We have all done it. We judge other people. We try not to, we really do. But it seems to be something ingrained in our nature as humans. Is she really wearing that? Does he really like that dorky game? Of course it’s not right, but we’ve all done it. You don’t have to raise your hands and confess or anything, we’ll just nod in agreement.
Just the way we judge others in every other aspect of life, we judge other parents. We all have a technique or a method to raising our children that we think is the right way, even the best way in our eyes. Maybe it’s the same way your parents raised you, or maybe it’s the opposite of your parents’ methods for one reason or another. Maybe you believe putting your kids in a preverbal bubble is best, or maybe you let them walk down the street without you. We have our ways, and we judge others for being different.
What about extreme parenting? That’s certainly a topic we hear about a lot. Bravo even made a mini-series about it. Extreme Guide to Parenting. I’m sure some of you tuned in, I certainly was curious enough.
There was a couple who was training their infant to tell them with hand signals that she was hungry or needed to use the bathroom. She went diaper less. They let her crawl about, sit in her high chair, the whole nine yards, naked. They said they could pick up on her facial expressions and body language and determine when she needed what. Did it work? Sometimes. But then there were many times when she went potty all over the beautiful hardwood floors. Of course I sat there watching with my mouth gaping open. Are these people crazy?
How about the parents who made their children do karate for the better part of their day? They were discouraged from being individuals or showing emotions. Just, wow.
Yes, we judge other parents. It’s natural. But do we ever stop to think that others may be judging us for the decisions we’re making with our children? If I don’t let my kids go out with their friends unless I meet their parents, am I an extreme parent? Are others stick their noses up at me?
I guess we’re allowed to have our opinions, but who’s to say we know what’s best for another person’s child? I think we can all agree no matter what style of parenting is used, that someday that child will grow into a healthy and happy person who is capable of making their own choices, even for their own child one day.