David Beckham defends his parenting abilities after Harper, 4, used a pacifier

David Beckham so rarely speaks to the media that it’s notable when he takes a stand. He let most of those age-old stories about affairs blow by without a second glance, but he’s pretty angry after fielding The Mail’s criticism of pacifier use. Little Harper is 4 years old, and she was spotted out with her father (and a binky) a few days ago. So of course the parenting brigade came after David because every parent thinks they know best.

David won’t stand for criticism over how he raises his children, and I don’t blame him. All four of the Beckham kids seem well-adjusted despite their insulated and wealthy lives. You never see the kids acting out in public or throwing tantrums, but people will judge pacifier use harshly. According to David, Harper doesn’t always use one, but she wasn’t feeling well, and he allowed her to use a pacifier. Now David defends his decision on Instagram:

Why do people feel they have the right to criticize a parent about their own children without having any facts ?? Everybody who has children knows that when they aren’t feeling well or have a fever you do what comforts them best and most of the time it’s a pacifier so those who criticize think twice about what you say about other people’s children because actually you have no right to criticize me as a parent …

[From David Beckham on Instagram]

Yep, don’t mess with a daddy’s daughter. People are so judgy about other people’s kids when they really should be paying attention to their own messes. Some kids don’t like pacifiers, some give them up easily, and some kids will hold on to those hunks of plastic for dear life. Just because some parents get lucky with their kids’ preferences doesn’t make them “better” than any other person raising a child. Sheesh. People act like David placed Harper in genuine peril. It’s just a pacifer.

David Beckham

David Beckham

David Beckham

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & Pacific Coast News

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166 Responses to “David Beckham defends his parenting abilities after Harper, 4, used a pacifier”

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  1. GiGi says:

    Of all the things to criticize the Beckhams over… this isn’t it. Their parenting skills seem pretty sharp.

    • blue marie says:

      Agreed, they’ve always seemed like good parents.

      • V4Real says:

        Please. I’ve seen grown ass men walking around with pacifiers in their mouth. I was like when did this become a thing.

        Grown ass men with pacifiers= cool, gangsta, hip hop culture
        Four year old girl with pacifiers=bad parenting, WTF moment

        Ok, got it.

      • FLORC says:

        Oh I remember that trend! It was hilarious and sad all at once. I remember Gwen being seen with them..

      • Deb says:

        I thought the thing with adults using pacifiers started in the rave subculture. From what I’ve heard, ravers who do Ecstasy suck on pacifiers to cope with the jaw clenching side effect of the drug.

    • Nicole says:

      Agreed. They seem to be happy well adjusted children. They seem to know the value of work (the oldest works a cafe job), they do charity work (I believe Romeo ran a charity race on his own recently) and you cannot mistake how happy those kids look. That’s really all that matters and they seem to have it together
      Occasional pacifier use is nothing to be worried about. But then again the story came from Daily Fail so yea must be a slow news day over there

    • Liberty says:

      Agreed. Their kids seem so well-parented and happy. Good for him for telling the critics to step off.

      This is just more smug mommy bullying. Funny, because the DM ran a few articles bemoaning mommy bullying, eh?

  2. Franca says:

    I had a pacifier until I was 7 and it took a lot of crying for me to give it up. I turned out just fine. Leave the man alone.

    • Sabrine says:

      I fixed my own bottle at the age of six. I turned out fine, nothing wrong with my psyche or my teeth. The judges have no business telling parents what to do. I’m glad DB put them in their place.

      • FloridaFresh says:

        My (now almost 12 yo) son drank a bottle thru age 8. He is a total DUDE. Very strong from all that milk. Everyone criticized this except one mom—perhaps the most judgmental mom I ever met! She surprised me with a shrug, saying that in her home country (Argentina), kids do that all the time. Okay!

      • Ennie says:

        My older brother was so skinny that my mom used to make a tasty warm milk and oatmeal beverage (we call it atole) and put it in a bottle with a big hole and she stuck it in his mouth when he was asleep. HE usually drank it all up and he’d woke up angry because he was trying to stop drinking from the bottle.. that went on until he was about ten!
        BTW he grew up to be quite tall (1.94 mts) and he has been a slim athlete all his life. Mom was concerned, tho. We still tease him about it, and he is already 47!

      • anon3214 says:

        The mental picture of Sabine making her own bottle really made my day!

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      My best friend sucked her thumb when she was upset until she was about 14. I still sleep on my stomach when I’m upset (don’t know why, it just comforts me, but I try not to normally because it hurts my neck). People are so quick to judge.

      • Ennie says:

        A classmate of mine did that in Jr High, but she probably did it a lot because her thumb was weird and the nail kind of ugly. She was kind of called names (whispered) behind her back, but she did not apologize and openly sucked her thumb.
        We never know perfectly the reasons for the quirks and insecurities of others, but young people can be cruel (and mommy brigades and papparazis).

