Parental Judgement…….this is on my heart and in my mind.
It is so easy to look across the street, next to you in the dance studio waiting room, down the sideline at a youth soccer game, and make a judgement about what some other parent is doing with their child. This is something I have seen over and over again in my 13 years of parenting. This behavior is so hurtful, to the parents and the children. Just because I _____________ (fill in the blank with whatever you want), does not mean that you have to or that I should believe and push that it is right for you and your child. Every parent and child, or person for that matter is different and has different surrounding circumstances that go in to their decisions.
In a previously written post about Competitive vs. Non-Judemental Parenting I state one of my motto’s for life, one I try and set as an example 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.”
We need to look at the world around us and all the influences and filter them through with the overriding thought that, “This it isn’t about you, it is about us.”
Yes there are exceptions. There always are, things like truth, and telling the truth; Lying, encouraging your kids to lie are an absolute. But things like being a stay at home parent or a working parent, to play soccer or football, which gym to attend, or school to go to (or not in the case of homeschooling), what religion you choose for your family, these things aren’t for us to decide for others. No matter how strongly you feel about a given situation, it is not your place to judge.
I have spent my life making choices for me and not apologizing for who I am, taking into account my needs and what is best for me has almost always come first. My parenting is no different. The decisions made about our children are about our children, not about the neighbors up the street who jumped shipped to go to another team, or the best friend who is allowed to play this video game, or the parent who thinks my children will not get the education they need being homeschooled, but about our children and our family as a whole. Just because we homeschool doesn’t mean I believe that is what is right for everyone, nor does it make us wrong because your child is in public school.
When you look at someone else who has made choices that are different from your own, I hope that you can accept them for what they are, and not what your idea of them is. That isn’t to say that you have to agree or that if something is strongly opposed to what you hold to be important that you shouldn’t distance yourself. Just know that even your best advice comes from looking at families from the outside and from your viewpoints and experiences. There are no crystal balls when it comes to raising kids. For every family whose child is proof that THIS is the way or THAT is a mistake, there’s another family ready to prove just the opposite. So take in to account you and your family, leave out the outside distractions, and work on giving others the same consideration.