What questions do you always ask other parents and then immediately regret?

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There are a few questions that I always find myself asking other parents — whether or not the answer is something that’s interesting, let alone worth discussing. The number one is (in the case of parents and their kid) “Who do you think he/she looks like?”

It’s not really a big deal: this is something that a LOT of people do. The reason it irks me when I do is that in the case of biological kids, the question is kind of silly: obviously the kid is going to look like one parent or both. There aren’t really THAT many answers. It’s also a question that can yield a potentially awkward answer: what if a kid’s adopted and I don’t know it? Do the parents just have to bullshit?

I think questions like this do serve one great purpose: they’re an easy way to start conversation between parents who don’t know one another very well. However, the potential negative response (especially in regards to who is a biological parent of a child, adoptive families, and LGBT families), totally outweigh the possibility that you’ve found a way to engage someone else in conversation for five minutes.

There are plenty of questions like this: I asked everyone on Facebook if they ever catch themselves asking something that isn’t necessary, and here’s what I got back:

winter babies
Keren: I have twins and always get “Do twins run in your family?” It always bothers me. And for some reason it’s always my first question when I meet other twin parents. Its such a rude question but I cant help myself.
Jen: I cannot resist chatting up parents who made similar choices to me. Babywearing and cloth diapering are common topics, but I was changing dipes next to someone once and said, “Oh, you didn’t circumcise your baby, either!”. *facepalm*
The sexy baby-wearing daddy
Katie: [It] only happened once but I asked a baby-wearing mama in an airport bathroom her pee strategy with the baby in the ergo and immediately regretted it/turned bright red.
{24 Weeks}
Andrea: I stupidly asked a coworker once when she announced her pregnancy, “Were you trying?” — which is basically asking, did you use a condom? So awkward.
Naked Time!
Laura B: [I ask] things like “Do you cloth diaper?” and “Are you still nursing?” Obviously these are things I don’t need to know, it’s more like… I couldn’t/didn’t do these things and I want to know more information about those who are doing them. [It] tends to sound awkward, though.

Tell me: what other questions like this do you guys find yourselves asking?

Comments on What questions do you always ask other parents and then immediately regret?

  1. Hey guys! I just wanted to let you know I’m closing comments on this one. The focus was on questions you have asked other parents, not the other way around. Most of the discussion is great, but I think it’s definitely on the verge of talking itself out. Thanks for commenting!

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