I wish I could, with 100% honesty, say that since becoming a parenting I have become less judgmental. I am not a snob or one to throw labels on people, and it’s not like I was super judgey before I had kids, but even with my open-mindedness, I am pretty opinionated. I’m also a bit of a curmudgeon.
The word judgmental can carry a negative vibe. But in a sense it’s just a matter of forming an opinion. When it comes to parenting, we all have opinions. And if all of our opinions were the same, all of us parents would be members of the same parenting cult, reading the same parenting manuals, and what-to-feed-our-kid cookbooks. We would all subscribe to the same parenting philosophy.
The thousands and thousands of book titles that popped up on the Amazon website when I searched for parenting books say otherwise. From attachment parenting to food choices to the amount of television a child should watch, there are many different and sometimes controversial ways to raise a kid.
Before I had children, I was certainly less understanding of the parent with the screaming child at a restaurant. Or of the friends who were late because of a child-related excuse. I now empathize with parents in child-centered complications, and thank my good luck that on any particular day it’s not one of my children screaming their displeasure.
But what hasn’t changed for me since becoming a parent is my sometimes snap judgment of another parent. I had a pretty clear vision of what type of parent I wanted to be, of how I wanted to do things that would give my child an advantage in life or how I would do things differently than my parents.
There are a handful of parenting rules my partner and I try to live by. And there are moments when I find myself rolling my eyes when I see other parents doing the exact opposite of what we try to do. But I remind myself that different is not always wrong. It might not be wrong, but my way is better, right? Probably not.
My judgments or opinions are never formed with malice. I recognize there are many ways to be a parent and many of those ways will produce successful citizens, in spite of what we do or don’t do as parents. I admit it: I am a little judgmental sometimes. But I would be a hypocrite if I said I never break my own rules. Some days are better than others, and I do the best I can on each day.
As parents, we should support one another because parenting is too hard to do it alone. And we should encourage new and different opinions. We just might learn something, whether we agree with it or not.
This from The Mother ‘Hood illustrates that when push comes to shove all judgements are
dropped when it comes to looking out for our children.