To the parent I judged…

Posted on: July 5, 2015

judge not

To the parent I judged and thought, “I’ll never do that when I have kids,” I’m sorry…

Before I had children I would often find myself judging other parents for doing different things with their children and I always said I’d never do those things. I thought I was better than that, thought I’d be the best, most perfect parent who would always make the best parenting choices and never do anything wrong. Boy, was I disillusioned! Here I am, four and a half years later and I’m doing those same things I was judging others for. As it says in Matthew 7:3, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

So, here I am saying I’m sorry. I’m sorry to the parent I judged when I saw you…

1) Give your child your cell phone to watch videos and play games. We’ve all heard people say that too much television and video games are not good for children. Smart phones have become another avenue for us to allow our children to do both. I thought it was disgraceful when I saw you let your child watch videos on your phone and thought they were watching too much. Now I know that giving your child your smart phone is a good way to distract them. And yes, I do it all the time. I do it for diaper changes, doctor appointments, when I’m working on the computer, cleaning the house, at restaurants…you name it. When it comes down to it, you gotta do what you gotta do to keep your kids distracted when you need that distraction to be there.

2) Yell at your child in the grocery store because they were throwing a fit. Been there, done that. MANY TIMES. Am I proud of it? No. But let’s face it, grocery trips with children are difficult and it’s so very easy to lose your patience with your child in the process. Before children, I thought it was mean when I saw a parent yelling at their child in the store, now I totally get it. Case in point, this post.

3) Not pay close enough attention to your child on the playground because you were on your smart phone. I so wish I could say I haven’t done this one. But I have. I’ve come to have a love/hate relationship with my smart phone. It’s a wonderful piece of technology but I find myself gravitating towards it way too much during my day. There have definitely been multiple playground trips where I’ve had it out and have been checking texts or email or Facebook when I should have been paying more attention to my kids. One glance away from your kids on a playground could be life changing…they could fall, they could run off and you won’t know where they are, they could get taken by someone…After a close call on the jungle gym when my son fell and almost hit his head, I learned to put the phone down at the playground.

4) Spank your child. We don’t spank our children and I’ve always thought it was a cruel way to punish a child. But I’ve learned over the past four and a half years from other parent friends, that everyone disciplines differently. What works for one child might not work for another. How you choose to raise your children and discipline them is up to you and I have no right to judge you for the path you take.

Have I made other judgments that have come back to haunt me? Sure. These are just the ones that stand out to me the most.

It’s so easy to judge others. Too easy. But what we need to realize is that, until we walk a mile in that persons shoes, we don’t know what they are going through. Perhaps that mom in the grocery store yelling at her kids just found out that morning someone she loved passed away. You just never know. We should strive to try our best not to judge others. Especially, if you’re judging a parent and you don’t even have children. I’ve learned that one the hard way and it’s greatly humbled me. So, before you pass judgment on someone else, take a moment to step back and remember that you don’t know their situation and might end up doing that action yourself one day. Let’s try to give each other the benefit of the doubt.

4 Responses to "To the parent I judged…"

I was talking about this yesterday with another mom. Top of my list: I thought I’d never struggle with meal times because I’d just feed my child whatever we were eating, and we’d always eat dinner together. Um NO. Every meal is a struggle with my 2-y-o, and some days I’m happy to get a few calories in her, even if they’re just bunny crackers.

I’m right there with you on meal times! It’s such a struggle with both my (almost) 2 year old and my 4 year old.

well said Leah. I’m sure we’ve all been there.

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