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        My friend did it in private and I only knew about it because I spent the night at her house, but you are so right – children can be very cruel.

      • FLORC says:

        I sucked my thumb. I remember my nanny telling me how wrong it was and to stop when I was maybe 4. I did it until I was 8ish, but often felt ashamed and covered my head with blankets or a stuffed animal to hide it.

        It stopped on its own and I had no speech issues or dental issues. I never even needed braces. So, that gorgeous little girl is loved and healthy.

    • GrnMtGirl says:

      My daughter used her pacifier until she was 4. I told her I wasn’t buying anymore new ones, so once she lost all of them that was it. The first few nights were rough, but she came through it very well. She has no speech problems, and she was going to have to wear braces no matter what. Her dentist and orthodontist never said anything about her over-use of her pacifier, and they all knew about it.

      People always think they know what is best for everyone else. Ugh.

      David Beckham is the sexiest baby girl daddy ever!!

      • YupYepYam says:

        People always think they know what is best for everyone else. Ugh.
        ——–
        Celebitchy in a nutshell. Lol.

    • Neonscream says:

      My sister had one until she was 5, one day it fell down behind the couch and Mum & Dad said theyd get it later and just never did. For some reason she was OK with it then but would scream the house down every other time they’d tried. Adults have their own oral substitutes for comfort which are generally less healthy. I really don’t see the big deal.

    • tigerlily says:

      I have six grown nephews. Four of them used pacifiers until they were 3-4. Two never used at all. Guess which ones needed braces? The two who never used a pacifier. Go figure. And this was before “orthodontic” pacifiers were a thing. This is a dumb thing to criticize a parent over. And the ones who were most critical of my sisters allowing pacifiers generally had cigarettes hanging out of their mouths.

      People need to STFU about this.

  3. Fonzieface says:

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned through becoming a parent it’s to be less judgemental. Good on DB for tending to his child’s needs and standing up to the mummy brigade. Honestly, what makes ppl think they have a right to judge?

    • smcollins says:

      Right?! Some people’s self-righteousness is so freaking nauseating. She’s their 4th child….pretty sure they know what they’re doing. And even if she was their first, it’s still no one else’s business. We got “lucky” with our son as he pretty much was over using a pacifier by the time he was 4 months old, but every child is different. These judgemental people don’t have the first clue about the needs of someone else’s child, they just want to act like they do.

    • Jegede says:

      Yup.

      And this gives me flashbacks to the Ryan Reynolds baby carrier ‘outrage’.

    • Shannon1972 says:

      Exactly. It was only through raising my own kids that I learned not to judge other parents (my own included). We all do the best we can. IMO, first time parents, and those with very small kids, seem to be the worst – only because they haven’t yet experienced the ups and downs to come. I basically ignore them. Come back and talk to me when your oldest drives away on his own for the first time… ;)

      • Neonscream says:

        I am actually far less judgy than my friends who have kids, whenever they start on a rant it’s always happily child free me that says “don’t parents have enough guilt without adding to it with this petty crap?”

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I’m going through the driving thing with Sean right now. Ack. I’m terrified.

    • Betsy says:

      If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that I try to be less judgmental. That certainly doesn’t always (usually?) work for me. : ) I certainly am less judgmental than I was before kids and I CRINGE at my pre-kid parenting beliefs.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Truly, a lot of people ought to throw away the rule book. Children are not built on an assembly line. What’s more, people apply what worked in their own lives to situations they know nothing about — even when things may be obviously different in some way, as in cases of adoption, disability, etc. Learn and support, but for heaven’s sake, stop judging!

    • sills says:

      One thousand times this. All the “rules” you think you’ll follow can get blown to smithereens by reality. Good on him for hitting back, he and Victoria seem like very attentive parents.

    • Chica says:

      Says everyone who judges Kim Kardashian.

  4. Maya says:

    The parent brigade is full with people who are sanctimonious and judgemental.

    People can raise their children any freaking way they want. Unless there are any mental or physical abuse, negligence or abandonment – other people should just mind their own business.

    • Kelly says:

      Nicely said.

    • j.eyre says:

      Doesn’t Jonathan Rhys Meyer have a quote about sex on TV akin to if people weren’t so busy watching it and actually doing it themselves, they would get so worked up about it? I feel like the same principle applies here – raise your own child and stop worrying about how I am raising mine.

      (and oh, how I wish we would stop using “parent” as a verb)

  5. MrsB says:

    There isn’t much worse than judgy parents. I let my son drink a bottle at night before bed until he was 2 and one friend thought I was pretty much the devil and “doing such a disservice” by not taking it away when he turned 1.
    He is now 7 and I can promise you he has not suffered a bit from a little bit of extra bottle Drinking ;)

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      My parents let me drink from a bottle before bed until I was 6. I never wanted a binky, even as a newborn, but I loved my bottle. I ate normal food and drank from a mug through the day, but after eating a regular dinner from a plate with a fork or spoon, my mom would make me cocoa or semolina with milk and I’d drink it from my baby bottle while watching cartoons. I had trouble falling asleep and it helped me relax. I gave it up willingly when I started the 1st grade. My parents were judged for it too and your friend would probably call the child services if she were there, but I’m fine now, 20 years later. I’m sure your son and Harper will be fine too.

