One in three mums has fallen out with someone amid a bust-up over how to raise their child – with their own mums or mother-in-law often the culprit, it has emerged.
A study of 2,000 mothers found comments or remarks made by close relatives, other mothers and even complete strangers are also common triggers. Potty training is the most frequent cause of discontent with behaviour, growth and their child’s eating and sleeping habits other touchy subjects.
On top of that, almost one in four mums have fallen out with someone to such an extent that they have stopped talking to the offender.
Emma Kenny, Child Psychologist and spokeswoman for Pull-Ups, the potty training experts who commissioned the study, said: “For many mums it can be difficult to hear comments about how their child isn’t doing something by a certain age, or isn’t behaving in a certain way.
“Not only does it raise concerns that there might be something wrong, but it could also indirectly criticise the mother by implying that she isn’t doing a good enough job.
“Many of the comments will often come from other people comparing the child to their own, or someone else’s, but it’s important to remember than all youngsters develop at different speeds.
“For example, when it comes to potty training some children can be dry during the day at the age of two when others can be closer to four years of age.”
‘Aren’t they tall / short’ was revealed as the most common remark faced by mums, followed by ‘When my child was that age, they were already walking/talking/speaking.’ Other mums have been told their child should be talking more than they were, criticised for giving them a dummy and questioned about whether their child was eating properly.
As well as highlighting the actual fall outs mums are having, the study also revealed mother-in-laws are the most common culprits for dishing out unwanted advice. While some mums said they were able to take the comments on the chin, one third admitted they get very defensive whenever someone says something about their child’s development.
Over half of them (56 per cent) were left feeling down and upset by the remarks and some felt so troubled that they ended up speaking to a doctor or health visitor.
Emma Kenny added: ”When the time is right to start potty training, the key for parents is to be patient, to encourage their child and offer lots of praise and support.
”Parents shouldn’t worry about off-the-cuff remarks as what is normal for one child might be completely different for another.”
Top 10 remarks to mums about their children
1. Aren’t they tall/short?
2. When my child was that age, he / she was already walking, talking etc
3. Your child is very boisterous
4. They should be talking more by now
5. They should be sleeping through the night by now
6. You shouldn’t give them a dummy
7. They don’t eat very well, do they?
8. They should be walking by now
9. They should be crawling by now
10. They should have given up their dummy by now