The survey, conducted by Pull-ups, the potty training experts, has released a list of the top ten touchy subjects which people have raised with mothers which have led the mothers to either get upset, led to an argument and in extreme circumstances, led to the mother not talking to that person again.
Common criticisms levelled at mothers include a child's behaviour, a child's growth and a child's eating and sleeping habits.
The top comment which has led to blow ups between mothers and family or friends is, interestingly, “Aren't they tall/short”.
This is followed by “when my child was that age they were already walking/talking”.
Over a quarter of mums have refused to speak to a person again after such a comment, whilst 56 per cent have been so worried by a comment they had spoken to a doctor or health visitor about it.
The full list of touchy subjects is as follows:
- Aren't they tall/short
- When my child was that age he/she was already walking/talking
- Your child is very boisterous
- They should be talking more by now
- They should be sleeping through the night by now
- You shouldn't give them a dummy
- They don't eat very well, do they
- They should be walking by now
- They should be crawling by now
- They should have given up their dummy by now
The survey found a proportion of mothers were able to take these comments on the chin but many others were left feeling upset, worried or angry.
Commenting on the results of the survey, psychologists said it could be difficult for parents to hear comments about their child's development because not only does it spark concern all is not well with the child, but it also implies the mother is not doing a good job.
They added people must remember all youngsters develop at different speeds.
The survey also found it was mother-in-laws who were most likely to dish out unwelcome comments.
I think the key thing to remember in this is that all children do develop at different rates. The mothers need to remember this but I really wish those who wield the comments would remember this too.
It would be very easy to say that mothers should just ignore the comments but it is very difficult to do this when you have so steadfastly put in the effort to do the best for your child. Besides no one likes criticism do they?
The fact the top criticism is “Aren't they tall/short”, is a little odd at first look but then I suppose it has made the top slot simply because it is such a pointless comment to make about a child. What is a parent really meant to do about that then. Make them sleep in a shoebox so they don't grow any taller or put them on a rack and stretch them a few inches. It is ridiculous.
It is the comments about a child's development which really irk me. Of course there will be times when a person is really concerned about how a child is being brought up but I think most of the time those dishing out the comments are either trying to make out how superior their own children are, in their eyes, or trying to cover up their own insecurities.
I think these people need to take a step back and have a think about how their comments will impact on a parent.
It is a sad thing that over half those surveyed have had to seek medical advise, so worried they have been about something that has been said.
Of course it is inevitable that people will always want to pass comment and maybe mothers should do their best to toughen up a little and be confident in their own parenting abilities but it does not mean we have to like it when people poke their noses into our business does it?