    • Betsy says:

      Was it the having a bottle or was it his teeth she was concerned about? Peds and dentists are pretty insistent that older babies not fall asleep with anything other than water in a bottle since if they’ve just fallen asleep, no one’s going to brush their teeth!

    • MrsB says:

      @nbm exactly. My son was (still is) very hyper and drinking a bottle after his bath helped him to stay still and calm down. It was just part of the bedtime ritual.

      @Betsy I think it was just the bottle. I didn’t put him to bed with a bottle. He would just sit with me and drink his bottle of milk. He just wouldn’t go to sleep or calm down without it. He gave it up on his own between 2-3.

  6. Katydid20 says:

    Some people are just going to complain no matter what they do or how they raise their kids. Same for any celebrity, or non celeb for that matter. Sometimes it’s just better to ignore……

  7. Loopy says:

    Lol the poor boy who will go pick up Harper on her first date.

  8. boredblond says:

    Probably the only solid thing mom let’s her put in her mouth 😉

    • Bea says:

      That is one hell of a c*nty statement.

    • tracking says:

      I know you were probably just joking, but she looks like a super healthy child who eats just fine.

    • Jaded says:

      We all know Victoria’s strict adherence to barely eating but accusing her of starving her kid is unnecessarily cruel. Oh…and while we’re chatting “boredblond”…it’s “lets”, not “let’s”. You use “let’s” as a contraction of “let us” as in “let’s go to the show”.

  9. anniefannie says:

    Oyyy!!!! The things people get faux outraged about….sidenote what a doll…

  10. BeBeA says:

    I have three children who loved their binky more than me lol, I only took it from them at 2 yrs of age because it was starting to give them an over bite. Her teeth look fine, And on a non related products adult nore, so does he ‘-)

  11. EM says:

    Come on, she is 4 for goodness sake. With this type of coddling she will be like Gwyneth’s daughter who was photographed sucking her thumb at well over 8 years of age. Attachment issues.

    • Fallon says:

      I sucked my thumb well into middle school. I don’t have attachment issues. Your point?

    • EM says:

      And you’re the global example now? And? There are many kids that don’t use pacifiers or rather, their parents don’t resort to them.
      I suppose the Beckham’s can well afford the orthodontic bills.
      You may not have them now, but at the moment of pacifier use/thumb sucking, it’s a type of coping mechanism, dependence isn’t it? Therefore, an attachment issue.

      • Tdub30 says:

        Not sure if you have children but I have 4 and save one, they all sucked pacifiers and are no worse for wear. I have a 2 y/o now that holds on to his like grim death, but he’s a perfectly well adjusted child. He doesn’t have attachment issues and is well rounded socially. His 18 y/o brother was the same way and wanted to go to college in Shanghai so I doubt that the use of a binky causes attachment issues. All kids are different, and just as someone might come home and have a glass of wine or beer to unwind (doesn’t make them an alcoholic), some kids use a paci as a relaxation tool. People need to allow others to parent their children in the best way it works for them, as long as said parent is physically or mentally harming them.

      • Absolutely says:

        Hey it’s the perfect police! Should we kneel, or would merely bowing suffice?

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I thought the pacifiers will cause an overbite thing was a myth? No?

      • paranormalgirl says:

        That’s not what an attachment issue is, oh great and sanctimonious one. At least, not from the psychiatric viewpoint.

      • IfUSaySo says:

        Attachment issues? WTF do you know, EM? Do not act like you care, you just want to judge and feel superior. There is nothing AT ALL wrong with a child being attached to a transitional object. The object helps them transition from needing mommy during all stressful times (is being followed by the paps when you’re 4 stressful? PROBABLY!!) to being able to cope with it solo. The objects can be a blankie, a stuffed animal, a paci, etc.. Are you a mother? If so, maybe you had a child who never cared for a pacifier and in that case, sit down! If not, you have no clue about what the paci means to kids, if it calms them and allows them to sleep and feel secure and happy then its hurting no one. Seriously, keep it to yourself..

    • Lindy79 says:

      That’s a bit harsh, it sounds like they only use it at times, not constantly. All children are different, some never use them, some will stop using them overnight and some need to be weaned.
      Either way, unless there is a real danger to the child then people need to stay in their own lane and worry about their own. No parent is perfect and it’s a learning curve for every parent every time as each child is different even within the same family unit. This constant need to jump on and put down other parents/women (in relation to birth methods/breastfeeding) in relation to how they raise their kids is tiring and says far more about the ones doing to judging than anything else.

    • Sixer says:

      I think I must have the most severe case of attachment-itis ever, then.

