None of us wakes up in the morning hoping to offend someone. But sometimes, we do.
I’ve recently been troubled by this, especially when it comes to communicating with other parents. It’s so easy to fall into stereotypical gender roles and unintentionally make old-fashioned assumptions. Especially about dads.
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So I’ve done some research into what questions get on dads’ nerves. Here’s your definitive list of the top seven things we should stop saying to dads:
1. “Are you babysitting today?”
Amazingly, this is a fairly common thing for men to hear when they’re out with their kids alone. It’s offensive to the dad AND to their partner.
It’s like saying that a mum is permanently on duty because that’s what she’s expected to do, and that dads only need to fill in when mums needs a break. That’s ridiculous. A father is not “on duty” any more or less than a mum is.
WHEN YOU SAY: “Are you babysitting today?”
HE THINKS: “It’s called being a father. I’m not getting paid to watch my own children.”
INSTEAD YOU MIGHT SAY: “You’re doing great, Dad.”
2. “Who dressed Eva this morning?”
If my daughter is dressed like a penniless orphan from Les Mis, it’s because we had a busy morning, not because I’m incapable of dressing her nicely. Dads have style just as often as mums have technical know-how.
A perfectly-dressed child doesn’t always mean that a mum dressed them, right? Better to keep that question to yourself.
WHEN YOU SAY: “Did Daddy dress you today?”
HE THINKS: “You don’t like her outfit so it must have been me that dressed her?”
INSTEAD YOU MIGHT SAY: “Well look how adorable you look today.”
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3. “It’s so great how helpful you are around the house.”
The whole “you’ve trained him well” sentiment died back in the 1940s. This old-school assumption that if a father does anything right he must have been trained is unfortunate.