General Etiquette > Family and Children

Changing topic, let's talk about something other than your child! :)

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alis:
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:
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:

--- Quote from: alis on October 29, 2013, 08:22:51 AM ---I would LOVE to talk about something other than our kids

--- End quote ---

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:
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:
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. :(

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