6 things you shouldn’t say to your childless friends
Becoming a new parent is exciting and you may be tempted to share your happiness. But here are the top 6 things you should not say to your childless friends – if you still want to remain friends.
We remember when we first became parents ourselves. Our carefree days were suddenly taken over by crying babies, soggy diapers, gooey baby food and everything that’s overwhelming about new parenthood. It's exhausting yet thrilling to be a new parent.
But no matter how overjoyed you are some tact is still needed for your friends who are yet to have children Here is our list of top 6 things you should not be saying to your childless friends...unless you really do not want to be friends with them any more.
1. "When will you finally have kids?"
An experience as magical as parenting is one that can not be shared by just telling one person.It is one that needs to be experienced.
So it is only natural that you would want your friends to be experiencing what you are currently going though and it is also only natural that you would be curious on when they will be travelling down this path you have taken. But when you do ask this million dollar question; please be discreet.
This is a sensitive subject and for all you know, your friend might be child-free now because they are either facing infertility, having to deal with a spouse who does not want a kid or having other issues that we dare not begin to discuss.
If you really do need to know, bring it up privately or wait for them to share with you.
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2. "We always wanted to have a family."
If you somehow, condescendingly use the expression "have a family" to mean "have children," you inadvertently send a message that people without kids are... family-less.
Family comes in many forms: significant others, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbours and even co-workers. After all, you have a kid yourself so we’re pretty sure you have a copy of “Lilo and Stitch” lying around somewhere.
Watch "Lilo and Stich" and you’ll find out “family” really means - “Nobody gets left behind.”
3. "I only invited other parents."
Having children is the norm, and people who are childfree can sometimes feel isolated or excluded. Even if you are pretty sure that they do not want to come, you should still invite them to your kids parties – just in case. Sure, there are some people who just don't like kids and have no desire to spend an afternoon surrounded by them but it is never uncool to be polite.
4. “So why don’t you want kids?”
Don’t ask what they’re going to do if they never have kids. Because unless they have already worked through that process and come out the other side, they may not be sure yet and who are you to question them?
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5.” When will you grow up?”
If you had kids when you were on the younger side, you may have transitioned abruptly from staying out bar-hopping to night feedings and Dora the Explorer. Assuming your childless friends are immature and irresponsible is just plain rude. Just because they do not have as much responsibilities as you do, does not mean they are not as mature as you.
6. “You wouldn’t know, you don’t have kids.”
Making the assumption that your childless friends do not know what you are going through is very dismissive. But if your close friends are childless, don’t reject their opinions or feelings on things related to children. Sometimes the best perspectives are those of someone who is not emotionally or directly related to the kids.
So the next time you have to deal with your friends who are without children, do keep these things in mind so that you won’t end up with one less friend.
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