We all love a great gossip session with our best friend or sibling, catching up on the people you went to school with or crazy observations you have made from watching the parents around us. We talk – a lot, and a great deal of that yammer is about what we have seen other parents do that we don’t agree with. Let’s be real for a second — parents can be strange creatures — all of us!
It’s almost as if we walk the world being cool, independent people and then baby comes along and we set so many rules, worry all the time, and create this web of structure around us called parenthood. That I’m not judging at all — in fact I think that it’s wonderful that there are so many different types of parents in the world nurturing the next generation of human beings. It’s what makes the world go round and makes us all different and unique individuals.
Yes, there are some ‘crazies’ out there and we can laugh at them and agree that they raise their children differently to how we raise ours — and that’s ok. It’s not them that I’m judging. Who I am judging though, with my whole heart, are the parental judgers. These are the people who ridicule, vocalise, and talk about difference in parenting behind people’s back, to their faces, through social media — everywhere. In all seriousness, each and every parent is completely entitled to their opinion and is allowed to raise their child in the best way that they see fit. If they aren’t doing their family any harm, who are we to judge?
But the judgment has gotten out of control. The parenting world has become a fearful place. We are sometimes afraid to parent the way that we want to, apprehensive about what people will think in public. This leads to inconsistency in our parenting styles and some very confused children. And we are doing this to ourselves. It is a vicious cycle that needs an ending point. Be compassionate. Be understanding. Be the person that we teach our children to be. Set the example and stop the cycle. Think about a trip to the playground for instance, as this is a place where you experience so many different types of parents in one concentrated place. We’ve got the helicopter parents, the overly critical parents, the mom who expects everyone else to watch her kids—you see it all! But as parents, we should try to be more of a community, a support system for one another, instead of criticising.
Can you image what a trip to the playground would be like if us parents watched out for each other?
The world would be a much more wonderful place! So join me, and stop the judging—start a movement!