Shares

They say that if you don’t know what to do with your child, ask someone who isn’t a parent, because they have all the answers. It is so true. I knew a LOT about parenting until the day my baby was born, and then it all went out the window.

We went to Greenwich today. The one where all time starts. But that’s besides the point. We went to a toy shop, filled with beautiful wooden toys, board games, card games, marbles and paraphernalia enough to keep any child happy. There was a little boy, as we walked in, saying,” I just want to…” and his dad cut in, “you’ve had your time Matthew”.

“But I just want to show you one thing!”
“You had your opportunity”
“Just quickly, one thing”
“Do you want to spend the rest of the day in your room”!
“Please Daddy”
“Okay, that’s it”

And that nearly broke my heart. I felt so sorry for the little boy, and my first thought was of how mean the father was, and would it really cost him anything to take an extra 20 seconds out of his day.

But then I thought a little more, and I realised that I don’t know anything about this man, or his child, or the baby in the stroller, or their absent mother. I have no idea how much he has slept, how long he’s let his son loose in the toy shop or what their commitments are, or why he has to be so strict on his child.

I think that parents, or at least the vast majority of us, love our children. They are the true ‘for better or worse’ in our lives, the indubitable ‘in sickness and in health’. Most of us want what’s best for our babies. So I for one will concern myself with my child, and my home, and really ‘judge not, lest you be judged.’ (Matthew 7:1, the Bible)

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12 Comments

Thou Shalt Not… Judge Any Other Parent

  1. Hi Luschka, great post and very apt. It is amazing how much commentary and critique you get as a parent – from the minute you tell the world about your pregnancy until i guess the rest of your life.

    Everybody has an opinion, but nobody else is in your shoes and most of us as parents are just muddling through, doing the best we can and discovering what works as we go along.

    What especially annoyed me as a new mum was reading some ‘experts’ who didn’t have kids of their own, writing baby books that made me feel like I was a failure. The funny thing is even parents, especially us mums, can be as judgmental and hard on each other.

    The best gift you can give your child – and to another parent – is patience… to let them be an individual, to figure some stuff out on their own, and to learn from their mistakes.

    Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Babes about Town´s last blog ..Fashion Week at Topshop =-.

  2. That’s so true! We’re so quick to judge other parents out in public with their kids without taking into consideration the many things that may or may not have been going on behind the scenes. We can’t possibly know what’s going on unless we’re in that parent’s shoes and it’s so unfair for us to judge. Thank you so much for the reminder.
    And as always, thank you for stopping by my blog. I think it’s about time I subscribe to receive updates to your blog. I’m here all the time anyway. 🙂 Hope you have a great week.

    Kristi, Live and Love…Out Loud
    @TweetingMama
    .-= Kristi´s last blog ..My Valentine =-.

  3. No one really knows what other parents are going through. Besides every parent having a life, each child has a different disposition. Unless summon asks, I make it not a point to give my opinion on rearing a child.

    Every parent is different and I agree with you. It is hard not to think about it, but it takes a lot of goodness to stand back and think about it. Too many already step in where they should not.

    “You don’t know me” comes to mind….lol
    .-= Nile´s last blog ..Worrying, A Natural Parental Instinct =-.

    1. @Melodie, I agree – I sometimes really have to bite my tongue. But what can you do? I try to help or ‘suggest’ where I know it might make a difference, and other times I just say a prayer under my breath for the child involved. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thank you for that 🙂 It one of the big lessons I’ve learned with Michael…
    I have had mother’s come up to me in various places to tell me what a terrible mother I am or asking me why I don’t discipline my child…
    I suppose to them, they judge my child based on their own and what they’d do if they behaved badly… Nevertheless it hurts especially when you feel you’re doing your best, especially being faced with challenges they’ll never have to face…
    As you say, its a true for better or worse relationship. We love them in both their good and bad moments, sadly sometimes they have to put up with ours with the same tolerance…

    1. @Nicky, Thanks Nicky, Yes, I can imagine it must be so much harder in Michael’s case. I guess people in general are just judgemental. That’s the problem with non – physical illnesses I guess – if you can’t see them, it’s harder to understand them. We think you’re doing a great job though. He’s a wonderful little boy!

  5. It’s sooooo difficult when we’re only given a little snippet of the picture. IN your shoes, I’d have felt the same way. But then, as you point out, there could be any number of things we don’t know about that make that father’s reactions either unstandable or even laudable.

    Judge not indeed…
    .-= Tim´s last blog ..Please help =-.

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