To those without kids or past the kid stage, a few tips, a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to parents and children.

DON’T… tell them their own child is tired or hungry when they are whinging. It’s not helpful, encouraging or insightful, just annoying.
DON’T… stare at parents when their kids are having a tantrum. Sometimes the little buggers just need to scream.
DON’T… hurry up a mother who is clearly struggling with her child. Just be patient and understand that sometimes, a mother is a pressure cooker, ready to explode at any moment and you don’t want to release that valve!
DON’T… expect children to be well behaved 24/7. They are not robots and sometimes they just have to bounce.
DON’T… be offended when children don’t answer your “Hello” with a polite and succinct answer. They are told not to talk to strangers so it can be quite confusing when you approach them out of the blue.
DON’T… stare at mothers with young babies bottle feeding. You don’t know the history or the reasons why so mind your own beeswax.

DO… help a mum with a stroller down/up the stairs
DO… compliment parents on their parenting… especially if you mean it!
DO… stand up on a bus/train for the pregnant and small childrened.
DO… give the benefit of the doubt. You never know, a child could have AD/HD or some other thing going on to make them misbehave.
DO… bring meals to friends or friends of friends who need a break. They may not readily admit to it but a free, yummy, hot meal at the end of a tiring day is more precious than gold!
DO… visit the mummies stuck at home and just sit, drink tea and don’t offer any advice unless it is requested

AND… in return, from those with kids we will try and…

NOT… let  our kids ruin your house with sticky hands and broken lamps
NOT… run amok and pull out your dvds out of their cases
NOT… ask you to babysit every second night
NOT… make you hold our babies unless you really want to
NOT… bore you to death with endless stories of Bestsie’s swimming lesson disasters and Rocko’s toilet training successes.
NOT… complain about our saggy boobs and tired eyes
NOT… fill our time with kids, kids, kids. There will be time for you!

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