A father has divided opinion after scolding a woman for calling his baby daughter "gorgeous."
Left confused by a bizarre encounter with a stranger, a woman has sought the opinion of fellow parents in a bid to discover if she was in the wrong.
Sharing the incident on parenting website Mumsnet, the woman involved explained how she was standing outside a café with her own nine-month-old baby when she was approached by a man carrying a toddler.
She explained that the man's daughter wanted to see her baby and so she introduced them before asking how old the child was and greeting her by saying, "Hello lovely, aren't you gorgeous?"
Despite her good intentions, the woman's compliment was surprisingly met with a harsh response from the father. "The man looked me sternly in the eyes and said, 'Oh no, don't tell her that, language like that ruins them!'" she explained.
"I found this really sad, but maybe I'm in the wrong?"
The mother went on to explain that she works with children and often uses language like this with her friend's little ones. "This is the first time I've come across this kind of attitude, and I must admit I thought he was joking and laughed in his face," she added.
The post on the parenting advice website has since received hundreds of replies from other users, but while some agreed that the father was overreacting, others insisted that adults should reinforce children's strengths beyond their looks.
"I would say that being told I was pretty as a little kid did cause me problems," one person commented. "Because (a) it made me feel like being pretty was something important and that I'd somehow achieved something because people thought it about me, and (b) when I grew up into a fairly normal-looking older child and teen I was devastated that people didn't routinely say it to me anymore, because it was something I'd attached such weight to."