Stop judging the way I raise my children
February 5, 2018
This weekend was my birthday. Slap bang on a Saturday with family coming over. Also, clever me decided to have the festivities start from 11:30am- round about the time the youngest goes down for a nap normally. By 12:30 Zoe was super tired and cranky. She had a difficult night and was not in the mood for people touching, kissing, hugging or making her do things.
As usual- there will always be one or two adults that will insist on pushing her buttons to a point where she snaps. And true to her nature she was having nothing of it. I picked her up in the hope that it would calm her down. But she started to protest and soon went into meltdown mode. I took her inside to calm her down.
After a while, we returned outside. She was holding my hand, quiet and sleepy. I was so relieved. I took her in my arms and told her that I understand how difficult it is to be this tired. That it is okay to feel this way and that she could fall asleep on my lap.
It all seemed okay again until I got lectured from across the table. In my book with no obvious reason. I was told that I shouldn’t “reward” her and be gentle with her after she misbehaved. That I should punish her or at least give her a time-out. I was speechless. When she finished with all the advice I just stared at her blankly.
I have been told so many times that I am parenting my kids totally wrong, that my daughters will never listen to me, that Zoe will become a bad kid, being branded at school and all of those lovely things.
After sleeping less than 4 hours the night before, with a fussy child in my arms, this was the last thing that I wanted to hear.
But yesterday I couldn’t help thinking about what happened. Why do people feel the need to judge and criticize a mom? I wasn’t doing anything wrong to my girl, I wasn’t bothering anyone as this is as a matter of fact MY house. I was just trying to make my tired and overwhelmed young child feel better.
Over the last five years, I’ve heard a lot of people telling me how I should raise my children. People doubting my way of raising them. People “warning” me that gentle parenting isn’t working.
To those who judge the way I raise my children I would only say one thing: Please stop. STFU. Unless I am asking for your opinion, I really don’t want to hear it!
I know that I sometimes make mistakes. NEWSFLASH! Every parent does. I am far from being a perfect mother. I struggle with a lot of things and I try to learn each day to be a better mom.
But I truly believe in the power of gentle and respectful parenting. And no one will change my mind about this. So please, please stop telling me how I should raise my children.
To the people said that I shouldn’t hug Kiki every time she cries because she will get spoiled and will always ask to be held. I held her anyway and now she is a very independent young little lady.
To those who said that I should punish them every time they make a mistake because otherwise, they will never respect me. Do you get punished every time you make a mistake?
To those who said that if I don’t put them in a time-out after every misbehavior they will become defiant and I will totally lose “control” as their parents. (Again- NEWSFLASH, you should not be controlling human beings, you are not Adolf Hitler or Stalin). I prefer time-in and gentle explanations instead. I have a perfectly normal child. Yes, they misbehave sometimes, as every child does. But they are not defiant and especially Kiki does her best to manage her emotions when she feels overwhelmed.
Instead, you could ask if you could help me. Because motherhood is very hard sometimes. No mom wants to see her child having a meltdown in the supermarket. Or misbehaving in front of their grandparents. Or screaming in the middle of the street. But it happens.
And instead of giving advice and making the situation more difficult, you could just move on. If you have nothing kind to say, please just don’t say anything. I don’t want to hear it.
If I need some advice, be sure that I will ask for it. Otherwise, I just don’t want to hear it.