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.