      I’ve still got my blankie from childhood. It lives in a cupboard with all my other childhood memorabilia but sometimes it comes back out. When my mother died last year, I slept with it round my shoulders for the best part of a week. It made me feel better. And I’m out of my thirties.

      Sixlet Minor (12) has a blankie. Doesn’t use it but he would hate it if it disappeared from where it lives, folded under his pillow. Sixlet Major (13) has nothing now. He had a pacifier for a short while in the sense of having it in his mouth, but we were never allowed to throw it away after he stopped sucking it. He kept it in the pocket of his trousers – presumably, “just in case” – until he was about 8. At some point, he chucked it out. When he was ready.

      We *all* have our fail-safes. They might be objects, they might be rituals, they might be trusted relationships. Fail-safes are HEALTHY things. And moreover, should, say, Sixlet Minor suddenly take his blankie out from under his pillow and start using it, I, as his mother, would take it as an important signal something was troubling him. It’s a fail-safe for him and, one day, although I hope not, it might be an important signpost for me.

      The Beckhams seem like committed, consistent, loving parents. I find policing them most annoying.

      • Absolutely says:

        My seven year old has 2 gigantic baskets full of stuffed animals, of which 2 or 3 always come with us in the car. He seems to be a pretty independent kid, but I guess I better get rid of everything he could possibly be dependent on now. Might stop him him being, you know, a person.

      • Sixer says:

        You’ve probably ruined his life already. Attachment-itis lasts a lifetime, donchaknow. Child loves stuffed toys. CALL A THERAPIST!

        (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

      • lizzie says:

        awesome post. you sound like an attentive loving mother :) (all of you do!!!) my husband had a blankie that he kept at the bottom of his bed to rub his feet on through high school. he doesn’t have said blankie anymore -but he still does that movement to relax. to take a nap he just puts a blanket on and under his feet and rubs them. it is adorable and he is the most normal dude ever, way more normal than me and didn’t use any soothing device or method as a child.

      • Alyce says:

        Lovely post and great advice Sixer!

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Sick to death of hearing about “attachment issues.” Only in this day and age.

      • Kat says:

        The thing is, having that comfort object is basically the opposite of attachment issues. It shows that parent and child acknowledge that something out of the ordinary is causing a level of distress and that they have worked together to find a safe, age appropriate (I know that’s debatable but four is still quite young) coping mechanism.

        My children who were adopted from foster care or international orphanages did not have that luxury. They did not know to tell us they had a fever or felt unwell. They did not know how to cope by using comfort from a parent or comfort object. They coped by pulling their hair, rocking back and forth, smacking their hands or heads against a wall, scratching at themselves until they bled, or biting their hands and fingers. That is what a child with attachment issues and lack of parental comfort looks like.

        A preschooler with a binkie is not attachment challenged. She’s just fine.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Thank you.

      • Sixer says:

        Kat wins the internet with sanity, common sense and clarity.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        “They coped by pulling their hair, rocking back and forth, smacking their hands or heads against a wall, scratching at themselves until they bled, or biting their hands and fingers. That is what a child with attachment issues and lack of parental comfort looks like.”

        BEAUTIFULLY put. Attachment issues or reactive attachment disorder is actually when a child CAN’T or DOESN’T form attachments with caregivers.

      • NUTBALLS says:

        My 8YO son has always had a stuffed animal that he’s kept around the house. He’s has high-functioning autism so I assumed this was due to the immaturity because to his condition. Last Spring he began asking to take his favorite stuffy to school and I was hesitant to say yes, afraid that he’d be mocked by his classmates. I let him and realized later that having his beloved teacher gone for surgery was such a change that he probably needed it to cope with the change. He understands himself well enough to tell me when he wants to bring it along “for comfort” as he enters a new situation. If it helps him calm down and settle into a new routine or environment, I’m ok with it.

        PS: I sucked my thumb until I was 9 and I have never had attachment issues… off to college 5,000 miles away at 16YO and couldn’t wait to start the first of many solo, cross-country moves over the next 15 years.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Oh please. These labels have just got to stop. Children are individuals just like adults. We all use things to help us cope with stress. Attachment issues? You sound like my nephew’s nursery school teacher who told my brother that his son had “anger management issues” at age two. The problem? Another kid (who happened to be my nephew’s best friend for the next 17 years) bit my nephew and my nephew bit him back. My nephew turned out to be a sweet, mellow kid. My best friend sucked her thumb when she was upset until she was about 14. She’s one of the strongest, coolest people I know. So you don’t have any coping mechanisms as an adult? A hot bath, a glass of wine, talking to a friend, soft music? You just tough it out without any help from anything or anybody? And so should everybody?

    • Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

      Oh, I’m 40 and have lots of attachment problems too… Let’s see… Several stuffed animals (adore my rabbits) an china dolls in my bedroom.. Oh, I do have a stuffed dog (it’s so cute, because it’s a copy of my real dog, Maggie) which was given by my students 7 or 8 years ago (is it ok for an adult to get stuffed animals as a gift? Because my inner-child loves those… )

      Darn… so many issues…

      • Lucky Charm says:

        I still keep my stuffed dog on my bed, in front of all the pillows! My teddy bear is stuck living in the closet now, though. ☺

  12. Barrett says:

    Makes me love him more, she’s so darn cute, even cuter w the binky! Bink on Harper!

  13. INeedANap says:

    I think it says a lot about his priorities that he rarely talks to the press about his private life, but he will defend his baby girl with guns blazing. Those kids are well adjusted because their parents are involved and look out for their best interests. Well done, Beckham family.

  14. lisa2 says:

    I’ve seen comment beating celebrity parents up because their kid had a blanket or a stuffed animal. Nice to see that people are much more understanding with David Beckham.

    • Maya says:

      Yep so many commentators are so hypocritical that it’s not even funny.

      • lisa2 says:

        Sometimes I just sit back and laugh.. because the hypocrisy is so clear. But the outrage depends on who the celebrity is. Because I could name a few that the comments would be completely different.. but maybe we are not suppose to notice that.

    • Guest1 says:

      I remember Celebitchy posted a picture of Jessica Alba with one of her daughters. The little girl was wearing a medium sized, thick, scarf. Boy, did did these commenters jump on her. Their outrage was because the little girl could run the risk of suffocating. Never mind that she was under the supervision of her mother and in public. But, good to see that David Beckham, a man, is being a “fierce papa”.

    • Wilma says:

      It’s more that people are very judgemental when it comes to other judgemental people

  15. Miss Jupitero says:

    When me and my brothers were little, the Easter bunny came by, took away all the binkies to give to the bunnies, and left behind candy and toys. This was an awesome solution.

    • Aila says:

      This is such a good idea!

    • piecesofme says:

      A good friend of mine took all her daughter’s nooks, cut the tops off, and made a necklace of them. They then told her Spiderman took them because he wanted them for himself. (her two year old self was OBSESSED with Spiderman). It backfired a bit…. she felt very betrayed by her idol Spiderman. For several weeks, whenever I was over there, she would show me her necklace and tell me solemnly “piderman tole my nook” (she had trouble with the esses). She seems to have grown up with lasting trauma, though *g*

  16. Betti says:

    There is nothing more sanctimonious than the parent brigade, I use this term as some of the fathers are just as bad as the mummy’s. Its usually the judgemental ones that have the kids with issues.

    She’s 4 and doesn’t seem to always use one. All of their kids are very much well adjusted, normal people so they know what they are doing and are raising their kids well.

  17. Beth No. 2 says:

    I don’t care about the pacifier, but I would like to criticise his lack of commas.

  18. Anya says:

    If she was ill why she wasn’t at home?If you daughter has fever you don’t larking around with his her in West Hollywood

    • MinnFinn says:

      +1

    • cakecakecake says:

      thank you!

    • Aila says:

      Good point!

    • o_o_odesa says:

      Won’t someone please think of the children???

      Thanks sanctimommy

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      It was probably a mild fever and perhaps they were waiting to see which way it went. Happens all the time.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      He didn’t say she had a fever. He just used that as an example of when a parent might let a child use a pacifier.

    • Jaded says:

      Maybe she was just having a cranky day. We all have them – not specifically ill but just “off”. They are both wonderful parents and no, having a binky at 4 does not signify emotional trauma or a lifetime of orthodontists. Jeezuz….no wonder I never had kids…all the mommy/daddy shaming that goes on for no good reason.

    • MsMercury says:

      Yep. If this was any other celeb (female) that would have been the first comment instead we get nothing but positive comments.

  19. Freddy Spaghetti says:

    She’s four! The things people get judgy about these days….ugh.

    On a side note, she is such a cutie! The Beckhams have gorgeous kids, and they all seem very grounded.

  20. MrsBPitt says:

    That girl is adorable, and looks much loved! My son LOVED his binky, and had it until he was three. My mother-in-law never failed to mention, that he was too old for a binky…pissed me off!! My other son, loved his blankie and had it forever, but hid it from friends and family (besides his brother and parents). I could never understand why it bothered people…if it comforts a child, where is the harm! My son, with the binky, finally only started to use it at night to help him sleep, and then one day, he put it down and never picked it up again. As I told my MIL, I was only going to worry about it, if he still had it in college!!!!! lol

  21. Rae says:

    Honestly it is no body else’s business but the Beckhams. I am a parent to a similar aged child who sucked his thumb until recently. Each to their own. Not down with the parent/child shaming from ‘experts’ or mummy brigades.

  22. Ninks says:

    The Daily Mail, a paper that regularly leers over pictures of very young teenage girls with gross comments like ‘all grown up’, compares prepubescent girls to their model/actress mothers, detail the clothes they’re wearing and makes scathing comments about any women who dares show a tummy roll in a bikini.

