nosy parents

Lisa - posted on 04/22/2012 ( 48 moms have responded )

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How do you handle people in public that make statements about your parenting?

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**Jackie** - posted on 04/22/2012

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I say something like "Thank you for your input/I'll get right on that". It pisses them off every time.

One time this old woman told me my daughter would get a cold because as we were coming out of the grocery store it started to rain. I informed her that you can't get a cold without a virus or bacteria and I think she was a bit surprised that I talked back to her. I was just educating her.

[deleted account]

I can't even bring my youngest anywhere without getting some kind of comment. He'll be 2 on the 12th and he's a MONSTER right now. Just last week i had some lady say he was too old to be throwing fits, while my 2 older children are walking alongside the cart being very good. Her 2 kids were running crazy up and down the aisles, yelling, running into people.
So I politely said,"Since your so worried about how my toddler is behaving, maybe you could give me some tips. Oh wait maybe i should just let him run around and do what the fuck he wants." And then i just walked off.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/03/2012

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I've never had anyone comment, other than the lady that told me I was horrible for leaving my eldest in the cart and walking 10 feet away so that he couldn't see me (I could see him). He was throwing a blue fit because I said no to the sugary treats. I told him that if he was going to act out, I was going to leave him sit until he was calm, and walked around the endcap. He calmed immediately, I went back, and some old bag told me that "he could have been snatched". I calmly asked if she preferred a quiet toddler over a screaming one, and left the area.

If ever approached, tho, I decided I'd just give them my best daggers look and say "Problem? I didn't think so"

**Jackie** - posted on 04/30/2012

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I know, MeMe!! I just don't understand it...even when I didn't have a child I would NEVER touch someone's baby. OMG even a dog, I always always always ask to pet a dog before touching it.

That was off topic but anyway, I just figure: you're not going to be in the hospital or the doctor's office with me when she's sick so even if I come off as a rude bitch, I don't care. :)

**Jackie** - posted on 04/30/2012

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I remember being in a store with my mother and my daughter when she was maybe 5 months old. This woman came up to us and said how beautiful she was and I said thank you and she reached out to pinch her cheek I guess or just touch her face and I smacked her right on the hand like I was scolding her lol. It was embarrassing and I was NOT brought up like that but seriously....if you touch my child with your germ infested wrinkly hands I'm going to swat at you like a fly.

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Beth - posted on 05/07/2012

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I'm a big believer in the kill 'em with passive-aggressive kindness method of shaming a busy body. I'd probably smile really big and fake and say something like, "Oh, thanks so much for your unsolicited advice on how to raise MY child!" And then just ignore whatever the do/say after that. You don't have to answer to anyone, period. Outside of someone causing a child severe physical harm, I don't understand why anyone would think they have the right to tell another person how to raise their child. But, I had to really lay into this older woman at Target the other day. She didn't say anything to me, but she was going ON and ON to her elderly companion about "these idiot moms that take their kids shopping during nap time and don't leave when they throw a fit. They don't know a thing about parenting." I had to let her know that no, it was she who didn't know a thing about other people's lives and reasons for taking their kids wherever, whenever, and she should keep her opinions to herself.

Janice - posted on 05/06/2012

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I wonder if certain areas have more out spoken people. My daughter is almost never in the cart and no one has ever said a thing even when she run a bit too far ahead or drags her feet and falls behind.

Merry - posted on 05/06/2012

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Okeven more! What is it about strangers thinking our kids aren't warm enough!?!?
Countless times I've had people exclaim, where's her hat? Where's his coat? Wheres her mittens? Etc. I'm serious, I don't know if they overdressed kids a lot in years past but I dress my kids to their specific needs and I don't over or under dress them. It's also not going to harm them to have chilled fingers.
I hate it when people, say, oh her hands are cold! And then I touch them and they're just fine! She doesn't have to be sweaty to be comfortable! Or being barefooted people freak out like where's their shoes?!.!
Sooooo annoying.

