Enough with the puppy love: 'My stepmother talks to my daughter like a dog'

The woman is furious at how her stepmother talks to her daughter.
The woman is furious at how her stepmother talks to her daughter. Photo: Getty Images

We're all guilty of using a certain "voice" when talking to babies - both the human and animal variety.

But one woman is concerned about how her stepmother treats her daughter, claiming she talks to her like she's a dog.

Talking to The Slate's advice column, the woman wrote that she has a her three year-old-daughter, "who loves her grandparents, my father, and my stepmother." 

"My stepmother's two adult children both have dogs they dote on, and their mother showers the dogs with affection and loves to talk about her grandpups. Nothing wrong with that!"

However when the little girl was born, the step-grandmother made bizarre comparisons between the baby and the dogs.

"For example, when my daughter jumps up for an offered cookie, she'll say, 'Oh, that's just like [dog's name]!'" the upset mum explained. "I have tended to grin and bear this, though it drives my daughter's father a little crazy."

The woman isn't sure whether or not to bring it up.

Photo: Getty Images

However, the woman said it's getting worse as her daughter gets older, describing a recent interaction which left her fuming.

"The last time we visited, she was playing with something she shouldn't have been playing with, and I told her to stop, which she did.


"My stepmother then said, 'Good girl, [name]' in a voice I can only describe as the sort of voice you use for a puppy.

"And then she confirmed this by turning to me and saying, 'That's what I say to [dog's name]'. I responded: 'Yes, I know. But I don't say that to her. Maybe we could just say thank you instead'."

Admitting that this "ruffled her feathers", the woman asked the advice columnist where she should draw the line.

"Let me say I understand completely that people love their dogs," she said. "But I confess that I don't want anyone talking to her the way they talk to a dog, however loved that dog is.

"I don't think it's insulting to dogs to say that people and dogs require different forms of communication."

The advice columnist Michelle Herman responded saying that although she thinks the "puppy talk" will cease when her daughter gets old enough to have proper conversations, there may be a different reason as to why the mum is getting so upset.

"I think what's really ruffling your feathers is that your stepmother seems to love her grandpuppies more than she loves her stepgranddaughter," she wrote.

"Who can blame you? It's only human to be hurt by this. But there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

"I think that unless her stepgrandma is commanding that she sit and stay—or hitting her with a rolled-up newspaper—I'd let the puppy talk go. It's harmless."