  23. Patricia says:

    I’m not a sanctimommy, but I also don’t think pacifiers after a certain age are a great idea. They can prevent the child from speaking, if the child has one in alllll the time (I know a few toddlers who always have it in).

    In Harper’s case Beckham has explained that it’s not a constant thing. To me that’s no concern at all then.

    Just my opinion!

  24. rudy says:

    Binkygate!

  25. Tanya says:

    Oh, FFS. Some kids have a stronger need for pacis than others. Like walking, potty training, and talking, the pace your kid develops ar is 90% up to them. Your experience as a parent makes you an expert at… Raising your kids. That’s it.

  26. K says:

    Good for him! Their children seem to be wonderful and honest to god if a child isn’t being abused, malnutrited or neglected then it’s no ones business how they are being parented. People are so self righteous. I can’t.

  27. Colette says:

    If he lets her to use a pacifier everyday until she is 10,that’s their business.

  28. ickythump says:

    DB seems like a wonderful dad – if Harper felt better for having her “dummy” as we call them here in Scotland then why not? The Beckham children seem the most well behaved out of all the celeb kids so they must be doing something right.

  29. tracking says:

    Christ, I can’t stand all the judge-y parent BS. No one’s bloody business but theirs.

  30. lowercaselois says:

    I was a pre-k teacher of 4-5 year Olds for many years I didn’t allow pacifiers in my classroom only because of health/germ reasons, like it falls on the ground a lot and I can’t be always washing it and kids sharing them or they loose a favorite one and parents go off the deep end. But after school ,it was the family business and not my own. I saw many pacifiers in the back packs and notice many kids didn’t need one at 4 years, some used their thumb,but it was security that it was there.

    • IfUSaySo says:

      THis makes me feel great. My kid is 3 and loves the paci. It’s never gone to preschool with her and is only for nap and night. I get shit all the time from relatives. But it works for us, our child is so talkative, outgoing and confident. The paci is for home and calm time. I’d never expect a teacher to allow them at school. But glad that teachers love our kid enough to know these are small items of security and that’s ok.

  31. jesb says:

    My daughter had a pacifier through age 4 and the mommy brigade gave me a lot of grief. Then I heard Dr. Barry Brazelton speak… world famous pediatrician, author, infant behaviorist and all around awesome cheerleader for moms. He said when he sees a child with a pacifier, he sees a well adjusted child who as learned how to calm and comfort him or herself without their parents help. I would listen to what Dr. Brazelton says before I would be concerned with what the Daily Mail says.

  32. Yoohoo says:

    He is ridiculously good looking.

  33. Ra says:

    I was actually pet-mommy judged just last week by someone I did not know personally on a comment I made on a friend’s FB page. It just amazes me. You do not know the whole situation and I obviously love my cat and would never do anything to harm her. People need to learn how to keep certain thoughts to themselves if it’s not that critical!
    I sucked my fingers until I was about 7 and then I sliced them open and needed stitches. Never sucked them again but it’s when I started biting my nails which I still do. Sometimes I believe if I never cut them, I may have stopped myself and maybe even never went into biting, but we’ll never know. I’m sure Harper will stop, and I doubt she’ll have any problems with her that can’t be fixed (if she even gets any).

  34. EmmyGrant says:

    My daughter decided on her own to quit her pacifier on her birthday. To be honest I don’t remember which birthday–5th seems most likely. She did use her pacifier for longer than I would’ve liked, but thankfully she had the inner strength to quit when she observed it wasnt socially acceptable for her age.

  35. frances egan says:

    she is an adorable kid so what if she likes her soosoo

  36. thaisajs says:

    My kid is almost three and I can’t get her to give up the paci either. At least she’s only using it in bed at night. I don’t think any responsible parent doesn’t worry about their kid using a paci when they’re this old. But it’s not the end of the world. Harper (and my kid) may need to get braces some point down the line to get their teeth straightened up, but that’s hardly unusual.

    At least she’s using a paci and not her thumb. Much harder to break that habit.

    The only good thing about this controversy is we get to see some more photos of Harper. She’s just adorable.

  37. eribra says:

    Mine had one till he was 2ish, he also had a grey tooth from running into a table from about 14 months on. His dentist said you have to get rid of it, his tooth is becoming loose, and we took it from him that day, explained why and he never complained. Which was strange cause he was a monster when he didn’t have it. He is 5 now and last week found one in a junk drawer, popped it in and said- yuck, I thought it would taste good. Eta- mom’s were so judgemental, especially my mother in law who mentioned his paci in every pic. Never how cute he was just the pacifier.

  38. Me too says:

    That little girl is beautiful.

  39. KBeth says:

    Does anyone really give a crap about this??? Leave them alone.
    Cute kid.

  40. MSat says:

    While I’m in agreement, I do find it funny that people say, “I did XXX, and I turned out just fine.” We’re usually the last to know when we DON’T turn out “just fine.” ;-)

    • Absolutely says:

      And most judgy, rude, negative people only think *other* people are rude, negative and judgmental. ;)

  41. annaloo. says:

    um.. I really love that trashcan in the bottom pic. It’s so stately. Calling it a “trashcan” seems so low… it has to be a litter receptacle or a litter bin.

