Parental Judgement

Do you think a childless 20 something year old single person has any right pass judgement on parents after having only been in the family's presence to take a food order, refill a drink and settle a bill?

As a parent for only 2+ years to one child I fully admit I am not an authority on the how to's of parenting.

My instinct is to however always give the benefit of the doubt. When I see an example of a parent losing control of their kid, I do not pass judgement on them, I think "bad day prolly" or "Maybe the kid has some sort of disorder, ADHD or something i've never even heard of". Once I saw a documentary on a mother to a 3 year old with a terminal disease that was gauranteed to kill her kid any day and she throughout the rule book on discipline and pretty much let her kid do whatever he wanted, she wanted his time on earth to be full of bliss, only happiness and joy. I understand that and tend to agree with her, so long as the child is safe, hell ya if he could die any day I would be running down the grocery aisles screaming with delight right along side him! Onlookers dirty sneers be damned.

I am aware that we don't know other peoples life and circumstance. I dont know if this awareness came when I became a parent or if I have always had it. Im just a firm believer that people should be given the benefit of the doubt and not judged badly in general and especially when our interactions have only been in passing.

I am over the moon that I was blessed with such a wonderful son, I don't know how much of his awesomeness is to my credit or to natures credit. He isn't 100% well behaved but for crying outloud hes only 2 and he does amazingly in public. He holds my hand and stays right by me as we go up and down aisles, he sits next to me in the restaurants, quietly in the basket of carts....but nothing is 100%, he has had his melt downs and there has ALWAYS been extenuating circumstances that caused them!

Either he missed his nap, the shopping trip was too long, the food took too long or he didn't like it and all these things cause crabbiness and impatience. Kiddos only have so much patience at their young age. This brings me to my other point for the people that like to judge parents out in public. There is no possible way to please onlookers. In the event your child is acting up and misbehaving in a store or restaurant, what do you do? Punish them right there? Take them outside and punish them that instant? Abandon the cart or bags of unpaid merchandise? Or wait, give a dirty look and wait till you get home or in the car to unleash the consequence of dumping a bag of cheetos on the grocery store floor?

No matter what you choose there are only two judgements the ignorant onlooker will have for the parents A) Your an asshole for disciplining and making your kid cry in public or B) Your a pushover wussy terrible parents for letting your kid get away with that...

Cause if you choose to discipline right there, your kid will inevitably start crying, kids cry when they get disciplined, even with scolding or just time outs, I feel awefull for the parent that chooses to give a love tap on the butt and how many ways the onlookers are bursting them into flames with the fire filled looks of hatred.

If you choose to abandon ship and take your kid outside for the punishment in privacy, the onlookers have no idea what your intention was, maybe your are hugging the misbehavior out of him or beating him with a belt, you get judged poorly no matter.

If you dont do anything at the time & intend to later, you get judged as if you arnt doing anything ever.

I myself have done both, ive sat Remington in time out right next to the pile of air freshener he knocked off the shelves in a fit from not having a nap and dealing with me not buying 4 fly swatters for him to play with.

I've let it go at the time and gave him a good talking to followed by a no toys for this evening after he dumped out a bag of cheetos in the grocery store (might have been an accident my back was turned, but he giggled about it)...The looks I got from not beating him right then and there was that Im a bad parent, did they know my punishment was implemented by no toys for the night? No...did they bother giving me the benefit of the doubt? No... Did I smile at them and mentally flip onlookers the bird? YES.

I've even abandoned a plate of food at a restaurant to discipline my son when he just would not sit still to eat after being in a car all day long. Did people still give me cross looks? YES. Was my food picked up when I wasn't finished with it? YES Did the restaurant manager come outside and embarriss the crap out of me thinking I was trying to dine and ditch? YES...

So im not for leaving and doing punishment in privacy, im not for disciplining your kid in public, im not even really for letting hours go by before punishment is inacted (somehow seems less effective)...I've done it all though and continue to do whatever one seems right at the time, depends on the crime, my temper, and how much time I have.

Parenting is fucking complex. My son is wonderful and more well behaved than most his age, I know what his capacity is, I know his temperment and I try my best to do public appearences when I know he will be the sweet little angel he normally is. Sometimes it can't be helped though, sometimes you just gotta go to the damn store when your kid is in the fowlest of moods and would have a cow at the sight of a Unicorn made of ice cream, a restaurant high chair or a grocery cart is the perfect storm.

What I hate is that a parent can have a perfectly well behaved kid 350 days of the year and get absolutly no recognition for it, and those other 15 days sprinkled about throughout the year that your kid is possessed are the days that make you a bad parent to any witnesses.

So, think of this as a little public service announcement...you don't know the family's that you judge, they could be the best parents on the planet, just cause there kid appears to be an asshole for a couple minutes doesnt mean the kid is an asshole nor does it mean the parents are unfit. You don't know their life.

As for the circumstance that even forced me to write this all out, do you think that childless young single people have any grounds to dish out parenting advice or pass any judgement on the scene they may witness?

