there are no stressed out passengers trying to read a book.

Seriously, children should learn that they do not have to be stimulated at all times. It is good socialization to teach them that sometimes, because there are other people in the world around us, we should be quiet and considerate towards others. Learning to amuse themselves quietly is actually a really good skill for babies. It teaches them kindness and humility, something to think about when you're hyperventilating with all the exciting and stimulating questions you have prepared for the baby and everybody else within shouting distance

kawliga Tue 16-Jul-13 22:21:51

cross post with MrsDeVere who said it even better

maternitart Tue 16-Jul-13 22:33:30

OP I agree with you, Don't think I've heard any PP in real life except perhaps from me when I sing nursery rhymes at DS when he's trying to sleep - it helps block out the screaming

ChasingDogs Tue 16-Jul-13 22:36:17

I'm not a parent but do remember a recent encounter in the supermarket with one lady who I'm fairly sure caught herself in the middle of this loud parenting business.

"This is coffee. Mummy and Daddy don't drink coffee do we? No, it's not nice, it's not very good for you..."

Lady catches my (amused, not evil and glaring!) eye as I pick up the biggest jar of whatever caffeine happens to be both on offer and drinkable.

"But SOME people like coffee! In fact lots of people like coffee! And tea! We just don't like hot drinks. But it's OK for other people to like hot drinks! Even coffee, and tea. You shouldn't drink too much but people do and it's OK..."

She was still explaining this to her very bored looking 3 year old as I made for the booze aisles.

I did think she must be a MN'er as I had never heard of "loud parenting" before I came here. I had loud parenting behaviour filed under "What's up with that bloody woman? Why is she so loud? That's a baby, that is, I don't know shit about babies but I'm pretty sure they're don't give a fuck about the provenance of their bananas. She needs to get out a bit and chat to other adults more, bless her. That being a mum business is hard work. I shall put it off indefinitely."

SpanielFace Tue 16-Jul-13 22:37:40

MrsDeVere put it far better, and without so much unnecessary rudeness.

YouTheCat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:41:28

grin Chasing

When mine were that age it would been more like 'This is coffee. Mummy has to have coffee and lots of it because Mummy is running on empty. This is tea. This is what Mummy drinks when she has run out of coffee. We don't like tea as much as coffee, do we? This is wine. Grandma says Mummy shouldn't drink too much wine but Grandma can bugger right off, can't she My Little Cherub?' grin

SpanielFace Tue 16-Jul-13 22:43:44

My niece (22 months) refers to coffee as "Mummy juice"!

ChasingDogs Tue 16-Jul-13 22:45:01

YouTheCat, it would make my day and give me a sense that all was right with the world if I came across your brand of loud parenting in Sainsburys. grin

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