    I can’t believe I’m talking about a trashcan while David Beckham is in the picture…

  42. Syko says:

    Out of my three kids, only one used a pacifier, but she used it until she was four. When I look back at her toddler pictures, you can see that her teeth protruded a little, but after she gave up the pacifier (we worked out a trade), her upper lip pushed them into place, and she grew up just fine, didn’t even need braces.

    The Beckhams have always seemed like very good parents to me.

  43. holly hobby says:

    Eh it’s not a big deal to me. My kids never used the binky but sometimes you gotta go with what works. It’s not like it is stuck on her face 24/7. This is the first time we’ve seen her with it.

    However, I do remember Suri Cruise/pre split, walking around with a binky and heels. This was during the $ci permissive years. I’m glad she’s normal now!

  44. Colleen says:

    Whoo! That man.

    Oh, and his daughter’s a beaut as well!

  45. MIR says:

    I used a pacifier until I was six or seven. I remember perfectly well going to a coffeeshop with my grandparents one day and someone mentioning that it was weird to see a six year old with a pacifier, so I just threw it in the trash (I had more in the house, but I was ashamed in that moment). I only stopped using them after accidentally cutting my bottom lip, and barely being able to eat even for about a week. I’m 24 now and there are no issues with me whatsoever. But I still remember that person in the coffeeshop, and feeling ashamed of doing something that beforehand was just completely normal for me. So, using the pacifier – zero problems. Judgmental people – made a six year old feel ashamed. What’s the biggest problem here?

    • IfUSaySo says:

      I agree fully. Once, I called my mom “mama” at the store and a little boy laughed at me and said “that little girl still calls her mom ‘MAMA!!!’ and I stopped right then and there. Those small experience of shame mean so much to kids. Sad.

      • Antonym says:

        @IfUSaySo – this makes me so sad. I’m in my late 30′s and they’re still mommy and daddy. Our relationship has certainly evolved over the years, but there’s a comfort in those terms. The thought of young little you feeling ashamed of using a familiar term of endearment to call your mama’s attention breaks my heart a little.

    • Leigh says:

      Sad. :(

  46. Turningvioletviolet says:

    I care not one jot what they give their child. But DB is English. Why is he using the word pacifier and not dummy? Remember your roots David.

    • K says:

      I hate dummy, to be honest. It has all sorts of overtones that make me squirm – that dumb is stupid, obviously, but also that you shove one in to dumb them. My son loved them most when he was a toddler, and they offered comfort. Pacifier actually seems closer to the mark.

  47. IfUSaySo says:

    ‘Why are people so concerned with others’ kids?’ They arent! They are concern trolling. A way to judge other under the guise of “I care about you and you could face medical problems..”

    Same as people who “educate” formula feeding moms without provocation. Or who repeatedly message parents about car-seat usage (and who post the pics onother websites to shame moms). You don’t know their story and even if you don’t agree its a PERSONAL CHOICE (to form. feed or use a paci.) If you care, if you have genuine love for a parent or their kids, you already know their story. You are happy that they are being well-fed, loved, comforted, and taken care of. If you have an opinion that is rude or not supportive, just remember: no one cares…

  48. Vampi says:

    Parents these days call CPS and the police if they see a child at a playground alone… of an age that *I* used to go and just be yelled at to be home for dinner and that was it. It’s not more dangerous now than it was for me in the 80′s.
    Helicopter parents are not only ruining parents ability to parent, they are causing this gen to be raised as scardey cats and special snowflakes that do nothing but whine and jump at shadows. Ugh.

    • IfUSaySo says:

      You would not believe the weirdo parents I see at my kid’s swim lessons. Their 1-2 yr olds will be whining and screaming and in general just being nutso. The parents refuse to let them walk around (there is even a play area for kids) and just hold them close while the kids fight to get free and explore a little. Many parents are totally normal, but crazy ones make crazy kids.

      • Vampi says:

        It’s really scary. I have a friend that had CPS called on her for just what I said above. Her son who was 8 was playing at a playground at 4:30 pm..and it was a half a block from her house.
        Some busybody called the cops.
        She had to have CPS investigate her home, snooping through everything, and even though they found NO NEGLECT, her son now cannot go and play a half a block from his home because HE is scared. His mom is scared. This. Is. Bull!
        This has to stop. Seriously.

      • IfUSaySo says:

        I’m in a mommy group and sometimes they talk about calling CPS for very odd things. On one hand, it DOES take a village.. On the other hand, if you’re concerned offer help and talk to someone. Don’t immediately call the cops.

