"Kitty Flanagan, you don't have kids. So, yes, your parenting advice is worthless."

Get ready for a smackdown.

So comedian Kitty Flanagan thinks she should be allowed to have an opinion on parenting even though she doesn’t have kids. And so, in her column over the weekend, she shared her opinion on parenting.

Which is basically that kids should just shut up and do what they’re told.

And about a million people agreed with her, including some of my friends on Facebook. (Mostly the childless ones.) But not me.

Apparently, Kitty formed her opinion by visiting friends who have kids. One time, her friends were trying to get their daughter to take some medicine and they tried to explain that it would make her feel better. Kitty thinks they should have just opened the little girl’s jaws and shoved it down her throat, like she does with a dog or a cat.

Of course! Then they should have hung a bell around her neck and kicked her outside to prowl the alleys at night. Because kids and cats are exactly the same, right?

Another time, Kitty was having dinner with friends and they spent ages trying to get their child to sleep, including reading lots of stories and lying next to her.

How terrible of them! Awful! They should have just slammed the door on their anxious, unsettled child, poured themselves a huge glass of pinot noir, and forgotten all about her. Because why should a child interfere with a parent’s fun in any way? Kitty’s opinion not mine.

Want to make bedtime fun for your kids? Go ahead.

Above all, Kitty thinks all parents should use the line, "Because I said so," just like they did back in the 1970s.

Okay, Kitty. I've heard your opinion, now here's mine.

Not everyone wants to parent exactly the same way their mum and dad did it. Some people have actually thought a lot about having kids. They've read books by people who have done proper research into it. They've thought about things that upset them when they were children, things that made them feel scared or unloved. They've thought about what they want to encourage in their children.


Maybe, they want kids who feel secure and safe, appreciated and understood.

Maybe that's more important to them than blind obedience.

Most of us parents are stumbling our way through it. We don't always get the balance right. Sometimes, we let our kids get away with too much and sometimes we're too tough on them. We're learning as we go along. Personally, I would rather err on the side of being too kind to my child. That's my decision.

Want to spend more time playing with your kids than your parents did? Go ahead.

But let me tell you this, Kitty.

There is one thing we, as parents, are not short of. And that is advice. We get it all the time - from TV, from newspapers, from websites, from family, from friends, from strangers. We don't need it from you.

Anyway, it's not exactly an original thought to say parents should be tougher on their kids, just like they were in the good old days. Grumpy old farts have been harrumphing on like that for hundreds of years, if not thousands. Yawn.

New mum Candice Falzon got it right in her column on the weekend when she told strangers, very politely, to keep their advice to themselves. No wonder she got a shout-out from another new mum, Megan Gale: “Bravo @CandyFalzon! Well Said! #couldntagreemore.”

General advice for people who want to give parenting advice: just don't. Especially if you don't have kids yourself.

What do you think of Kitty's advice on parenting?

Want more? Try:

The chaos of parenting in photos.

Is there too much fear-mongering when it comes to parenting? 

00:00 / ???