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Thread: How to address unkind comments?

  1. #1
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    Oct 2006
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    Default How to address unkind comments?

    OK, so this isn't really about breastfeeding, but it is about my 14 month old son, who is still breastfeeding a couple of times a day:

    David is not yet walking alone. I don't think that's particularly unusual. He gets around pretty well holding on to furniture or walls, etc. The pediatrician is not concerned. Lately some of the other moms on the playground have made some unkind comments to me about his development ("why can't he walk alone? is something wrong with him?"; "aren't you worried??"; "is anything else wrong with him?").

    How do I respond to these thoughtless comments???? I try to just say that he's developing at his own pace, but I always walk away feeling angry.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to address unkind comments?

    I suppose "screw you" is out of the question?

    No, seriously, everyone is so concerned with overachievers that they fail to see... their child may walk earlier but will he/she talk earlier, too? How about musical or artistic talent? Critical thinking? Social interaction? Your child may be a little slower to develop that one physical trait but how do we know your child won't be a genius later on?

    Tell them, thanks for your concern. He is working on other skills first.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to address unkind comments?

    I would tell them that it is not uncommon for children to walk as late as 18 months. Babies are all unique and develop at their own pace.

    FWIW, my DD started walking on her own at 15 mo. The way I saw it, the later she walked, the less I would have to worry about her getting into everything! However, I do think that she is now making up for lost time!
    Robin

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to address unkind comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by mylittleredhead07 View Post
    I suppose "screw you" is out of the question?


    Tell them, thanks for your concern. He is working on other skills first.


    I'd be pretty frosted too. Why oh why are people so rude. Sorry you have to deal with that. There's probably no way to stop feeling angry when they question you like that, but take heart, it will be short-lived. He'll walk when he's ready, it sounds like he's well on his way, and then the questions about his walking will stop.
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to address unkind comments?

    I have found not making a comment at all serves it's purpose with those who only say things like that because they know it will upset you or are trying to belittle you...

    If that doesn't work I simply reply, "my child's development isn't any of your business really, so I would appreciate it if you kept your rude comments to yourself." and leave it at that...even if they get an attitude and say something back...I simply change the subject and do not bring up the subject again

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to address unkind comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lilahsmama View Post


    and then the questions about his walking will stop.
    And then the questions about his talking will come. And then his potty training ability. And then his need for a security blanky. And his reading skills. It won't end. Some people will always try to make themselves feel good by making someone else feel less. You don't need to buy into it, or waste your time being concerned with it.

    Someone very wise once told me you can't control other people's actions, you can only control your reaction.

    And a quote from an awesome t-shirt I saw once..."The definition of STRESS is the feeling you get trying to hold back from beating the living (snot) out of someone who desperately needs it..."


  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to address unkind comments?

    My son didn't walk until 15 months he didn't have a reason too he was content to crawl!

  8. #8
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    Smile Re: How to address unkind comments?

    I Agree With Not Commenting People Always Have Something To Say And I Feel Like Why Should I Waste My Time And Energy Defending My Parenting Or My Child's Own Developement. If You Must Say Something Just Say Something General Like Thanks For Your Concern But We Are Just Fine Or He/she Is Just Fine. That Way You Close The Door On The Conversation.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to address unkind comments?

    My son walked at 12 months but until then some of my friends (and my mom who said one of our relatives' son walked at 9 months) whose kids walked at 10-11 months were saying "why aren't you holding his hands and train him to walk?" My answer "because the sooner he walks the sooner I will have to run after him, I don't have the energy so I'm trying to delay his walking a bit." I think people just try to overemphasize their own children's "achievements" by making comments about others, to make themselves feel good. Their problem hah!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to address unkind comments?



    I get snarky comments all the time because my almost 16 mo old is:
    - not really walking (he has a couple of times when nobody is looking)
    - not talking, and
    - so small he's barely on the charts (yeah, yeah - we're supposed to ignore the charts but everyone knows their LO's percentiles)

    I posted recently with a rant about some of the rude comments I've gotten - and I thought you might get a laugh from some of the responses I got from the wonderful LLLadies here

    I realized that my biggest pet peeve was people making negative / rude comments in front of my DS who totally understands everything that people are saying.

    I'm often tempted to respond to adults who should know better with some snarky comment along the lines of "well, yeah, but my DS is AHEAD in the following developmental milestones ... " but usually restrain myself because that would just end up in a negative spiral of competition and I don't want to go there. Often when people are making rude comments its a strange way of making themselves feel better about whatever they are insecure about. Either that or they just plain don't have any manners

    I usually respond with a laid back shrug and something along the lines of "DS will walk when HE decides HE is ready" and then I change the subject or walk away.

    I confess my confidence got a little shaken a few weeks ago when I found out that DS the ONLY LO in his preschool class who isn't walking ... and there are are couple of LO who are a month or so younger than my DS! I called my pediatrician in a bit of a panic and he called back to say that if my DS is cruising and mobile then he doesn't get concerned about not walking until LO are over 18 mo. Can I even begin to say how much I love our pediatrician?

    To help counteract the things that DS hears - DH and I give him LOTS of positive reinforcement at home. If DS wants to practice walking we help him. If DS wants to crawl or be carried we are ok with that. We tell DS many times a day that he is just fine the way he is and to take his time and walk when he is ready. In our case - I'm pretty sure that DS could walk if he felt like it but just doesn't want to especially if everyone is in his face begging him to walk.

    If you need statistics - according to WHO, the range of ages for walking alone is between 8.2 months (1st percentile) and 17.6 months (99th percentile). What that means is that a LO who starts waking at 17.6 months - 99 out of 100 LO are already walking. It does NOT mean that the LO has "failed the class"!

    http://www.who.int/childgrowth/stand...iles_table.pdf
    http://www.who.int/childgrowth/stand.../en/index.html

    Oh hey - I just had a thought - since my DS is in the 3% for weight, we should aim for the 97% for walking so he can have a "high score" in something



    Hope this has helped a little ... feel free to rant as much as you need!

    Lynn
    Last edited by lsksam; November 17th, 2007 at 11:05 PM. Reason: typos
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

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