      • My hat goes off to you guys to endure being in groups with people like that. I would not cope well with the sanctimommy brigade. When I grew up, we used to run around the whole neighbourhood until the sun went down, playing games that required the use of a few residential blocks as the backdrop. My husband, who grew up in the Scottish Highlands, where we live now, used to disappear for DAYS out camping with his mates, and the only way his mother knew that he was still alive was that from time to time the cans of beans would disappear out of her cupboard when the boys returned temporarily to raid the fridge. Different times. While I know that these days people have to be more vigilant, I suspect allowing their children even a modicum of such lattitude would make these peoples’ heads explode.

      • Vampi says:

        Yep. It’s heartbreaking. I am SO glad I raised my kids in MY time. And even MORE grateful that my gradnkids are being raised like I raised mine. Free range with proper limits…not some freak out mantra of “OMG: what about the children!!?”
        Please! You are NOT helping! LOL!

  49. K says:

    A lot of the pacifier hate is class. People think it’s trashy. I can still remember my grandmother tying herself in knots to justify her opposition when the cot death evidence started to show a protective effect. What she really meant was that she associated it with poverty, and cot death stats had no sway against snobbery.

    In a world that has Charlie Sheen and Kelly Rutherford spawning, people go after the Beckhams over a pacifier? Really? They should just can it, and let people who love their kids, and do right by them when it matters, alone on trivia like this.

  50. Leigh says:

    I don’t understand why anyone would be so concerned about this. I think it’s been amply proven using a pacifier won’t ruin the shape of a child’s mouth or whatever other garbage people are worried will happen. She’s a kid, just let her grow out of it on her own.

  51. Cinderella says:

    At least it wasn’t one of those diamond-encrusted $17,000 binkies. Then I would have rolled my eyes.

  52. Miran says:

    Someone is actually trying to argue with me over at DListed about this because I said that this doesn’t effect anyone but them (like if she needs braces later) so it’s no ones place to judge, and how I get judged for letting my baby sleep with me; because it’s the only way to get her to sleep through the night. This person basically replied and said that other people’s kids are cause for concern because look at all the shootings, and insinuated that David and I must not be good parents. Seriously? Something inconsequential as an occasional binky past an ‘appropriate’ age or bed sharing out of necessity and you’re going to make the logic jump that we must let them sacrifice animals and punch kids at the park. If either of these girls grow up to kill someone it surely isn’t going to be over a binky or bed sharing.

    • OMG, they linked occasional pacifier use and your kid sleeping in bed with you with MASS SHOOTINGS?

      Clearly this person is a rocket scientist. I wonder what peer-reviewed, multi-source evidence they were referencing when they came up with that one.

      • Miran says:

        Yeah I was like OH OK THEN. I’m actually mildly surprised because usually commenters at DListed aren’t asshats like that.

  53. Vampi says:

    It’s really scary. I have a friend that had CPS called on her for just what I said above. Her son who was 8 was playing at a playground at 4:30 pm..and it was a half a block from her house.
    Some busybody called the cops.
    She had to have CPS investigate her home, snooping through everything, and even though they found NO NEGLECT, her son now cannot go and play a half a block from his home because HE is scared. His mom is scared. This. Is. Bull!
    This has to stop. Seriously.

    • Miran says:

      Helicopter parents are ruining it for everyone else. That would be like someone calling CPS on me for letting my three year old go to the park with his older cousins….but I can physically see the park from my front porch.

    • Jess says:

      I can’t take it, my god that’s ridiculous!! I walked to school by myself at 6, and stayed gone all day on the weekends, but back then people also knew each other and knew each other’s kids, and they all pitched in and helped out when needed. I remember getting yelled at or even occasionally spanked people other than my parents, and they didn’t go call CPS because someone dared to scold their special little snowflake, they figured I deserved it and went on with life, lol.

    • Child doc says:

      Please. The real tragedy is the kids who endure serious abuse, or are even killed, because CPS doesn’t intervene. This is probably from my line of work, but I have seen far more of that than middle-class parents being unfairly targeted.

  54. Lucky Charm says:

    My daughter never used a pacifier because she didn’t like them, but boy did she like sucking her thumb! I got plenty of comments about that, especially from my MIL. She eventually stopped on her own when she was ready, but probably far longer than many busy bodies would have liked. At least with her thumb in her mouth, she wasn’t coloring on the wallpaper or riding her bike on the roof, lol! ☺

    • Jj says:

      So it is the lazy parent’s solution, then? Don’t expend energy taking care of your children, let them use a pack or suck their thumb for a ridiculous amount of time instead.

  55. Nicole says:

    Pretty sure they can afford to get the kid’s teeth fixed if need be. Or replaced with diamonds.

  56. HHY says:

    She’s so darn cute

  57. jemimaleopard says:

    I’m not judgy at all and I think it’s totally their call if they want to let their daughter walk around with the dummy/pacifier in her mouth. That said though, the Beckhams use their kids to further Brand Beckham, allow them to be papped, parade them about in front of photographers etc. The kids do seem happy and well adjusted, but you I don’t think you can use your kids for publicity and then bitch about it when people are judging your parenting!