Dad sparks online debate after criticising woman who called his daughter ‘gorgeous’

A dad has sparked debate online after he criticised a woman who called his daughter 'gorgeous'.

Every parent has their own set of dos and don’ts. There are some things that you might do that would infuriate other parents and other habits they would likely praise and use for themselves.

Complimenting another parent’s child is often regarded as the polite thing to do but one mum was shocked at the response a dad gave her when she did just that.

Writing on Mumsnet, the user explained: ‘I found this really sad, but maybe I’m in the wrong???

‘I was stood on the pavement outside a cafe waiting for my food order. It was a glorious sunny day in a tourist village so there were loads of people milling about. My 9mo baby girl in her pram.

‘A man (late 30s?) walked over carrying a toddler. He said his dd wanted to look at the baby. A little bit of small talk followed in which I introduced my baby to the toddler.’

The mum then details how the shocking response came about, writing: ‘I asked how old his dd was (22 months) and said to her, “hello lovely, aren’t you gorgeous!” The man looked me sternly in the eyes and said, “oh no, don’t tell her that, language like that ruins them!”

‘AIBU to find this quite sad? I work with children, I have lots of friends with children. I often use language like this.’

Finishing the post, the mum revealed her unconventional response to this request: ‘This is the first time I’ve come across this kind of attitude and I must admit I thought he was joking and laughed in his face.’

Is it appropriate to compliment a stranger’s child’s appearance? 

Other people in the forum have suggested the mum should have responded a little more sensitively but many could see both points of view.

One person wrote: ‘While I agree it’s better to focus on praising behaviour, it’s laughable that the odd compliment for appearance etc is going to “ruin” a child.’

Another said: ‘I do get the logic behind focusing on other qualities when complimenting girls especially. It does seem to be all focused on looks with girls which i do think should change.

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‘Saying that though I wouldn’t correct a stranger in the street like that when they’re just trying to be nice either. I just try to do it myself when talking to kids.’

A third commented: ‘He’s bonkers, you said something perfectly nice and normal.’

What do you think about the dad’s request and did the mum react appropriately? Join the conversation over on our Facebook page and let us know what you would have done in that situation!