Recently on TwitterMoms, and courtesy of Care.com, an interesting question was asked - What’s the rudest comment from a stranger you have ever gotten about your parenting style?
Unless one stands in a Parent's shoes and does the actual parenting of a particular child, in my opinion, that person has no right to criticize said Parent. Ever since I became a parent I've been getting my share of rude, obnoxious etc comments. Some from total strangers, some from friends and family and from people you know. While those from strangers come as a shock, those from family and friends hurt as well as shock.
One of the rudest comments I got was from a guy - yes, a guy - at a store. As an infant my son had tiny fingers and sharp nails. I was too scared to cut them for fear of cutting his fingers and so let them grow until they'd grown visibly long. In the meantime, to save him from scratching himself, I put on those cute little baby mittens on him. One day, I was rushing to pick up something and couldn't find those mittens. As a quick substitute, I put on some soft white cotton socks of Kiddo's that were fresh out of the wash. He looked cute in them! I'm standing there in the long, l-o-n-g checkout queue, and this guy breaks line to come to me and asks about them. I explain it to him, but I don't think he heard me. He just kept staring at me and then loudly asks if I'm a fan of boxing! Boxing?!! I was flummoxed! Words wouldn't come out of my mouth! He takes advantage of my open-mouthed state and proceeds to tell me that it's wrong of me to start foisting my tastes and interests on a young child, especially something as potentially lethal as Boxing and that as a Mother I should know better. WHAT THE *&#$&#$&#? I think to myself. I continue to be silent, this time with Fury! He then walks off to the next aisle and proceeds to tell the people there all about the "strange woman who's forcing her son to...". I tuned out at that time. I'm one of those people who always go silent when angry. Which was good thing here as otherwise there might been some BIG unpleasantness there.
One of the other things I've faced constant criticism about from people I know is about another Parenting decision we've made. We're Vegetarians, and are bringing up our kids in that same manner. From our Pediatrician to our friends, anyone who is not a vegetarian (and very, very few are) and who hears of this is shocked! One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that if one doesn't eat meat, one doesn't get the required amounts of protein / nutrition. That's simply not the case! Food stuffs like vegetables, lentils, sprouts, rice and many other items are chock full of the good stuff and contain very little of the bad stuff.
And here's my third and favorite (NOT) criticism. This one has come from Family members and again is something that really hurts. One of the things as a Parent I always try and follow is to follow through on anything I state. For example, if I tell Kiddo to move his tricycle from the driveway or I won't let him have it the rest of the afternoon, then I mean it. If he doesn't do it, I take it away and the next time he knows to listen to me. But Family members (I won't say who, but you all know, right?) have been known to call me "hard" and "disciplinarian" when I do this. It hurts, but I keep silent here as well. Not just because I'm furious, but because the people who make those comments had a different style of parenting and while what they did worked with their child, it doesn't always work with mine! That's the crucial difference and one that I hope, they'll realize that for themselves sooner or later.
Our job as parents is not to do what is the easiest but what is in the children's best interests.
How about you? If you've ever faced something like this, do share!
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