Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

The 20 most annoying phrases dads hear, according to research

Study finds that many fathers feel frustrated when people do not take them seriously as parents

Emma Elsworthy
Friday 15 June 2018 20:04 BST
57 per cent of respondents believed people thought they were less skilled parents than their child’s mum
57 per cent of respondents believed people thought they were less skilled parents than their child’s mum (Rex Features)

“You’ve got him well trained” and “you’re doing that wrong” are the two phrases most guaranteed to wind dads up, according to research.

A study of 2,000 fathers has exposed sayings they cannot stand to hear, which also includes “are you babysitting?” and “it’s nice to see a man looking after the kids”. Comments such as “you’re such a softie” and “who ironed the kids’ clothes?” will also infuriate many fathers and half of British dads admitted they get annoyed if others make comments about their parenting if they’re out alone with their children.

The study was conducted by, whose founder Siobhan Freegard said: “Almost all parenting issues still only focus on mum’s involvement - so no wonder dads feel fed up.

“Modern men are doing more parenting than ever before so that’s why it’s frustrating for dads when people are still surprised they can care effectively for their kids.”

Other phrases which will get a father's blood boiling are, “Bet you can’t wait until your wife comes back” and a surprised, “You’re actually quite good at putting on a nappy”. Just under a tenth of them have been told “your baby seems really happy with you”.

These comments really begin to grate once a child reaches two years of age, with one in 20 getting wound up within the first six months of parenthood. A third of fathers will hear some form of patronising parenting comment up to five times a week, the research suggested.

Little girl who danced in viral graduation ceremony video says her dad taught her how to dance

The majority of British dads believe their parenting load is shared 50-50 with their partner – with the remainder considering it more a 70-30 split – and just under half agree that men have a bad reputation when it comes to parenting. In fact, 57 per cent of respondents believe people think they are not as skilled a parent as their child’s mother.

Twenty-nine per cent of dads have confronted someone else for making a passive-aggressive parenting comment. The comments are most likely to come from their mother-in-law, followed by their partner or another mum.

Ms Freegard added: “Mum maybe the word but we all need to think more carefully about the words we use to describe dads and what they do.

"In a society rightly fighting or equality, let’s show we appreciate all dads do this Father’s Day.”

Top 20 most annoying phrases for fathers

1. You've got him well trained

2. You're doing it wrong, it should be like this

3. Are you disappointed the baby wasn't a boy?

4. Are you babysitting today?

5. It's nice to see a man looking after the kids

6. Bet you can't wait until your wife comes back

7. Wow, your baby is massive!

8. Get used to never having sex again now the kids are here

9. Who ironed the kids' clothes?

10. Did your wife lay out the kids' outfits for you?

11. There's always one! (if you arrive late somewhere)

12. You're actually quite good at putting on a nappy

13. Oh, you managed to make it here on time

14. You're such a hands-on dad

15. You're such a softie

16. Where is your partner?

17. Oh, you managed to remember to pack his PE kit

18. Is it hard to work full time with a baby?

19. Your baby seems really happy with you

20. It must be hard for you to get up early with the kids


Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in