Why we shouldn’t judge parents: Everyone makes mistakes!
Today I was reminded of exactly how judgmental people can be and why we shouldn’t judge parents. That’s a good thing because every once in a while you need to walk in someone else’s shoes.
I tried to ‘nip’ in to our local bakery with my miniature dachshund under my arm to get some bread. Did I know that dachshunds aren’t usually allowed in the bakery even for mere seconds. Well, actually no although I did think it was a possibility, even if there was absolutely no risk that he’d get behind the glass and gobble the croissants.
I guess I was just optimistic of my chances since I’d just spent an hour and had pictured in my mind the lovely walk followed by the fresh bread combined with the fact I’d exercised the dog all before 8.30 am!
Guilty as I was of making assumptions and feeling way too pleased with myself, I found myself in front of the bread shop amongst a deck full of sun worshipping coffee drinkers with a dachshund that I found upon arrival, had to remain outside.
Hmm dilemma, which I finally solved by spotting a friend/acquaintance who even though she quite obviously hated dogs offered to ‘hold’ his lead anyway. Well Diggy the dachshund acted like a hooligan barking with the intensity of a foghorn, over the longest two minute period of my life, effectively drying up most of the conversation around him. Once I reappeared obviously flustered she added to my distress by suggesting that she had thought I was good at behaviour. Well, that stung.
Why we shouldn’t judge parents: Because we’re human!
The bottom line is I was embarrassed. I’d let my need for bread after a long walk, outweigh other’s needs for a quiet conversation. I might have hoped that the thought had just remained inside her head as I’d quite obviously learned my lesson but it didn’t and suddenly I felt exactly the same as if my toddler thrown a meltdown in the aisle, embarrassed and defensive.
So why am I sharing this sad morning’s humiliation?
Well because, people are judgemental. You can hope that many would keep their opinions to themselves and give people a little leeway but they don’t. That’s because my action shattered their peace and they felt within their right to tell me.
I felt like justifying myself and telling them about the walk there and the long walk home. Surely two minutes of minor discomfort wouldn’t kill them.
Why we shouldn’t judge parents: Because we have no idea what they’re dealing with!
It’s the same with kids. There’s usually a reason for the tantrum. Your child is tired or maybe they’re sick. Maybe their just being a pain in the butt but nobody’s perfect and that’s what I’d like to have said in response. Shouldn’t we all try and walk in someone else’s shoes and have some empathy?
No I wasn’t perfect and neither is anyone I know. I made a choice and it didn’t go as planned. It’s amazing because I go to in to the homes of hundreds of parents and it’s odd that once you stop looking for perfection you start to see all the other wonderful aspects of being human, like fear of messing up and that of endless courage in facing difficulties.
Why we shouldn’t judge parents: Because they need to know getting it wrong is normal!
Parents call me because they care. They care that they’re getting it wrong and they want what’s ultimately best for their kids, even if coming to terms with where they’re at is the hardest thing. To fix it they have to get over the fear I’ll be judgmental. Ironically I’m not because I know what that feels like. I got reminded of it this morning.
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