Merry - posted on 05/06/2012

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Reading through some comments reminded me of a few other times strangers have criticized my parenting. One time I was at the entrance to target and was looking at the endcap directly by the entrance and my son was wandering in veeeeeeeery slowly. I let him and just watched him while I looked at the merchandise. Some lady walked past and said, 'someone could just snatch him up and you'd never know!' I said 'nope I've been watching him the whole time, thanks'

And many times people see him and ask, where's your mommy? Or is your mommy round? Or ry just look at him and hen look up all concerned scanning everyone til they see me and I say I'm right here! I'm sorry, I don't make him sit in a cart all the time, and I don't make him hold my hand if its a slow day in the store. He can walk and I follow. Many times I make him follow me when I'm in a rush so it's nice to have some lazy trips where I follow him as he wanders throug the store. So yeah, everyone assumes I'm some unattentive teen mom who can't keep an eye on my child but really I'm doing what I think is a necessary benefcial uncommon thing that really makes him a better behaved child!

Merry - posted on 05/06/2012

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I had a woman make a comment when she saw my son take a bite from an apple off the shelf at the grocery store. She said 'you know there's chemicals on those if you don't wash them right?' and I said yep thanks and walked away.

She doesn't know that I buy organic apples and that I'm like ridiculously chemically conscious. I look like I'm 16 but I'm very health conscious and my kid is not exposed to much of any bad stuff. So I shrugged it off and just told myself she shouldnt judge the book by its cover.

Usually when people talk about my kids in public it's to say how cute, sweet, polite, or well behaved they are. Seriously they are amazing when we are out. My son says please and thankyou and your welcome and is super friendly in a non offensive way and my daughter is usually quite cute and content.

They save their naughtiest til we are at home :-/

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/30/2012

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I agree Jackie. I would be very inclined to slap their hand and then ask them WTF, are they thinking....don't you touch my baby. I do not know you and you do not know me. Get lost, you freak!

[deleted account]

but randomly today while in the store this old couple came up and must have mistaken us for some other family and started talking to me and Julie like they knew us, saying "Is that my baby??" in that creepy way some people tend to do around here when they've met someone with a baby once before (though i don't meet people nor do i go to church here so i have no idea where they could have possibly seen Julie unless it was with hubby) and Julie of course was just grinning away cuz she does that. meanwhile i'm freaking out a bit and giving off this "don't fucking touch my kid" vibe while smiling nervously and they finally left and i was like we. are. leaving. *shudder*



i am NOT a people person. so it's really awkward when people consider me having a child an open invitation to start speaking to me at all.

[deleted account]

omigosh i hate old women and their "isn't she cold??" bullcrap...My kid was born in the middle of winter, dammit!! she is definitely NOT going to be cold in the middle of what feels like summer!!!

Hope - posted on 04/30/2012

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Old ladies can be the worst. But I just smile and nod and go about my day.
I love it when they tell me my baby is going to catch his death because he doesn't have a bonnet on. We live on the Gold Coast, even in the middle of winter it only gets down to 16c. I just bite my tongue, smile and nod.

[deleted account]

I usually just smile and nod. Usually if they are commenting I am not in a situation where I have the time or patience to defend my actions.

Janice - posted on 04/26/2012

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Lol Jackie! I can never come up with good comebacks when in the moment. Its always like 20 minutes later when the person is gone.

**Jackie** - posted on 04/26/2012

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I would've turned around and said "YOU sit down too!!"

So here's a funny story, I took my daughter to the park yesterday and she was cranky after 20 minutes, I didn't know what her problem was but I told her we would go home and that we didn't have to hang out there. I was collecting our things and she threw herself on the grass and took her shoes off. I just grabbed her shoes and threw them in my bag and picked her up. I have my arms full and she is heavy and I'm not very big and she was wiggling and trying to get free but if she got down she would run out into traffic so I just held on. This woman who was about 70 said "maybe if she had some clothes on she wouldn't be mad"...and I was so frustrated and mad I turned around and said "YOU DON'T HAVE ANY CLOTHES ON!!!" lol Well, needless to say it wasn't one of my finer moments. After getting my daughter strapped into her car seat and everything loaded into the car I couldn't help but laugh at myself and think "really jackie? that's the best you had?"

