Something that I try really, really, hard not to do is judge other people, especially other parents. I know everyone struggles to get through sometimes, parenting isn't easy, I'm not perfect myself etc. etc. I love children (particularly my own) but I realize that they can be unreasonable and demanding beings. Raising kids can put you in the middle of situations that the parenting manuals just don't warn you about. My own children have provided my hubby and I with our fair share of embarrassing moments. Often a fellow parent needs a lifeline rather than an opinion. I get all of that.
Sometimes though, I just can't help myself...I judge. In my years as a mom, I've encountered situations that honestly make me shake my head and think, I would never do that! Barring a complete mental lapse, I never will.
Perhaps it might be helpful if I describe some situations that cause me to narrow my eyes and think mean thoughts about other parents. I know I'm not the only one who does.
-If you're sitting in a restaurant, church, the movies, or anyplace where quiet is expected and your child starts screaming for longer than a couple of minutes, and you do nothing...I judge. Every parent in the world has been through the baby/toddler/temper tantrum in public phase. Those of us who are considerate of our fellow man will take the screaming child out to calm them, instead of inflicting their antics on others. Is it fun for the parent? No, but it's a passing phase if you take the time to teach your little darling that they're not the center of the universe and that if they want to be allowed out of the house they need to behave.
-If my twelve year old invites your twelve year old over for a swim and you take the liberty of sending your seven and nine year old over too, even though they weren't invited and I've never met you... I judge. I get it, you want a break because your kids are annoying hooligans who chase cats, throw toys all over and act way younger than their ages. It can't be fun to live with them, but guess what? I have better things to do with my time than to provide free child care for you.
-If I tell the above children that it's not a good time for us, and they start whining, It's not fair! Our parents said to come over till 6:30....I judge.
-If your child does come over to my house and proceeds to nag my kid for snacks and then throws the wrappers on the floor...I judge. I realize that this situation is out of your control, but teach some manners already!
-If you take your child to the library, a place that was traditionally a sanctuary of silence, and proceed to allow the child to loudly play while you are loudly chatting yourself...I judge. I get it that standards in the children's section have
-If you take your child to a party, knowing that they are sick and contagious...I judge. Yes, it's hard to disappoint your child if they've been looking forward to the cake and balloons, but hey that's life. There will be other parties. Of course your kid might not be invited to them if it becomes known that you're a family of germ spreaders. Just saying.
I've now been a parent for almost thirteen years, and have experienced these situations more times than I care to recall. I could make my list longer, but then I might start to sound like a whiny parent and be forced to judge myself. What about you? What makes you completely lose sympathy and judge other parents?
linking to: Pour Your Heart Out