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
“[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.
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“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.
"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.