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This week… What do you do when your kid is still using a pacifier — and family members have big feelings about it? Email [email protected]
You know what will also put it to bed? Saying, “Thanks for your input on my parenting decisions, but this is my child to raise.” Because seriously, it’s nobody else’s business. Not even if that someone else is your child’s grandma.
Consider your daughter’s perspective: to her, it’s a comfort thing, and taking it away cold turkey just because she’s been deemed “too old” isn’t going to do her any good. Neither is making her feel like it’s something that she’s doing wrong or should be ashamed of. Maybe your MIL doesn’t realize that — I’m sure she means well — but she isn’t helping matters.
It would hurt your MIL much more to take her granddaughter away from her than to simply tell her the truth: that you feel fine about your daughter still using a pacifier, and that you don’t need her judgment. Especially since it sounds like she’s being an asshole about it (pacifier-shaming a three-year-old? Really?). You can explain your viewpoint if you want — though you don’t owe her an explanation for your parenting choices by any means — and then firmly remind her that it’s your choice to make, and to please stop mentioning it to your daughter.
The Mayo Clinic reports that most kids naturally stop using their pacifiers on their own between the ages of two and four — so your daughter may decide within the next few months that she’s done with it anyway. And if she doesn’t, there are steps you can take to discourage its use, like redirecting her attention to something else when she asks for the pacifier, or cutting the tip off so it feels different (and therefore less enjoyable).
Bottom line: you won’t be dropping your daughter off at her college dorm someday with a pacifier in her mouth. And your MIL has already had her shot at raising children. Your child, your choices … and nobody else’s business.