20 Things Grandparents Should Never Say to a Mom


Ah, grandparents. So sweet, so supportive, so helpful with your kids ... at least some of the time. However, once hugs are swapped and chit-chat commences, grandparents tend to let a comment or two slip out that sets our teeth on edge.


To help drive home that you're not alone when your parents -- or your in-laws -- get under your skin, we asked moms to spill the most annoying comments they've heard Grandma and Grandpa say.

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Whether it's some long debunked wives tale or a passive aggressive criticism of your parenting practices, just remember to not take them so seriously. They mean well and while they might try to exert their authority, remember, you're in charge of your kids -- not them!

That said, if you want to share this with Granny (or Gramps!), here's hoping they'll stop saying any of the following:

  1. "Hmmm, that's not how we did that with you." (with disapproving stare) Well, Grams and Gramps, if you've checked your calendar lately, times have indeed changed -- and most likely for the better. For instance, you didn't even put us in car seats. It's a miracle we're still alive.
  2. "She's STILL breastfeeding? Isn't she a little old for that?" Erm, have they read the research on the benefits of extended breastfeeding? Thought not.
  3. "Watch out, you're spoiling your kids." Says the woman doling out lollipops and quarters ...
  4. "Can't a grandparent spoil their grandkids every once in awhile?" We know grandparents consider this their right, but there ARE limits. Giving kids one Easter basket is fine; a 6-foot-high chocolate bunny is a recipe for tooth decay.
  5. "He isn't potty trained yet?" This isn't a question; it's a fully-loaded guilt trip.
  6. "Well, we let YOU do that as a kid and you turned out fine!" As in: watch tons of TV, or play baseball in the street. Which would probably earn us a visit from CPS these days (thanks to those nosy neighbors).
  7. "Back in my day we didn't have all that stuff." Translation: You're wasting your money on crap. But they don't know what they're missing with all those new-fangled diapers that don't have pins in them!
  8. "You would have never gotten away with that when you were a kid." Yup, it's easy to airbrush the past and paint themselves as perfect parents, but you know better. 
  9. "Don't let the cat around the baby, it will suck the baby's breath out of it." Sorry, this was debunked ages ago. 
  10. "Put a little bit of rice cereal in the bottle; it'll help the baby sleep." Ditto; doctors now advise against this, so unless you've got a degree we're going to defer to them!

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  11. "Shouldn't you wash that blanket/stuffed animal/toy he's always carrying around?" Odds are, you have washed it -- hundreds of times -- and it still looks dirty. Tell Granny she can try to sneak it out of Junior's grasp for a wash and let her see what happens. (maniacal laugh)
  12. "You're going to let them go outside wearing THAT?!" Would they rather the kids dress like them? Ain't gonna happen.
  13. "My, your child is so fat/thin. What are you feeding him?"  You can't win, can you?
  14. "Think they're hungry? No? I'll make them something anyway." Problem is this comment just leads back to the one right above it ... and look who's to blame now?
  15. "Leave that kid alone; you threw tantrums at that age too." But as we recall, when we threw tantrums, we got our behinds smacked!
  16. "They must miss you so much when you're at work." Yes, and we miss that booming economic era when one breadwinner's income could support a family.
  17. "Kids these days don't know how easy they've got it." Why do grandparents always act like their lives were SO hard, as if they came straight out of a Charles Dickens novel? Unless they worked 15-hour shifts in a sweatshop, this is a major exaggeration.
  18. "You should get that kid a haircut." Will do ... right after we finish the other umpteen more important things on our to-do list (like making dinner ... see #14).
  19. "You were just like that when you were her age." This is typically said only when your child is acting like a total brat. Now imagine saying it back to them when they criticize your parenting?
  20. "Now you finally understand what I went through with you." This portrays grandkids not as the sweet little tykes that they are; but as something quite different: karmic revenge. In other words, they're glad you're floundering and/or miserable. How do you even respond to that?

What's the most annoying thing your child's grandparents say?


Image via Dmytro Zinkevych/shutterstock

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