We’ve all been in the grocery store or the Wal-Mart, or any other store where children like to “break down”. Maybe it’s your kid who breaks down, maybe it’s another. Maybe it’s your kids who gets the gimmees. Maybe it’s another. Maybe it’s your child who is on their best behavior. Maybe it’s another. Maybe it’s your kid who is hiding in the clothes rack. Maybe it’s your child’s father. Either way, good or bad, I feel like I’m quick to judge.
These judgments are easy to make. I can clearly see the problem and can quickly thank my lucky stars it’s not my kids (this time). But sometimes the judgement is not on how your kid is behaving but how you are. Your parenting skills are put under a microscope and I will judge if what you are doing is right, wrong, smart or stupid. Are you a helicopter (or snowplow) parent? You shun processed food and server strictly organic and homemade food? Are you a stay home mom or do you have a career? And dads… where and how do you fit into the family? These are more difficult to judge because it takes observation and conversation. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to judge. It just happens. I know how DW and I are attempting to raise our two boys and anything different is strange.
There’s a splendid video (commercial?) depicting a stand-off at a playground between breastfeeding moms, “crunchy granola” moms, stay home dads, career moms, and a gambit of various stereotypes. They covered every kind of parent and they’re all quick to judge. Not so much as claiming themselves superior, but everyone else inferior. Nevermind… just watch it.
Now that I’ve said I’m judgmental, I also want to say I know when to keep my trap shut. I won’t say anything about what you and your kid are doing or how your behaving. It’ll simply be a thought that goes through my head. Judgmental thoughts usually don’t last any longer than the thoughts of a goldfish.
In the end, we’re all parents first. It matters not what I think of you, your kid or your parenting style. You’re a parent doing the best you know how. It doesn’t matter what you think of me, my kids or my parenting style. I am a parent doing the best I know how. We can still be best friends. Or friends. Or acquaintances. Or two strangers standing in the same long line at the busy grocery store.
Do I let my judgmental thoughts effect what I think of you as a person? Certainly not. Do I judge myself even more harshly than I do you? Absolutely. So lets let bygones be bygones and lets not let how we judge determine our treatment of others.