Let me preface this Blog post with this.
I know that my son isn’t perfect. He doesn’t listen some times, he cries and whines, he throws tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants and sometimes he can be rude. He’s also two and a half. I also know that he is kind, loving, energetic, smart and sensitive. As a parent, it can be difficult to see your child’s faults.
What’s interesting about this concept is that as adults we have many faults too. We sometimes don’t listen, we whine and cry, we throw tantrums (in private- hopefully!) and sometimes we can be rude. The difference- we know better.
As a mother, not many things bother me. The unsolicited advice from others, the judgmental looks and the questions, unfortunately are all part of parenthood. One thing that really bothers me, however, is when other people try to parent and discipline my son. I will say as a side note, there are and can be some exclusions to this rule: parents, grandparents and child care providers.
I was recently at someone’s house, both my husband and I were there with our son. He was the only child there. There were other adults all there as well. The entire time two individuals in particular (who are not parents), who never really see my son or spend time playing with him spent the entire time disciplining him. They would tell him ‘no’, ‘don’t touch that’, ‘say please’…you get the point. Now, I would and could understand if my husband and I weren’t there the entire time or if he was causing harm to himself or others. Neither was the case.
What I really struggle to understand is why someone would even want to discipline someone else’s kids. It’s exhausting. I am sure that these types of people really believe they could be doing a better job, that their child will never behave like my son and that they will never throw a tantrum. To them, I say Kudos. Kudos for believing that, and for living in a world full of rainbows and butterflies. Enjoy sitting in judgment. Leave the discipline and parenting to the parents or those charged with the responsibility- that’s our job.
So as I sit here slightly ranting about the sheer and utter annoyance that I feel when people try and parent my son, I leave you with this. We live in a world where it is very easy to make assumptions and judgments based on very little fact, evidence and experience. My advice is to always remember, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things” (Romans 2:1).