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"I let my kids drink coffee": 40 mums share their unpopular parenting opinions.

From the moment you become a parent, you have to make decisions that suit you, your family and your child best.

But sometimes those choices might be deemed a little... controversial, so you keep them to yourself.

From screen time to swearing to how often the kids get a wash, we asked the Mamamia community to share their most "unpopular" parenting opinions. Here's what they had to say.

But first, here are all the things you never say in 2021. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

1. "I have never washed any of my kids' hair. They are nine, seven and two. It gets wet from the shower. No stink or anything." 

2. "No mobile phone until they can pay for it themselves." 

3. "I don’t speak for my daughter. If we’re out and she wants something, she has to ask for it herself. At restaurants, shops, everywhere. She has her own voice, she must use it." 

4. "We allow plenty of poo, fart, etc jokes. They know it has a time and place." 

5. "You don't all get a prize just for showing up! There are winners and losers in life and the lessons for that start with pass the parcel."

6. "'You’re not that (f**king) special.' They know that they are the centre of my universe but when they step out the front door, they are equal to all their peers. The only thing that separates them from anyone is their passion, tenacity and a little bit of luck sometimes. You have to work to earn anything worth having and maintaining. Taking nothing and no one for granted." 

7. "I don’t make them do homework." 

8. "I let my kids drink coffee. And tea. My kids are eight, 10 and 10, and all have a mobile phone. Most disagree but that's my opinion, they can have them. Also, they don't have any time limits on screen time." 

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9. "No tablets in car trips. Let them be bored; bored is good." 

10. "I don’t check homework or help with school projects for my primary school kid. Schoolwork should be done at school and questions can be asked of the teachers." 

11. "My six-year-old still sleeps with us most nights. Children should feel their parents' bedroom is always a safe place, so when they grow into teens and young adults they will still come to bed with you and tell you their fears." 

12. "My daughter plans on skydiving for her 13th birthday. Not our ideal sport but we will let her (it’s legal after 12) and go with her." 

13. "My kid is in charge of how much he eats. I won't ever bribe, coax, convince, argue, threaten or praise him to eat something. That is not a battle I choose to engage in. If he says he doesn't want to eat it, then that's the end of that. I won't offer him an alternative. I'm not a short-order cook, there will always be food on the table but he doesn't 'have' to eat anything, either." 

14. "No, you don’t have to hug grandad/grandma/that random uncle if you won’t want to." 

15. "Our kids know the correct terminology for their body parts. My five-year-old knows that her vulva is different from her vagina."

16. "I let them wear what they want (sun-safety aside). If they get cold, that’s their issue." 

17. "I don't have limits on screen time. My place is small, I can hear what my kids are doing. I don’t have a set bedtime for them. They usually go to bed when I do." 

18. "My kids have always been allowed to swear at home. My husband and I parent with one hundred per cent openness and honesty in the home. So you can use whatever language you feel you need to, whilst being respectful of your family members. But also remembering that certain language isn’t suitable in some public spaces. One hundred per cent openness also means my 15-year-old daughter has tried alcohol a few times and always let me know when her friends (pre-COVID) wanted to sneak out at night and catch up." 

19. "As a parent, I like to say yes as much as possible. I save the nos for when I really need them."

Listen to This Glorious Mess, Mamamia's twice-weekly parenting podcast. Post continues after video.

20. "I'm fine with my eight and nine-year-old girls listening to music which others deem not age-appropriate, specifically songs with a bit of swearing. I explain that I do not endorse them using this language and they never do. There’s only so much bubblegum pop I can tolerate, so I’m glad that between my musical influences and what they independently get into, they know there’s no censorship around music." 

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21. "Respect isn't expected, it's earned. I don't like the whole 'respect your elders' - if someone's a d**k I don’t care how old they are."

22. "My kids are often just nude at home. Saves washing." 

23. "I don't play with them. I've got three kids and I've always been happy to read books or do craft with them but I'm not a player. They're so good at playing independently and I wonder if it's because we haven't entertained them? Early days with a seven, five and three-year-old but so far they're happy to make their own fun without us." 

24. "Bath them every second or third day. Especially the little ones in winter." 

25. "I don’t make my kids share. If they are playing with something, they get to continue until they are finished. The one who wants it has to wait." 

26. "I let my kid get as messy as he wants. It all just goes in the washing machine, including shoes!" 

27. "I let my kids have access to sweet things on a regular basis. A little bit of ice cream or chocolate after dinner. They eat a well-balanced diet and are very active. 

28. "I breastfed both my kids until two-and-a-half and three, and I bed shared pretty much from birth." 

29. "My five-year-old daughter has an Apple Watch with parental security (the new watch has these features). She's never used it outside calling me or me calling her. She's not fazed by it." 

30. "My children all have a TV in their room." 

31. "I don’t have limits on screen time. The only rule is they must get off when I ask them to (with a 10-minute warning). I’ve found that this rule has fostered independence and they basically police their own screen time now." 

32. "My four-year-old still has a bottle of milk to soothe her to sleep. She’s a great sleeper and has slept through consistently since about six months, so I’m too scared to rock that boat!" 

33. "I never do school readers or write down how much they read. I let them choose books they like instead and 8.30pm before bed is reading time."

34. "We're flexible with bedtime and don't have a bedtime routine. Bedtime isn't usually until at least 9pm for our one-year-old."

35. "I'm fine with kids swearing. I've never understood why we tell them it's so bad for years and then they reach an arbitrary age and it's fine. Same with teenagers having sex. I'm not sure why we act like it's the worst thing they could be doing whilst pretending the majority of us weren't doing the same thing at their age. As long as they are being responsible I have no problem with it." 

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36. "I tell my toddlers that fairies, monsters, Santa, etc, are all make believe and we can decide to pretend they’re real if we want to. I will never ever lie to them."

37. "I let my kids have their devices in their bedrooms at night as they love falling asleep to podcasts." 

38. "I allow my eight-year-old son to play video games any time he wants. Providing homework is complete." 

39. "My youngest who’s seven still sleeps with me a lot. I know it won’t last and it’s lovely, so why not?" 

40. "Our marriage comes first, then the kids. In practice, most of what we do each day is for them, but we try to put each other first as our baseline." 

What's your unpopular parenting opinion? Tell us in the comments!

Read more: "Baby showers are bullsh*t." 40 women share their most unpopular opinion.

Feature image: Getty and Mamamia.

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