Friday, 17 April 2015

The Judgemental Parent


When I was a young younger Mum people often used to comment on how laid back I was and that nothing the kids did ever seemed to phase me. Some people loved that about me and others found it annoying. It irritated me if someone made a snide comment about the way I raised my children and it would baffle me why they would be concerned. I didn't look at them and criticise the way they were parenting, so why look at me. What business is it of theirs?

Compared with a lot of my friends I guess I was considered a bit of a soft touch. I would be the mum down the street that had all the kids in for dinner or for water fights, sometimes so many kids that you would be forgiven for assuming I was running a creche. I'd let my kids roll in the mud, climb trees, be loud, be silly and be outrageous. We had ropes tied from the tree that would swing us into a giant paddling pool and they had wild bouncy castle birthday parties at home.  I let them be kids and learn to make their own decisions with a feeling of freedom attached to them. We are not a perfect family, but we are happy and isn't that what life is all about? Isn't feeling happy our main goal in life? If so, we achieved it with how we were doing things.


Judgemental parents are my pet hate. I don't really get it.It doesn't affect me so much these days as my four are grown, my eldest three kids are in their twenties and my youngest is fifteen, so I escape a lot of the judgements. But I do get the odd person who might scoff about my Daughters home schooling and it drives me barmy. I don't like the school their child attends but do I tell them that? No, of course not because that school works for them, their child is happy and doing well in school. My child studies better at home and is happy. It is as simple as that.

Generally judgements come from people who have no experience of your life or what has shaped you as a parent. They usually never look at themselves or ever perceive that they might not be so perfect themselves or simply the decisions that they make as a parent works for them, but it might not work for me and visa versa. The need to judge another says more about them than it does me, usually they are insecure about themselves and feel threatened by people who they assume are having an easier time. 


I was raised in quite a strict, religious home. I had a wonderful childhood and my Mum was the absolute best. We had lots of adventures and we were allowed to run free and be 'real' kids, but when I reached my teenage years she was a tad 'old school' and I was made guided to take routes that I didn't agree with. For example, my longed for art degree wasn't taken seriously and I was told "art would get me nowhere in life" so I wasn't allowed to take art as one of my options at school, I was forced to attend a church that I didn't believe in and I wasn't allowed to have the same freedom that my peers were granted. Don't get me wrong, I'm really not complaining, because I did have a very happy home life and I know my Mum loved me to bits, but as I reached my teens I longed to have my very strong opinions valued. 

Some may see mum's parenting decisions as 'discipline', but as a strong willed teen I saw it as control and a rejection of who I was. The result was a very angry, wild, rebellious teenager who run away from home and fell off the rails for a little while. It could have ended very badly had I not met my now Hubby.


Then I became a parent myself, and it suddenly dawned on me that parenting is bloody hard work and making decisions about what you think is best for your child, and your family is no easy task. I realised that Mum come from a different generation to me, and her generation sometimes did struggle to connect with us wild eighties kids. She made me attend church with the hope of raising a daughter with morals and values, and she really did think that a living could not be made from 'art'. Every choice she made for me was because she loved me and wanted the best for me. Some of those decisions were right and some were wrong. Now as I look back, I'm glad she made me go to the church that I hated so much, because while I was there I built, strong life long friendships with people I love and If she had allowed me to take the artist route that I craved, I would never have rebelled and met my soul mate. 


I guess what I'm trying to say is, that we all make certain parenting choices  because of who we are and where we come from. My hubby was badly beaten by his father and suffered a lot of verbal abuse as a child which made him into the wonderfully soft, loving dad that he has always been our with kids. So, next time you spot that parent who you think is a little too soft on their kids, remember that everyone has a story to tell, a past that makes them who they are, and there are often reasons behind parenting choices that you might not know about. Who the hell are we to judge anyone? Live and let live is my motto.




Have you ever been on the end of judgemental parenting observations, or have you found yourself doing it?


37 comments:

  1. i think we all come to a point in our lives where we realise we only know what we want for our children and whats best for them and with growing up in different situations we tend to try that little better or harder to do the opposite for our children , well i know i have

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    1. I totally agree and every family and their present/past situation is different, so we will all does things differently too x

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  2. I find my views on how my parents raised me have changed since being a parent myself, that and the mellowing that getting older brings. I love your old family photos x

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    1. Thanks Annie, I used to really disagree with my Mums way of doing things until I had kids, then I appreciated every decision she ever made, even if I didn't agree x

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  3. I also love the pictures and the post. I have just read a book called the daughterhood which got me thinking about our relationships with both our parents and how different they all are. There is little point judging - I don't think it makes anyone happy.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I will have to look out for that book, it sounds interesting. We are products of our upbringing and we parent depending on our experiences and how they may have affected us x

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  4. Stuff them you sound like an ace parent! The mum everyone would want. I bet your house was full of laughter.

