parent opinion

These are apparently the most annoying things parents do... and I'm guilty of a few.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we change who we are when we become a parent. And before we know it, we don’t even remember what life was life BK (before kids).

And as much as we try to be considerate of those who are still in the BK phase, sometimes we parents can do things that annoy them. 

So when I came across an article where non-parents were venting about the most annoying things that parents do, I was intrigued. And curious to see just how many parental ‘sins’ I’ve committed in my five years of motherhood. 

Here goes…

When parents use ‘baby talk’ to speak to their kids.

Guilty! While I do try to keep it to a minimum when we’re out in public, I’ve definitely softened my tone and taken it that bit higher when talking directly to my kids. Does that count as baby talk?

Apparently so, because 75 per cent of people said that the higher-pitched parents were the most annoying of all. Damn.

A whopping 69 per cent admitted they found it irritating when parents use general baby talk to speak to their children. In the survey, they even mentioned the most commonly used irritating words, from “night-night”, “boo boo”, “oopsie” and “tummy” (I’m going to argue that’s not reaaaalllly in the realm of “owie”, though).

I’m not feeling too personally attacked here, to be honest, because just about every parent I know does this with their child. It just makes sense to talk to them in a way they find soothing, relatable, warm. 

Watch: Parenting 101. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

But almost as many people - 68 per cent - said they did not plan to use baby talk when dealing with their children. Good luck with that, guys! I vaguely recall saying that too before I realised that children don’t respond all that well to adult speak and reason. 

Not stopping their kids from running in stores or public places.

Not guilty! Well, most of the time. 

I’m pretty mindful of keeping my two small humans in close proximity whenever we’re out and about, am constantly lecturing them “no running!”, and always apologise to anyone if their personal space has been unintentionally invaded by my handsy two-year-old. 

But for all your efforts, there are moments when it’s quite hard to keep those kids contained. Like when you’re at the front of a long line and just about to order, and they manage to escape your vice-like grip. The worst. 

It’s easier to restrict them at the supermarket by plopping them in the trolley and plying them with snacks while you frantically try to do the weekly shop in under 10 minutes, but unless you tie one of those ‘child leads’ around your kid, they’re going to break free at one point. And sorry, but my child is not a dog, so we won’t be needing a leash, thanks! 

When they say the ideas non-parents have will change once they have kids.

Okay, guilty. But I feel the need to defend myself here. 

I don’t want to speak on behalf of other parents, but I’ll go out on a limb and maintain that we don’t say this to be annoying, or condescending, or belittling. We say it because from our collective experience, it’s true. And it’s not such a bad thing, is it?

I’m not too proud to admit when I’m wrong, and I’ll readily admit that before I had children, I made some sweeping and fairly inaccurate statements about how I would parent, what I would and wouldn’t do, how I would feel ("Yeah, we’ll probably have another baby when so-and-so turns one." Lol!).


I had no experience or insider knowledge, so I was guessing, assuming. And that’s completely understandable. 

If a non-parent tells me their future rules for parenting and I think it’s misguided, I don’t dismiss it. I accept it, nod, and then say something gentle like, “Yeahhhhh, that’s what I thought until I had my daughter” with a polite laugh! I like to see it as managing expectations. 

Letting their kids play video games (or watch iPads) with the volume on in public places.

(Mostly) Not guilty! I’ve let this happen maybe once or twice, but with good reason. 

One time when our daughter was not quite two, we had a long-ish flight planned. We thought we were prepared with our iPad loaded with downloaded cartoons and toddler-friendly games, and my husband had bought her some cute headphones so we wouldn’t annoy fellow passengers with the noise. 

All that prep went out the window and we ended up annoying people anyway, because the cute unicorn headphones were way too big for our petite daughter’s head, and she wasn’t about to hold them in place for a few hours. 

Do we let her listen to Cocomelon without the headphones so she stays in one spot, fixated on the screen? Or risk an antsy, bored toddler potentially terrorising the plane with those dreaded walks up and down the aisle? We decided: let her watch the damn cartoon on a low volume and apologise to any passengers if they get up in arms about it. 

Yes, I know Cocomelon songs are annoying, I’ve had them stuck in my head constantly. But trust me, listening to 'Wheels On the Bus' five times is far better for the nervous system than a two-year-old having a meltdown in a confined space. 

Sometimes you just have to do things for the greater good...

Feature Image: Supplied.

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