Over at Making the Moments Count, Amber recently posted about Competitive Parenting. Which led her to starting a notion called “Non-Judgmental Parenting”. I would not have known about this except for that fact that it struck a cord with my friend Shana and she posted about it at her blog, A Queen Among Kings.
Her (Amber’s) concept of Non-Judgmental Parenting comes out of her unhappiness with how competitive parents can be. Whether it is about co-sleeping, attachment parenting, stay-at-home vs. working parents, breast feeding vs. formula, etc. etc., it seems as though we all feel we must take a “side” and make it “my way or the highway”. I have always found that type of attitude to be destructive to all involved. Just because I am able to and choose to be a stay-at-home parent, that does not mean it is right for all and that everyone should be doing it. Some are unable financially, some just feel they are better served being a working parent. Who am I to determine what is right for others?
I, like I am sure all of you have, come across this type of attitude in more than one area of my life. From the fact that I stayed home from the moment Chloe was born, to my decision to homeschool in recent years, I have heard more than enough scrutiny, not only from strangers, but from people close to me as well. I often wonder if the constant judgment from other led me to be a person who has often taken a stand for what I choose, as well as for the right of others to do the same. My often used saying is, “There is a reason why there are …….24 Crayons in a box, so many religions in the world, careers to pick and choose, parenting styles to adopt,” and so on.
This has been my model in life and the one I try and set for my children. “You need to do what is right for you. That does not make it right or wrong, just what is right for you. Others need to pick what works for them, and even though it may be different from what we choose, that doesn’t automatically make it wrong.”
Amber closes her post, with a very similar sentiment:
“We are all different, this means that we are also different parents. What works for me may not work for you. And that is okay. The important thing is that my, and your, children are well nourished–emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. How we make this work is dependent on our individual personalities.” -Amber
So as you go forward from here, I urge you to stop and think twice about the attitudes you promote and take on towards others. We all could use a little more support, and encouragement, and a LOT less judgment, discouragement and negativity!