    I do agree, we are all the product of our past experiences, that's what moulds us and we shouldn't judge others for their parenting techniques. Great post. x

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    1. Aww Thanks Liz, I have a lot of happy memories and a lot of those kids from my old neighbourhood still come visit me and some even holiday with us, some 20 years later. It was worth the constant mess in the house and garden, lol x

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  5. I think you are confusing judging with rudeness (personally). I think we all make judgements (like you not liking that school) but the difference is not being rude about them and keeping them to ourselves.

    Yes I make judgements all the time. My brother was hit and killed by a car at aged 6 so I DO judge those who let their children play on a busy street. NO it is no business of mine, but I do think someone should be making sure the children are safe. No I don't make judgements on parents just because they don't do things my way and yes I think young moms are badly judged.

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    1. So sorry about your little brother, what a heartbreaking thing to happen to your family. Must admit I'm pretty neurotic about kids being close to the road, especially busy roads as I was very nearly run over myself as a child - a car braked and the car bumper was so close it was touching my back. A scary moment and I was very lucky.

      I definitely agree that there is a difference between making judgements and being rude, you make a really good point. There is no excuse for rudeness x

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    2. Oh gosh that must have been so frightening for you x

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    3. I remember freezing with fear and the lady driving the car shouting at me because I had run across the road without looking. It was outside my house and my friend who lived opposite had called me over to her side. I was a lot more aware after that x

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  6. It is all to easy to reach judgements and obviously people will get it wrong sometimes. My parents were quite old school too, but they mellowed as we grew up.

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    1. Yes, my Mum did mellow too, she was much less strict with my younger siblings x

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  7. Unfortunately people will always judge, but I have to say you sound exactly like the parent I want to be :) xxx

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  8. I think it's kind of inevitable that people will have their own opinions and will make judgements based on those. At the end of the day we all want the best for our children and believe we know what that is. We then think if it's the best for our children it must be the best for everyone else's too, which is obviously not the case. It's the differing views on what is in the best interests of our children that makes the world the place it is.

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  9. A really interesting post. I agree being too judgemental is never good, but I do think children need support and guidance.

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  10. People always judge, you just need to do what is right and you know what is right for you and your children

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  11. Great post. Sometimes it's hard because whether people speak them or not, they always have a view.

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  12. I don't have children so never something I have endured and I am definitely not one to judge after all how could I.

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  13. Some great old family photos there - I think you have to follow your own instincts though it is difficult as everyone wants to put in their penny's worth! x

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  14. Beautiful post and very true! We all raise our kids in the way that's right for them and right for us. It may not fit in with whatever is right for them, but it works for us and nobody should question or frown on anyone else's decision.

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  15. I was 18 and single when I had my first child and 27 and married when I had my second. Did it make a difference? Nope! The sorts of people who make those judgements will always find something to pick holes in if they want to!

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  16. Such a beautiful and honest post, it had me reflecting all the way to the end.

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  17. I'm totally with you. Too many judgey people out there. I have no idea why people think their way of parenting is the only or the best way... they certainly haven't tried and failed that with my younger daughter yet :D Great post, just hope no-one has been rattling your cage lately to cause it?! Ignore them if so, sounds like you've done a fab job - and yes happiness means the world :)

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  18. I think it is just part of who we are to be judgmental, even though some try not to be. I think as long as you are doing what you think is right then nothing else matters x

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  19. Unfortunately most parents are judged at some point, whether its because they bottle fed instead of breast feeding, wore disposable nappies instead if cloth - the list is endless and its so unnecessary. As long as kids are happy and healthy that's what really matters x

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  20. i think we can all be judgemental to a point but i tend to reserve my judgment till i know all the facts xxx

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  21. I think you're right, sometimes when someone is judgmental it's because they're feeling threatened. But parents are usually just trying to do the best thing for their child, as you say.

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  22. I have definitely mellowed as I have got older but there are times when you have to be strict with the children

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  23. I try to never judge, and even if I might occasionally have judgey thoughts I would never dream of sharing them. Each to their own I say!

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  24. Loved this post Mama S. I hate judgemental parenting, it's a tough job, and belittling someone else because of their decisions does, as you say, say alot about the person judging! xx

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  25. Oh I so hear you! There are judgmental parents EVERYWHERE...so annoying and best ignored!!

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  26. I think we all judge at times... I know I do but I try to keep those comments to myself

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  27. My motto too. Though it is so easy to judge, even when you don't want to.

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  28. Mummy hasn't really had any comments. You have to do what is right for you x

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