We need to stop judging other moms. Why is this still happening in today’s society? Long before we have children, we have standards and expectations for them and their behavior. We KNOW that our children will NEVER melt down in public causing a tornado of bad behavior and embarrassment. But, as our children begin to grow and develop, we must alter those best laid plans as well as our expectations. What we realize is that we seem to let a lot more go than we had planned. Those tantrums YOUR CHILD will never have in public have, in fact, happened. Now what?
We seem to adapt to our child’s behavior and adjust our parenting strategies, but what we forget is that all other moms are dealing with the same thing. None of us know what we are doing. There is no trouble-shooting manual that you are handed after delivery. You can read all the blogs and parenting books and still feel completely helpless. Eventually, our children grow out of the terrible twos and threes and we very quickly forget how helpless we felt.
But what we don’t always think about are the many families out there struggling with this long after the typical child has grown out of it. The families with kids with visible and invisible disabilities struggle with daily. Their child looks to be what the world deems as “normal,” but underneath that seemingly average exterior, is an invisible disability that makes it hard for them to control their bodies and their emotions.
Although we have all been there with our littles at some time or another, we judge the mom and the child for what we think is unacceptable behavior for a child their age and/or size. We say “I don’t judge other moms,” but we do it. An adolescent completely loses it, yelling and thrashing in public and the parent can’t seem to get them under control, a kid way too big to be using a pacifier is in line behind us at Chick-Fil-A or that overly aggressive child in your child’s kindergarten class. We judge. We assume that the parent isn’t doing something right. They need to spank their child, or set more boundaries and take charge. The list goes on and on.
I’m not sure when we began to think we have it all together. Rewind a few years, and you were the mom scraping your child off the floor of Target because they lost control.
Just because a child appears to be “normal” doesn’t mean they are neuro-typical. My daughter, for example, is a beautiful blonde-haired vivacious girl who is friendly and very verbal. She has Autism Level 1. She has gone to years of therapy to be able to handle her feelings and her body at someplace like the Chick-Fil-A play area. She can get overwhelmed because of the noise and excitement and become aggressive if she forgets how to use her coping skills. You can’t physically see that she has an underlying condition. It makes balancing the sensory input to her brain and her emotions difficult to handle at times. These are things we take for granted having typical kids.
I avoided places like Chick-Fil-A for several years because I knew my child couldn’t handle it. And, in turn, I couldn’t deal with the judgement from other moms. Because I can’t put a giant sign on my child labeling her disability so others would understand it is hard. I shouldn’t have to go around announcing her disability so others don’t judge me or her. We teach our kids to be kind to one another and yet we, as adults, are the worst at this. We are so judgmental and easily irritated with others and their children.
What do we need to do? We have to quit judging and scrutinizing each other for things seen or unseen. We are all struggling with something in our parenting, and if you’re not then you probably will be soon. We have to take it easy on each other and help when we can. If you are unsure how, just be kind to her.
Kindness goes a long way. It starts with us. We have to start showing kindness even when it’s not easy. You never know what it means to someone just to seem understood.
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