Michele - posted on 04/26/2012

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I remember one time, my daughter was in the basket of the shopping cart, strapped, but still was trying to stand up and was little enough to wiggle out. For the whole time we were in the store. I was pretty patient and set her back down repeatedly. By the time we got to the line, she tried it again and I said "SIT. DOWN. NOW", which she did. The lady behind me said "you should say please". I ignored her but I was fuming! Of all the things to be "reprimanded" about, sheesh.

Sylvia - posted on 04/26/2012

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Tracey, that's absolutely appalling. D: There's no excuse for saying something like that to you!!

September - posted on 04/25/2012

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I've never actually had that happen before however if I did I'm not sure I would respond nicely. I don't like others telling me how to parent my child. Suggestions/advice is wonderful to receive when asked for but not from a complete stranger, no thanks!

Elfrieda - posted on 04/25/2012

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My son is a very warm kid, so he stays in sandals even when it's a bit cool out. I've gotten a few comments about "Those poor toes!" and I'll either say "He's a little heater, he's okay." or just smile and walk away. I enjoy all the friendliness that comes with having a baby and toddler, so I try not to be offended when friendliness turns a little too advice-y.

Janice - posted on 04/25/2012

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Wow, Tracey that is terrible!!! People are assholes!



I am lucky. I have gotten looks if my daughter is misbehaving or I'm walking around breastfeeding my son, but no one has ever said anything.

**Jackie** - posted on 04/25/2012

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I was once in a bathroom with my sister and my daughter and this mother came in with her son, he was maybe 4 or 5. This older lady said to the mother something like you shouldn't bring him in here, there are ladies in here and the men's bathroom is just next door. I told the old hag that we didn't mind and that perhaps back in the 1800's when she was a little girl, there weren't pedophiles and kidnappers lurking everywhere and this mom was smart in not leaving her child by himself in a men's bathroom. The old woman told me I was rude and I said "that's fair, I'm also a gemini and I love crafting. Nice to meet you"

When the old woman left the mom was trying so hard not to laugh. She said thank you and before I left I bent down to the little boy and told him that his mommy loves him very much.


Was I extremely childish? YES, without a doubt.
Did it feel friggen good? You bet your ass it did.

**Jackie** - posted on 04/25/2012

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Tracey...WHAT?! People say that to you!? Please please let me follow you and your precious son around....with a bat. I'll take care of them :)

Tracey - posted on 04/25/2012

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I don't get comments over parenting but I do get them about my son's disability. Have been told that because he looks normal that there is nothing wrong with him and he is just being naughty, that he should be put in a home, and that back in their day he would have been sent to Hitler's gas chambers.

[deleted account]

i give them a death glare and say something horrid, then wait for them to leave.



ETA: and i actually get a lot of comments, or my husband does, when we're out. once, my husband was walking, holding our daughter, from the car to my workplace where they were going to visit and some woman in an SUV pulled up to him and told him he better get some shoes and socks on that baby or she'll catch her death of cold or some shit like that. i don't know if he went off on her or not, but he was pretty upset about it, haha.



i get comments all the time about how my daughter isn't dressed warmly enough even though it's 75 degrees outside or more. if she needs a jacket we have a thin one in her diaper bag, and i'm pretty good about putting shoes and socks on her. she loves shoes, haha, and helps me put them on, so yay, lol.



my inlaws are always asking me "Are you sure she's warm enough??" and i always say "She's fine." because she is, she's hot-natured like her daddy. she sweats VERY easily. so why should i overdress her when it's warm outside?? sigh...

Sylvia - posted on 04/23/2012

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I used to get comments a LOT when DD was a baby -- I used to sling her a lot, which some people find weird; they would tell me she must be too hot or too cold, depending, and ask whether I was SURE she could breathe in there :P. Once a total stranger lectured me for not putting shoes on her, and I was like, "Have YOU ever tried to put shoes on an eighteen-month-old who DOES NOT want to wear shoes right now?" (She wasn't walking around without shoes; she was in the sling, and wearing warm socks, and it wasn't that cold a day, nor that long a walk from our building to the subway.) It always weirded me out, though, because normally where I live you do *not* make conversation with strangers! Being pregnant or having a small child with you seems to give people a free pass to comment...

