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Asking Strangers If They Have Children

Is It Rude to Ask a Stranger If She Has Children?

If you're talking to a woman at a kiddie birthday bash and realize that she hasn't mentioned having children, is it appropriate to inquire? Does the protocol change when adults are chatting at a cocktail party? Some people avoid all questions that put others on the spot like asking someone's weight, age, or relationship status, while others believe a marriage and offspring inquiry is no different than asking a stranger's name. What's your protocol when it comes to the mom question?

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lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I think it is kind of rude. And, like cheeky said, there are other questions you can ask to find out the same information without being rude. If you're at a kid's birthday party, ask how the woman knows the child. If you are talking to someone at a kid's clothing store, ask who she's buying for. There are always ways around it.
chequettex chequettex 7 years
I would say asking a complete stranger is a bit much, but if you've met someone several times and are beginning to get comfortable with each other, I think it's ok. For longest time no one ever asked me if I had kids (probably since I looked about 15...) but now that I'm 30, and married, occasionally people ask, and I answer "Not yet!"
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
Since the gathering is specifically for a child...I'd ask how long they have known "so-n-so" the party child. The occasion is really about them anyway.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 7 years
its common, but its also nice to hold your tongue. even if the person doesn't care that she doesn't have kids, she is probably asked it a lot already. surely there other things to ask.
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