Friday, October 13, 2006

Parent to Parent: Stop Talking About Your Kids So Much!

Enough with the binkies

Don't go on too long and don't do it too often, said Elizabeth Howell of the Emily Post Institute, which publishes books and columns on etiquette. How do you know when you are going on too long? If you notice people's eyes are starting to glaze over, Howell said.
. . .
"I cherish my childless friends because of the quality of the conversation," said my friend Sally Willis, mother of two boys, ages 9 and 5. "I think what often happens when I'm with another mother is we fall into one of the main things we have in common, which is children. It's not that different from two architects or two lawyers talking about their work. But it's always nice to have some diversity in the conversation."

She also made the point that while child rearing isn't the most scintillating conversation topic, it's a pretty safe one. Politics, religion, books, the environment or most other more interesting topics can often lead to a difference of opinions.
. . .
If you're at a cocktail party or social business outing - "and that holiday party season is just around the corner - you don't want to be bragging about Sarah's achievements in the potty training department or go on and on about the 14 colleges Matt got accepted into, Howell said.

In the 179 pages of the recently released book Mental Floss: Cocktail Party Cheat Sheet Collins, $12.95, from the producers of Mental Floss magazine, there is nothing said about dropping interesting factoids about your own children.

There is no mention of getting to a party and talking about diaper changing or whatever is going on with your kid, said Will Pearson, co-author of the book. You can get stuck with people who go on and on about their kids, he said. Those who don't have kids who are in this situation, feel completely at a loss.

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