Father causes online debate after criticising woman for calling his daughter 'gorgeous'

He insisted that such language can be damaging to young children

Sarah Young
Thursday 24 May 2018 09:56 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A father has divided opinion after scolding a woman for calling his baby daughter “gorgeous.”

Left confused by a bizarre encounter with a stranger, a woman has sought the opinion of fellow parents in a bid to discover if she was in the wrong.

Sharing the incident on parenting website Mumsnet, the woman involved explained how she was standing outside a café with her own nine-month-old baby when she was approached by a man carrying a toddler.

She explained that the man’s daughter wanted to see her baby and so she introduced them before asking how old the child was and greeted her by saying, “Hello lovely, aren’t you gorgeous?”

Despite her good intentions, the woman’s compliment was surprisingly met with a harsh response from the father.

“The man looked me sternly in the eyes and said, ‘oh no, don't tell her that, language like that ruins them!’” she explained.

“I found this really sad, but maybe I'm in the wrong?”

The mother went on to explain that she works with children and often uses language like this with her friend’s little ones.

“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,” she added.

The thread on the parenting advice website has since received hundreds of replies from other users, but while some agreed that the father was overreacting, others insisted that adults should reinforce children’s strengths beyond their looks.

“I would say that being told I was pretty as a little kid did cause me problems,” one person commented.

“Because (a) it made me feel like being pretty was something important and that I'd somehow achieved something because people thought it about me, and (b) when I grew up into a fairly normal-looking older child and teen I was devastated that people didn't routinely say it to me any more, because it was something I'd attached such weight to.”

Another agreed adding: “My parents never mentioned my appearance when I was growing up – I suspect for these reasons.

“It meant I was an absolute slave to anyone who told me I was pretty!”

However, others disagreed explaining that it’s equally harmful never to tell a child that they are pretty.

“My mum never ever said I was pretty or beautiful or clever or anything,” one person wrote.

“I'm now deeply insecure about my looks.”

Some also pointed out that the father’s reaction was overblown and insisted that the woman had nothing to be worried about.

“Well, he sounds delightful. You are not being unreasonable. It's a baby, you were being nice,” someone commented.

Another person agreed adding: “He's bonkers, you said something perfectly nice and normal.”

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