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Things Parents Say to Non-Parents that Unintentionally Offend Non-Parents

We all do it sometimes: utter well-intentioned statements that offend someone.  We all have different perspectives, and what seems like a “normal statement of fact” to one person may seem offensive to another.  In this article, we will address several such statements that parents make to non-parents.

What the parent says:  “If you think YOU’RE tired, try having kids!”

What the non-parent hears:  “You are exhausted easily.  You don’t have it so bad.  Quit complaining and develop some stamina. I have far greater endurance than you have.  I, as a parent, can lay claim to exhaustion and you cannot.”

What the parent says:  “Your house is always so clean.  I wish I had the time to keep a clean house.”

What the non-parent hears: “Your life is empty, devoid of activity or fullness.  I know you sit around all evening with little to do but house cleaning.”

What the parent says: “Families are the backbone of our community.”

What the non-parent hears:  “Childless couples and unmarried individuals are less important and have less to offer to our community.”

What the parent says: “Our employer pays for all of your single coverage health insurance, but I have to pay a lot toward my family coverage health insurance.  That stinks.”

What the non-parent hears: “Because I am a parent, our employer should contribute more toward my benefits than it contributes toward yours.  This increase to my total income is fair.  You don’t deserve the increase to your total income because you don’t have children.”

What the parent says:  “None of the parents who work here get time off to attend our children’s school events.  That’s upsetting.  We want paid time off to go to these important events.”

What the non-parent hears: “Because we have children, we deserve more paid time off work than you do.  You should stay at work, do your job, and do mine as well since I can’t be there because of my children’s various school events.”

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