Six out of ten mums hate it when other people ‘undermine their authority’ by telling their children off, a study revealed today.
Researchers found millions of mothers grit their teeth and count to ten when someone else reprimands their child.
Incredibly, one in three mums said they felt uncomfortable when their grandparents chastised her youngster.
And almost six out of ten said it was annoying when the in-laws stepped in to quell bad behaviour.
In fact, the only time mums are comfortable with their children being reprimanded by others is when they swear or talk inappropriately to others.
But ironically, 57 per cent of mums admitted their children do respond better to strangers and friends, and were therefore less likely to question their punishment.
The study was commissioned among 3,000 mums by www.MumPoll.com.
Yesterday a spokeswoman said: ”Mums are naturally quite protective about their children, and so it stands to reason they don’t like others commenting on what they should and shouldn’t be doing.
”And when you spend months trying to teach your child good manners, raising them to behave in a certain way, it can come as a shock when someone else thinks they know better than you.
”So while grandparents, friends and strangers might think they are helping by scolding the children or throwing them disapproving looks – all it does is make mum feel belittled and undermined.”
The study also found 46 per cent of mums are annoyed when someone else feels they have the right to comment on their child’s behaviour.
Six out of ten said they were okay with friends giving the kids a ticking off if they appreciate their style of parenting and have the same standards.
But 94 per cent of mums agreed it was ‘totally inappropriate’ for a stranger to even talk to their child, let alone have an opinion on how they should be behaving.
But ironically, 45 per cent of mums admitted they have told off a friend’s child while their parents were there.
And 32 per cent would think nothing of telling off a stranger’s child if they were behaving inappropriately nearby.
Mums are most likely to tell off a friend’s child if they hit or hurt someone else (75 per cent), were nasty to others (65 per cent) or started throwing food around (51 per cent).
Mums also won’t put up with other children jumping all over their precious furniture (44 per cent), dropping litter (27 per cent) or refusing to put toys away (17 per cent).
But a fifth of mums have felt so guilty for chastising a friend’s child they have apologised immediately afterwards.
Unfortunately, one in ten mums have fallen out with another mother because they didn’t react well to their child being told off.
The MumPoll spokeswoman added: ”Here we have a definite case of double standards.
”For some reason mums think its fine to haul other people’s children over the coals, but they can’t bear others to do the same.
”Mums very possessive about their own children, but aren’t applying the same rules or giving the same thoughts to what is acceptable in other mum’s eyes.”