baby

'I'm furious at my mother-in-law for making this comment. Am I being unreasonable?'

Here’s an interesting one: at what age can a child understand what the people around them are saying? And in addition to that, at what age can they interpret tone?

A new mum has taken to Reddit to share a dilemma she has about her five-month-old son being fed messages she does not approve of that are laced, she says, with sarcasm. The user

The user runbabyrun_21, explains that her mother-in-law has been making comments about runbabyrun_21‘s husband – her own son – to her newborn grandson.

“[She] makes comments to the baby in a teasing/joking manner about my husband. For example: ‘I’m sorry, I did everything I could, he’s your problem now.'”

She goes on to explain she has caught it happening twice now and that she is desperate to bring it up but fears “starting a war between [them]”.

“I’m a straight forward person (I call it as I see it) and this isn’t always the best tactic,” she adds.

Interestingly, she says her husband doesn’t have a problem with the comments, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t.

LISTEN: The mother of five who pulled her family out of poverty. (Post continues…)

“I don’t want my child being raised to think that sarcastic comments are how we show love. It’s undermining and disrespectful. I realise the baby doesn’t understand the comments, but I’m hoping to stop a habit before she gets to an age where she does understand (kids take comments literally),” she says.

In response, a slew of comments suggested that perhaps the comments carried no ill-intent and that maybe it’s a matter of context.

Image: iStock.
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"If the sarcastic comments are meant as loving teasing and not actual digs at your husband, I think you should find a way to let it go. Sarcasm is pervasive and you'd be surprised how quickly kids pick up on it," one user said.

"If your husband doesn't have a problem with it, neither should you. It sounds like the comments are light-hearted and I wouldn't read too much into them," another concurred.

An overriding theme of the advice-laden comments was the idea that it is totally dependent on her husband's relationship with his family.

"It really depends on the context. Does your husband have a healthy, loving relationship with his family?" one asked.

It seems when this question has an answer, the solution to runbabyrun_21's predicament will emerge.

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