When I take a strong stance on something I believe is right for my kids, I’m not making the statement that it’s what’s right for all kids.
I’ve lost track of the number of times that what one of my kids needs is the exact opposite of what another of them needs.
And that’s with three kids, with the same parents, in the same house, who often get mistaken for each other or as twins because they so closely resemble each other.
So if I can’t make a sweeping generalization of what works the best for my own three kids, I can’t really get out my bullhorn and blast out universal parenting do’s and don’ts.
And neither can you. *
We can take other people’s opinions personally, as if their belief in something different means they’re sitting in judgment of our decisions.
It can be over trivial things like how extravagant your child’s birthday party is. If you ask me, I’ll tell you what we’ve done in the past and why, but if you go all out for your child’s, well, that’s between you and your bank account. And if it’s a really cool party, can we get an invite?
Or it’s over clothes or phones or vacations or when you let your child stay home alone or what your definition of a good report card is. Or maybe it’s where you work or if you do. How you discipline your child, if you opt out of state testing, if you allow your child outside alone, and the list goes on and on.
I can explain why I do things the way I do with my own kids, but it’s not a judgment if you do things differently. There’s no reason for us all to parent the same way.
And when any other mom is sharing what she does with her family, I don’t assume she’s judging anyone who does it differently(unless she comes out and says she is- and then I do think that mom is doing it wrong. Yes, I judge the judging- go ahead and judge me for it).
*There are a few universal parenting guidelines: taking care of and loving your kids and teaching them to be kind people. But in the small decisions…there’s no reason we all need to agree.
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