I've gotten mixed answers.

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sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

I see your point. I'm still gonna look atcha judgementally when you're four year old whom Wal-mart has decided to equip with knee high metal on wheels runs into me or when you appear to be leaving my precense before paying me for my services/products. I like my money too much to risk you even accidentally not paying. Gods knows I've occasionally stolen stuff from stores without even realizing it until long after the fact. Usually small things that you can flip or toss but something I picked up started playing with and half an hour and three stores later realized, oh. . .bugger. It wouldn't shock me in the least if a parent who was focused on their child for whatever reason once the immediate crisis passed simply got back in their car, not maliciously just plain oops.

As for parenting advice, meh. I personally don't bother unless the situation is bordering on "stop your child, or prepare to stop me." Just because you're willing to be embarassed and deal or take your child's toys away later (that I have no knowledge of) isn't particularly satisfying when the result is still me vaccuuming dorito dust out of the carpet or gathering all my cards and flyers back up and it certainly doesn't unrip my partner's magazines. (Course she was a cunt, the only reason why I was about to step in was because I didn't feel like arguing with her right then, and the last time one of my customers touched her magazines she flipped out to such an extent that I was planning to shred her magazines and sprinkle them around her office. I did offer her some parental advice as well. Just because you don't trust your daughter and her boyfriend doesn't give you the right to "drop them off at the office" and go handle your business. Just because you happen to have access to a location where you know an adult will be for the next three or so hours doesn't mean you can do that. And if they go in your office and keep it down don't yell at me if you walk in and find her stradling him. My story will be I thought they were watching wrestling or something.)

Just because a person isn't a parent however doesn't mean they don't have relevant experience. I know my Mom pretty much raised two of my cousins long before she was a parent. Nor does the fact that we haven't done something in the past instantly make our opinions on it moot.

lucyt said about 3 years ago ...

Gotta laugh here, I was at the supermarket just this last week and a kid was screaming on the ground, legs flailing about, crying uncontrollably and no parent to be seen LOL

I strolled my trolley beside him and he stopped, look at me then realised I could help so began screaming again all over so I laughed at him, poked my tongue out and walked away.

AS I WAS WALKING away his mother came idling along, so I laughed at her and she said non challontly

rat bag won't sleep so we laughed together for a second before moving on again. The kid stopped crying when his mom disappeared down another aisle.

Kids are Kids I say and the best behaviour isn't always when you're out, I think its kinda funny actually, most parents do a good job, I will say one thing seeing a smack on a backside for REALLY shitty behaviour never hurt any kid physically but it sure as shit hurts their pride. Especially in public.

uniquely-learning said about 3 years ago ...

I have had my kids act up in public. I have seen other kids act up in public. My only pet peeve is parents that buy into the fits. I believe ignoring bad behavior is the most effective way of shutting it down. Oh, and I never take a word of advice from someone who hasn't had children. You have to go through all the less than pleasant parts of parenthood in order to have any credibility with me.

starchini said about 3 years ago ...

Now sean, if you KNOW the person, and know "Shes a cunt, her kids always a little asshole, I know the boy is perfectly healthy and she is just an unreasonable over paranoid biotch taht thinks her boy can do no wrong as he is lighting the curtains on fire."....Then ya, I think anyone who knows her should intervene and offer up, SOMETHING to say...I think the bad parents are pretty obvious, of course not always but in general I think a person of average intellegience no matter status, could pick out the worst parent in a bunch of 20....If you have had regular interaction and could say the person is more than an aquaintence, then sure your kinda qualified to pass some judgement...You see this debated all started when my 23 year old single childless female college student cousin who moonlights as a waitress told me about this "Satan" child, the kid through crayons and a coloring book on the floor, and was apparently spitting er excessively drooling and my cous said, "thats not very nice" and the kid started bawling as if she had just beaten him...the parents then said, "Oh im sorry he is just shy" (whatever that has to do with the situation...)and she broadcast it on facebook and gave a lecture about how parents need to control their kids and these parents are raising disrespectful assholes teaching them they can do whatever they want......To that i had to roll my eyes...I was very diplomatic and politly reminded her she doesnt know the family or their life and they very well could have given him a beating in the car, its not her business and she hasnt a clue if they are good or bad parents by serving them their food...My otehr cousin shared my point of view but was far more livid and bitchy about it, "Youve got no kids youve got no right having any sort of opinion on it nahnablah blah bitch bitch"...(They've been at eachothers throats)...So ive just been thinking about it...and I maintain, people shouldn't judge anyone unless they've walked a mile in their shoes...Plus, kids are so different. You can ask any parent with 5 or more kids (I know a couple) you can raise your kids the same way with the same philosophies and they all turn out crazy different and your tactics have to bend and flow with what workds...Some parent who had 5 children posted on my cousins rant "You tell it sister, I totally agree, people got control their kids, my kids never act up in public, they know better"...to that I had to roll my eyes or wonder how old her kids were...Cause thats just plain ol bullshit. Anywhoo I totally get stepping in when the kids behavior is negatively effecting you, I mean, you gotta look out for number one. But young babyless people, really have no fucking clue...and if your mom raised her cousins, then she isn't babyless is she? Gaurdians, parents whatever...but babysitting, or having sisters and cousins...that shit doesnt count. Watching over someone of and on and being responsible for their life everyday, its different...Like uni said, peeps really just dont get it until theyve ridden the baby rollercoaaster to the top and all the way to the bottom. Before I had kids i used to do the same shit im complaining about now...Id see a kid in the winter in the store without shoes on and think "WTF is that parent thinking? Why the hell does that kid not have shoes and its 20 degrees outside, thats abuse, I should call social services!".....now that I have a child im like "Ohhhhh the kid kicks them off and absolutly will not leave the shoes on! I get it now..." then I feel terrible about my rude ass judging that woman so many years ago for her kid not having shoes on....

