Perfect parent police, parent brigade, parenting police, there are quite a few variations! Anyone in a Facebook parent group will have seen it…
Let’s set the scene; someone asks for information about safe sleep/bottle preparation/weaning, or posts something that depicts an unsafe practice (bottle propping being the most recent example), well-meaning members offer safety advice from official bodies like the WHO, The Lullaby Trust or the NHS in the comments… and a defensive minority offering unsafe advice roll their eyes, often leaving comments like;
‘Oh boy, here come the parent police.’
‘Perfect parent brigade!’
‘I did it and my kid is fine… guidelines are a load of shit innit.’
You get my gist.
I. Bloody. Hate. It. Why?
It is belittling – scorning someone for trying to help keep a child safe with factual advice is SO RUDE.
I concede that if comments from the ‘parent police’ are nasty or have a sharp tone, people are going to respond in kind, but when it is politely and conscientiously offered, sarcastically slating a parent as ‘parent’ police is actually pretty unkind.
You know what?
If offering the safest and most factual information in a friendly way makes me a member of the parent police/brigade, sod it, I’d rather be a member of that team than someone ignorantly offering bad advice possibly making me responsible for a poorly child. #sorrynotsorry
And if you’re someone who has posted something that has attracted comments offering genuine advice, and feel aggrieved, please don’t take it personally. Getting responses that you may not necessarily have asked for or want to see is just part and parcel of being on the internet, as long as no one is being abusive to you, there isn’t any need to become defensive or attack anyone. Take it on the chin, you don’t HAVE to take the advice offered! It isn’t an attack on you, or your parenting – it isn’t an attack at all.
Please think twice before throwing the ‘perfect parent’ crap out there… unless you’re genuinely telling someone that they are perfect!
Tell me your thoughts in the comments!
Love from Katie. Xx