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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Support or Subord? Your Choice

Before I became a parent, I would hear all these stories about how parents were judgmental of one another. I guess I didn't "get it" because I didn't understand the whole parenting dynamic - for example, I remember vowing to myself that I wouldn't bribe my children. Guess what? YES, I'll give them a cookie as we walk into the grocery store in hopes that it will keep things peaceful long enough to accomplish all of my shopping. YES, I'll get them to leave the park by promising we will stop for ice cream on the way home (it's much easier than dealing with a tantrum and carrying two toddlers away from the swing set).

There are more than likely parents out there who are judging my parenting..."if only she would show those kids that she is the boss...." "if she wouldn't spoil them..." "why a cookie instead of a carrot, doesn't she..." blah blah blah

These parents aren't wrong...but neither am I. What they don't know is that my daughter hates carrots and my son will hold them in his cheek until he thinks I'm not looking and spit them somewhere. They both happen to like cookies, and they are readily available for a small fee at the bakery counter of most grocery stores. They also don't know that I have a 40 pound lifting restriction from an old back injury and I cannot physically carry both of my children out of the park and it's technically not legal to leave one in the car while I go back for the other one.

What's the point? The point is that it's easy to judge when we don't know the specifics. It's easy to make assumptions. The problem is, it's not in any way helpful. If you see a mother struggling with her children, or if you know a mother who is having troubles, offer her your support. Point out all the things she does well. IE: "your daughters hair always looks so nice" "the children are so well behaved, you've taught them good manners" "wow, you are very patient with your children..." etc...

If you aren't supporting these parents, you are treating them like subordinates which by definition means you think more highly of yourself than them. The truth is, every parent is simply doing the best they can in the given situation. No two children are alike, and no two parents are alike. Let's spend our time supporting one another instead of judging one another. Parenting is hard enough as it is without feeling the glare of judgment.

It's a choice - you are either supporting or subording - what choice will you make?

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine and support!


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