Just got accused of 'performance parenting...'

(420 Posts)
itsallaboutschmoo Wed 05-May-21 16:53:49

DP and I have been out for the day taking our 3 year old nephew to a local attraction for his birthday treat.

For reference we are child free ourselves but often have our nephews for weekends and like to take them on days out when possible. DN just turned 3, is entirely non verbal and currently under investigation for hearing issues.

Queuing for a ride with him I was pointing out a dinosaur statue nearby (to keep his attention on something so he didn't become fussy waiting.) I wasn't being especially loud but I do enunciate clearly when I speak to him to give him the best chance of understanding.

A woman behind us in the queue leaned over and tapped me (hello Covid breach) and said 'could you spare us the performance parenting? It's embarrassing.' I was dumbfounded. Not entirely sure what I did wrong and felt really self conscious for the rest of the day. I am maybe a bit loud when I talk to him and I'm not a parent so I suppose I don't know what's considered normal.

So WIBU and 'performance parenting' or should this woman keep her views to herself?

OP’s posts: |
StateOfTheUterus Wed 05-May-21 16:55:10

She sounds like a dick. Ignore her.

Astronaut8 Wed 05-May-21 16:55:41

What a cow.

She should have 100% kept her opinions to herself. You’ve done nothing wrong in my eyes.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Wed 05-May-21 16:56:41

Well, she is right in that performance parenting is annoying, and not knowing the backstory, it would seem to a bystander that is was what you were doing.

But actually leaning over and saying it to you? That's really shitty.

GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing Wed 05-May-21 16:56:51

“Dick” was the exact word that came to mind about the woman! Exactly as first pp said.

I’d ignore her and carry on.’or the MN classic “did you mean to be so rude?”

StevieNix Wed 05-May-21 16:57:44

She’s a dick. Ignore.
I wish you had pointed out your nephews hearing issues/non-verbal (although of course it’s non of her damn business) - only because it would have put her in her place and hopefully made her realise what an absolute cow she is.

the80sweregreat Wed 05-May-21 16:58:33

What a dick ! I hate people like this.


1Morewineplease Wed 05-May-21 16:58:53

Only performance parents would recognise this trait.
Ignore completely.

GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing Wed 05-May-21 16:59:03

She’s obviously heard the term “performance parenting”’on here or another forum and just wheeled it out, thinking she sounds clever.

BrumBoo Wed 05-May-21 16:59:52

If child has suspected hearing loss, them speaking loudly and clearly is not performance parenting. I would have said something in that situation.

My husband performance parents at times, and it's bloody cringy. It's not 'oh look at the dinosaur, isn't that cool!', it's more like 'look, there's a T-Rex! How do we know it's a T-rex Toby*? Can you name any other type of carnivorous dinosaur?'. All at 20 thousand decibel whilst I try and back away slowly.....

*not child's name.

BumBurnerBum Wed 05-May-21 17:00:06

Did you or your DP respond? Incredibly rude and a useful reminder that what might be perceived as performance parenting could stem from necessity.

Brokenpencilsarepointless Wed 05-May-21 17:00:52

What did you say? I dont usually advocate for explaining yourself to dickheads, but I would have loved to see her face when you told her that your nephew has hearing difficulties and until it is treated, you need to speak loudly and clearly for him.

Exhausted4ever Wed 05-May-21 17:01:13

I'm sick of this 'performance parenting' malarkey. Basically if you're talking to your kid about the surroundings you're performance parenting. Of course if you were ignoring your kid you're badly parenting. What's a person to do?!

Onceuponatime1818 Wed 05-May-21 17:01:28

What’s performance parenting?

I would have said the boy is deaf, this speaking loudly, that would have embarrassed her/shut her up.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Wed 05-May-21 17:01:30

She sounds like a complete knob! I would not have been able to bite my tongue.

HappyMeal654 Wed 05-May-21 17:02:23

Well she made herself look stupid! What a cow!

BeingATwatItsABingThing Wed 05-May-21 17:03:58


What’s performance parenting?

I would have said the boy is deaf, this speaking loudly, that would have embarrassed her/shut her up.

Showing off your superior parenting skills.

Oh XXXX! You do love your salmon and kale don’t you! You wouldn’t ever touch haribo would you darling?!

itsallaboutschmoo Wed 05-May-21 17:04:07

I was really taken aback and replied 'Excuse me?!' But then it was time to get on the ride and the man was ushering us on so I didn't get chance to explain.

I was seething all through the ride and probably would have said something further if we'd seen her again but we didn't.

She had two older kids with her so wouldn't have wanted it to get confrontational.

Need to find my bollocks in situations like that...

OP’s posts: |
Allwokedup Wed 05-May-21 17:07:20

What a bitchy she was. You sound like a great aunt and your DN are lucky to have you.

SimonJT Wed 05-May-21 17:08:50

Some people are wankers, some people like announcing their wanker status to the world.

My son is hearing impaired, I had this once from a parent at heartbeeps. Said parent would constantly tell everyone how advanced her toddler was...

Boopeedoop Wed 05-May-21 17:14:05

My cousin is dead since birth and she was screamed at and shoved for not answering someone in the supermarket.

She turned around and spoke to him using sign language and he shuffled off embarrassed.

People seem to forget deaf people exist in the world.

Bluntness100 Wed 05-May-21 17:14:42

The thing is performance parenting is a thing, some weirdos like to talk loudly and show off to other parents, everyone else has no clue why, other than attention seeking. The fact the woman thought you were doing that and was wrong, doesn’t excuse her behaviour. She should simoly have thought it and said nothing. It’s a shame you didn’t get the chance to put her right.

toocold54 Wed 05-May-21 17:15:05

Need to find my bollocks in situations like that

You were just taken off guard. It’s annoying looking back on it but try not to let it consume you. In future remember to reply about him having hearing loss very loudly so she feels like a twat.

paralysedbyinertia Wed 05-May-21 17:17:00

She sounds ridiculous. Hope that you had a nice day with your nephew.

JeanClaudeVanDammit Wed 05-May-21 17:17:10

She’s a dick. Carry on as you were.

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