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What to Do When You’re About to Judge Another Parent: A Quick Guide

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As magical as our most recent trip to Disney World was, as it always is, something very ugly happened while we were there. It shook me, and I’m hard to shake.

My 8 year old is going through a negative phase. It feels like I’m living with a hormonal teenage girl some days. And I know–I hope– it will pass, but we’re trudging through the thick of it right now. He can even find a way to be negative at Disney World- HOW DO YOU EVEN DO THAT?? It makes me mad, but partially impressed.

During one particularly negative moment, in the middle of the Magic Kingdom, I’d just about had it. We’d been over it time and time again–you’re at friggin’ Disney World, dude. Nothing that happens here, not the rain, not the walking, not the lines, could really ever be that bad. He wasn’t hearing any of it. So I told him in no uncertain terms — don’t be ungrateful. And if you can’t manage not to be ungrateful, I could always return all the things I’ve gotten for you since we’ve been here, since you don’t seem to want any of them. Oh, and then I told him he was being a jerk. Because he was.

CUE THE OUTRAGED GASPS! Only, I heard no gasps. What I heard was much worse.

It came from behind me and to the left. “WOW.”

At first, I wasn’t even sure it was directed at me, it being Disney World and full of magic & all, but loud wow-er wasn’t done.

“I’M GLAD THOSE AREN’T MY PARENTS.”

Oh, yeah. That was directed at me.

To my left was an older woman, with a man slightly younger than her and zero children, glaring at me in the most sanctimonious way you can imagine.

Did this really just happen? HERE? At Disney World??

When the shock and anger wore off (and it took a while), it got me thinking. Was what I did wrong? No. What she did was.

We live in a world where people judge without a second thought. Snap judgments coming from left, right, up and down. ESPECIALLY when you’re a parent. It’s not like that was the first time something like this has happened. I’ve been finger-wagged by old ladies for daring to discipline my kids in public, snapped at by old men, and judged by every type of person you can imagine–it seems like that is just the life of a parent these days. And it shouldn’t be. SO, I took it upon myself to create a handy little guide for all of those people out there who feel the need to make judgments on parents in public. I mean, I know it’s super hard to contain yourself, but I think this should be pretty easy to follow.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU SEE A PARENT YOU WANT TO JUDGE:

  1. Think- do I know these parents, or have I only witnessed a tiny bit of their life, and therefore have no accurate basis for my assumption? Is it possible that my snap judgment is inaccurate? If yes- say nothing.
  2. Is saying something to these strangers, in what is obviously a vulnerable moment, really going to HELP them? Will my words make any kind of positive change in their lives? No. It’s not. So say nothing.
  3. Is your judgment coming from the fact that you parent differently and therefore feel that they must be doing it wrong? Stop. You’re wrong. Say nothing.
  4. Is it ANY of your business? No. It’s not. Say nothing.
  5. Did you ever stop to think that maybe you’re just a judgmental asshole? Because if you’re about to open your mouth and rip apart another parent for trying to make sure their kid doesn’t grow up to be a raging a-hole, that’s exactly what you are.
  6. If none of that works, and you still find yourself wanting to open your mouth and shit on a stranger’s parenting, there’s always duct tape. Use liberally.

Look, kids need discipline. And this discipline might need to occur anywhere- YES, EVEN DISNEY WORLD. Keep your unwarranted, unwanted, misplaced criticisms to yourself.

Posted on September 12, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 2 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • Love, love, love this!!! My husband almost got into a fist fight in Disney Springs ( Downtown Disney what it was called then) My oldest was having a negative moment in front of the big Disney store and my husband grabbed his arm pulled him to the side bent down angrily whispering “keep it up and I’ll take you back to the room and you will get a smack then forced to sit in the corner while the rest of us have fun”. Well here comes perfect mom Suzie ” you shouldn’t be punishing him in front of all these people we are trying to have a magical time and you are spoiling it. It’s also child abuse to grab your child like that.” Wow really well I’ll just let him act like a spoiled little shit stain and then we will really see how magical your time is here! People aren’t perfect and I feel that that is what is wrong with the entitled brats of today, then didn’t get beat enough! One good smack from my mom was enough for me to straighten my shit out real quick! Think before you speak or you may be the one getting smacked! Lol

  • The judgey woman didn’t know what she was missing. You are an ~awesome~ mom. <3