Author Topic: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)  (Read 2919 times)

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alis

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Err, how do you politely make that suggestion? I have a friend, who has a baby (9 months). First-time mom. She won't talk about ANYTHING other than her baby. The diapers, the teeth, refers to the child in the 3rd person only as "the pudding pop" (yes, with the determiner "the"). I get it, she's enamoured, and I'm happy for her. But I would LOVE to talk about something other than our kids too, right?? Every time I try and bring something up, it goes right back to the pudding pop's dirty diaper or something like that.

How can I politely suggest that we don't always have to talk about her child in order to have an enjoyable conversation?

flickan

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 08:29:52 AM »
Can't be done.

From personal experience, it is impossible to reroute the conversation of a determined parent still enamoured with talking about a child.

You could be kind of blunt and say something like, "Oh I'm just so bored with my kid right now," in a joking manner, indicating that you've talked enough about your child and maybe she'll get the hint that you're done talking about children in general.  However if the conversation is one-sided enough it won't derail her.

I suggest the following:

- Don't ask about the baby if you know she's going to go off on the topic.

- Keep your answers short and to the point.

- Have an idea of what you do want to talk about and doggedly try to keep on point.

None of this will do anything if she's determined enough.  But it can't go on forever.  For the sake of the friendship just keep the conversation minimal through this time if you can and eventually she will come out of it. 

LadyL

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 09:04:56 AM »
I would LOVE to talk about something other than our kids

I take it you're a parent - so I would use the above phrase exactly. It would make a good followup to something like "I would love to get out of mommy mode and just talk as friends - can you believe that your neighbor painted their house lime green?"

My understanding is that having a young child can be isolating, so this mom might have already worn down other friends with the constant baby  talk. She might also not have other stuff to talk about if she is doing 24/7 childcare (no stories about work, no time to follow tv shows, movies, or music, etc.). Maybe you could do an activity together, like a craft class or book reading, that is baby-friendly but also gives you something else to talk about?

123sandy

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2013, 09:06:59 AM »
Everyone does this. I bet you did too, when you were a new mum, you just didn't notice. She's proud of her pudding pop, let it go, it will pass.

esposita

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 09:24:05 AM »
I agree with the others. This too shall pass. Hopefully ;) If she's a SAHM especially, and if her little one is high-maintenace (not sleeping through the night yet, needing to be held often, not eating on a schedule) it might be difficult for her to see through the haze and realize what she's doing. And even then, she might simply have nothing else to talk about. She might even realize that she's doing it... I have left play dates feeling like an absolute idiot remembering all the dumb things I said because I was like a little puppy dog. "Ahhh!! Human interaction!! It's a person!! I can stop answering 'why, mommy' for an hour! Must. have. meaningful. talk!!!" And then proceeded to talk about the only thing I was an expert on at the moment, which was cloth diapering and baby-wearing or something.
So my advice is to just wait it out. Definitely try to talk about other stuff, but expect her to bring it back for the next little while. :(

Zilla

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 09:33:46 AM »
I have seen attempts on both online forums and in person and it's very hard to do unless you are just direct with them.  And even after that, they STILL do it.


Only suggestion I can think of is saying clearly at the "door" before they come in or before the meal, "Alright, this is an adult ONLY conversation.  No chatter about kids, pets or school...deal?  I want to unwind and enjoy this child free event." said with a smile.


And make sure you don't ask her kids at all.  Not even a blip as that's like a pulling a finger out of the hole in the dam of water...:D

Kaymar

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 10:06:44 AM »
Err, how do you politely make that suggestion? I have a friend, who has a baby (9 months). First-time mom. She won't talk about ANYTHING other than her baby. The diapers, the teeth, refers to the child in the 3rd person only as "the pudding pop" (yes, with the determiner "the"). I get it, she's enamoured, and I'm happy for her. But I would LOVE to talk about something other than our kids too, right?? Every time I try and bring something up, it goes right back to the pudding pop's dirty diaper or something like that.

How can I politely suggest that we don't always have to talk about her child in order to have an enjoyable conversation?

I have nothing to offer in terms of strategy, but oh man, "the pudding pop"?? You are a good friend for not utterly losing it.  I am not sure I am that strong.

alis

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 10:09:07 AM »
Thank you all :)

Our kids are the same age. I totally get the "new mom" thing, it's just sort of to an extreme I've never seen before I guess. She is actually quite an interesting person otherwise which is why I love to talk with her :)

ettiquit

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 10:33:13 AM »
Thank you all :)

Our kids are the same age. I totally get the "new mom" thing, it's just sort of to an extreme I've never seen before I guess. She is actually quite an interesting person otherwise which is why I love to talk with her :)

It's funny because I had a friend who had a baby about 9 months before mine, and she became SO kid-centric that I felt like I was doing something wrong because I still had interests outside of my son. It did eventually pass, and our convos are a healthy mix of family and other things.

squashedfrog

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 10:40:50 AM »
I went to a support network thingy when froglet was about five months old.  The leader put us into groups of three after introductions, and told us to have a five minute conversation, in which we were not allowed to mention 1. Our babies or 2. Work 3. Partners. We then had to report back.

  And man it was hard!   Those months of twenty four hour eating sleeping breathing baby had just wiped our brains, and EVERYTHING seemed to somehow link into the new off spring.   We'd talk about family, say our mums etc and then suddenly the conversation would slide into "have they enjoyed being grandparents since the baby...  Oh sorry..." Or "ok food and drink, I love white wine, but then again I haven't enjoyed a proper night out since the baby....oh sorry....
" Even clothes for heavens sake!  We couldn't even manage that!  It was "I can't wait to get my body back after the  pregnancy .... Ah gadnamit!!!"

Conversation is something you need to learn again after having a baby I think.  Op, was your friend good at anything like cooking before the baby came?  Perhaps you could ask for her advice about a recipe or something?  Even if she was rubbish at it, just something of a technical nature that would be difficult to veer away from.  You could also try to keep her in track, when she begins to veer off, say hey that's great, so about that cupcake mix, do I add pecans?  Not beandipping exactly, but just returning to the topic each time.

lowspark

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 10:49:45 AM »
Good luck. I agree that the direct route is the best. I would LOVE to talk about something other than our kids, as LadyL suggested. But I also think that there's little chance it will succeed.

Yes, eventually she should grow out of it. But what that really means is that she will also talk about other things, not that she will quit talking about "the pudding pop" and subsequent offspring. I know people whose kids have graduated college, and yet, what the kids are doing (girlfriends, jobs, etc.) is still the first topic of conversation every time I see them and until they fill me in on the latest developments, we can't move on to the next topic. I just kind of grin and bear it (and mostly tune it out) till they are done.

jaxsue

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2013, 11:45:08 AM »
Good luck with that, OP. I admit, with DS #1 could be very baby-centered. When DS #2 was born I was quite different. I just figure it's "first-time parenting" syndrome!  :)

Oh Joy

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 11:51:14 AM »
She may be completely self-centered or unable to 'shift gears,' or she may just feel like she has nothing else to talk about.

Could you shift your gatherings to center around an activity that becomes the topic?  Bake cookies together, have a mini book club, buy a paint-and-drink-wine class from a Groupon-type site, or do something else that fits your common interests and availability.

Best wishes.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2013, 02:47:32 PM »
I would suggest rather than saying "I would love to talk about something other than our kids" to "I'm so glad to be able to talk to another adult.  I love my kids, but it's so enjoyable to talk about things going on in the outside world".

Oh, hearing her refer to her baby as "the pudding pop" would get on my last nerve as well.