Most of the snide comments, though, came from various members of DH's family, particularly my oldest SIL, who seriously thinks I am the world's worst parent. I've had to learn to let it go :P "Thank you for your concern" usually shuts people up.

Jennifer - posted on 04/23/2012

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I gave my duaghter "the look" once and she immediatly stopped what she was doing and the lady behind me in line said something along the lines of I must beat my kids. Whatever. Fuck off. The look meant no M&M's in the car!! I've always found that bribing works better than beating.

Vicki - posted on 04/23/2012

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I sometimes think that no one makes rude comments to me because I look a bit 'alternative' anyway (dreads) so a feral child goes with the territory, no point commenting as I'm a lost cause. Either that or I have a child who is perfect in every way lol.

America3437 - posted on 04/23/2012

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I have never had this happen but I guess my response would go something like this...



You can write your complaints about my parenting on a piece of paper, fold it nicely and shove it up your ass!

Vicki - posted on 04/23/2012

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It has never happened to me, surprisingly! My boy still breastfed in public until recently (still does very occasionally, but not the norm anymore) and he's nearly 3. No one commented when I was bra shopping the other day (with a toddler, great planning huh?) and he was dancing around the shop with my intended purchase on his head.

Aleks - posted on 04/23/2012

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Tell them to keep their noses to themselves and mind their own business.



To be honest, this has only happened to me once. RECENTLY. I very much didn't like it. It ruined the rest of my day for me.



A woman started yelling at me from her car (this occured in a car park) when she saw (out of context to boot) me disciplining my child (ok, I was yelling at her... BUT she started it...lol my daughter that has an attitude of a 19yo, that is). A $150 thousand Mercedes SUV to boot (eyeroll). I told her to mind her own business but she just kept going (so instead of being able to deal with my misbehaving daughter I had to focus on her telling me how I am a bad mother and doing things badly (which I wasn't listening to, just kept on telling her to mind her own business and keep her nose to herself). She started to drive off and was still going!!! GEEZZZ!



I felt like swearing at her and telling her to come and say it (whatever it was she was on about) to my face. But I thought better of it and held my tongue. I wasn't going to stoop to the level she was thinking me for anyway, and besides my kids were both right there.



If you wanna judge me... FINE just do it quitely and if you have to just tell your husband and all your friends what a horrible mother you saw at the shopping centre the other day. Don't sit there cowardly in your car while driving away yelling from a distance while the kids are also watching and listening.

Stifler's - posted on 04/22/2012

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Nobody makes statements about my parenting in public. My kids are well behaved in public, always have been.

Krista - posted on 04/22/2012

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I've been lucky enough that nobody has made comments to me yet, but if it happens, I fully plan on giving them a frosty look and saying, "Thank you for your unsolicited advice. I'll be sure to give it the consideration it deserves."

[deleted account]

I've only had someone make a negative comment once (normally I have people acting like I'm a saint for having four little ones and keeping them controlled), but I just ignored her. I was in the bathroom with when my boys were 3 and the babies were only a few months old. We were waiting in line for a stall on one of my 3 YOs walked up and looked under the stall. I yelled at him to come back. The lady who came out of the stall came passed me and grumbled, "You really need to control your sons better because they shouldn't be looking under the stalls like that." I was a bit annoyed because I had already scolded him about it, but she was also right, so I couldn't get too annoyed. It actually gave me a good excuse to reinforce with him why that wasn't appropriate.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/22/2012

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I tell them to fuck off... ;)



ETA: Seriously though, I haven't really had this happen to me. However, if I had, I would give them a blank stare and tell them nicely, "yep, you have a nice day too, minding your own business"....

Kaitlin - posted on 04/22/2012

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oooh, did you say something like, hmm, will it work for you too? buahahahaha

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/22/2012

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I would have liked to. Especially since my kid had me on the edge.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/22/2012

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I have really only had one person comment that I can remember. Ironic to the other thread, it was when my son was throwing a fit in a store. The person was saying something along the lines of "smack that kid, that will shut him up."

Lisa - posted on 04/22/2012

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I tend to ignore them unless they get pushy. Lucikly i have managed to only get glares over comments so far.

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