Lucy you big meanie! I be that kid shit a brick when you just continued to walk on! lol. "rat bag wont sleep", ya been there once or twice, but life has to go on ya still gotta buy some food. I think spanking hurts their pride when they are older, i dont think little ones , like maybe 4 and under understand pride.....I've never laid a mean finger on my son (ive only ever tripped him and thrown him around lol in fun of course just playing) but I imagine if I did his little heart would break...I wouldn't be concerned about physical pain, shoots, i've seen that kid crash so hard I dont think a whoooping would phase him, but mentally I worry about breaking his little heart...But yea, I think if a ten year old is misbehaving and you put them over your knee, shoot I think thats brilliant, they would be soooo embarressed.

Don't you think every parent has uni? I mean, do you think any parent on the planet can say their kid never misbehaved in public? My mom claims my brother only misbehaved once, but she cheated! Apparently kevin through a tantrum when she wouldnt let him have something and my mom was so embarressed she always found a sitter when she needed to go to the store (my mom always been uber sensitive about how people see her)...for most though, thats not an option nor do I think its very healthy...Me, she said she spanked me right there in the store for pretty much the same offense and I never misbehaved again and I never needed spanked again....However the point being, my brother by society standards is a much better quality person than I am....hmmmm? So even if kids behave well it doesnt mean shit about how the kid will turn out. I think I saw on some tv show once, "A parent isn't judged by their childs greatest achievements, but by their biggest failings"...Sorta like. I agree ignoring is majorly effective, kids are fueled by their parents, simple as that.

sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

Like I said my general rule of thumb is unless it negatively effects me to the point where the choices are quickly become get your child under control before I inform him I'm larger than him and can stop him from doing just about anything with minimal effort and informing of that doesn't work then I'll actually that. My general habit is kindly mind my own business. Kids can be annoying and I simply accept that as a fact of life so if their being annoying that's within the parameters (within reason, if you kid is bawling at the movies GTFO and if your kid is throwing stuff in a restuarant (especially nearish me) GTFO. But other wise nah.

Having thought about this I do occasionally casually give entertainment advice since I think a lot of parents are fairly ignorant about a lot of media style stuff. Video games and anime in particular you wouldn't believe the amount of times that I've seen either side of the ignorance tree of it's a cartoon, comic, video game obviously it's for kids or its equal opposite it's rated PG-13, MA, or teen obviously it's not for kids tree. Though I view that in the same way that I view randomly thinking to loud about something when you can someone is looking at something. They are free to engage after that point or not.

uniquely-learning said about 3 years ago ...

Just had to add that your brother is not in any way superior to you Star. Each person is and should be judged by whether or not they have done the best they can with what they had.

wombat said about 3 years ago ...

This reminds me of the time I was in Germany with my infant son who had just received his round of shots and had a slight fever. We still stopped at a restaurant to have dinner, and were asked to leave because of his crying. I admit, we were not on top of things and perhaps should have been at home, but I agree that not all people have a handle on what is going on with parents at all times.

d6fer said about 3 years ago ...

You can usually tell how good a parent is by how close the kids are to them.....if the parents are nowhere in sight and they have to get on the intercom to find them...guess what?

If mom and dad are walking up the aisle and johnny and suzie are 15 feet back touching everything in the freaking store.....guess what?

Sometimes life just gives you crap.....that's the downside.....having the personal knowledge that you have a good kid....that's the upside.

sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

@Starchini: No the mother was a bitch. No love there. Her daughter was alright over all and I know less than nothing about the boyfriend. Judging by the behavior her daughter was engaged with and her boyfriend and comparing it to myself at 17 she would have fucked his brains out given half a chance. My point was that it's not my problem just because we share an office. If her daughter and her boyfriend had decided to get hardcore I would have simply have knocked on the door and given them not enough time to deny what they were doing put my radio in the room and turn it up and tell them that I shouldn't be hearing them over the radio.

Turns out I can be rather vindictive.

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