Friend Says Mom Constantly 'Pushes' a Pacifier on Her 4-Year-Old & Refuses to Let Her Give it Up

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kids with pacifier
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Whether you like it or not, people are always going to have an opinion on how you raise your kids. Maybe they think you're too strict or perhaps you really should quit breastfeeding your little one by now, but whatever it is, nothing drives parents crazy more than having someone else tell them how to do their job. That is why one woman is nervous to bring up a touchy subject with her friend, after she caught her forcing a pacifier on her 4-year-old daughter.

  • The woman explained that although she hates to judge, she finds it weird that her friend seems to "push" a pacifier on her kid. 

    In a letter written to the Care and Feeding advice column, the woman wrote that although she doesn't have kids of her own, she does think something is off. 

    "One of my friends drives me batty sometimes," she wrote. "She absolutely insists that her almost–4-year-old daughter will not give up her pacifier, and that it’s such a struggle."

    But according to the letter writer, this just isn't the case. "I, no exaggeration, never, ever see the girl cry, or even ask, for the pacifier, yet my friend will just pop it her mouth, or call out, “Here honey, I have your passy!” while the girl is otherwise engaged."

    The writer wrote that she feels like her friend's child doesn't need a pacifier anymore and that her friend is weirdly encouraging her daughter to keep a bad habit.

    Now the letter writer is unsure what to do. Should she call her friend out or should she keep quiet?

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  • Some people thought that the writer should tell her friend the truth.

    One person argued that the writer shouldn't feel like they can't speak up just because of being child-free. "While it's probably not too cool to give unsolicited parenting advise, neither do you have to apologize for having thoughts on children and their parent while you yourself are childless," the person wrote. "You don't have to be a homeowner to know that your neighbor's roof is going to leak if they don't fix it."

    "I think non-parents have every right to have an opinion about others' parenting," another person agreed. "Since they've forced me to share a world with their spawn I get to have an opinion on them not growing up to be useless monsters."

    And someone else argued that it's for the kid's best interest that the pacifier go for good. "In a year the kid will be in kindergarten with no pacifier in sight ... and some totally fugly front teeth," the person commented.

  • But other people thought the writer should mind her own business.

    One person commented that perhaps there was more going on that the letter writer wasn't seeing. "The pacifier mom sounds exhausting and I totally relate to the [Letter Writer]," the person wrote. "But it is possible the mom sees the sign of an impending meltdown better than LW and, being either in public or with social company, wants to just get ahead of it rather than deal with it. It could be more of a battle at night."

    "I'm not saying it has never happened, but how often does someone who is not a parent have anything useful to say to a parent of a small child?" another person wrote. "The pacifier thing is so stupid. Just let it go; it's not like the friend is letting her child roam about naked on a freeway. "

    "Calm down and ignore it," another person wrote. "Unless, of course, you’re looking for an excuse to ditch the friend and the friendship, in which case I’d advise sharing your concerns with her. Maybe bring some articles from the AAP or ADA to show her too, just to emphasize how wrong she is."

  • Advice columnist Nicole Cliffe sees both pros and cons to telling the friend the truth.

    In a response to the letter writer, Cliffe outlines both why she should or shouldn't stick her nose in her friend's business. 

    "Your friend has fashioned a rod for her own back," she wrote. "The next time she says something about her daughter not giving it up, say, 'Really? I’ve never seen her ask for it. You usually just offer,' and then she’ll be annoyed with you and nothing will change."

    That is why Cliffe suggested that the writer do nothing. "Probably that’s the answer."

    Although the columnist doesn't want the writer's feelings to be invalidated, she wrote that there is little the writer can do. "In a year this child will be in kindergarten and I will bet $1,000 she will no longer be using a pacifier," she wrote.