I judge you as a parent when…
This is my unequivocal stance when it comes to parenting. It’s not an easy ride. There will come a time when you doubt a decision you’ve made, that you’re doing the right thing and then someone comes along to judge that decision and just no… We’re all trying our best. And as long as you have your kid’s best interest at heart no one should judge any decision that you make. There are so many things parents get judged on. So many decisions we make that others don’t agree with. And it starts when you’re pregnant already. So many articles flouting that this or that is the best things for baby:
You’re drinking coffee and eating sushi?!*
Natural or C-section.
Breastfeeding or formula.
Co-sleeping or cot sleeping.
Baby wearing or plonking them down in a playpen.
Letting your baby cry-it-out or not.
The way you discipline your child.
Which school you send them to.
The list goes on…
I will never judge anyone on any of these things because each child is different and they all need different things or ways of being handled (as is evident with my brother and I – we were very different children who responded to different discipline methods). Things that work for the one might not work for another.
But also people believe in different ways of bringing up their children and that’s okay. In the grand scheme of things, whatever of these routes you choose to go, you won’t hurt your children one way or the other. Our children will survive us.
But what I will judge you on is when your actions directly harm your children. I’m talking to you dad who smokes right next to his child, blowing your smoke all over him (actually witnessed this in St George’s Mall yesterday). And to you mom who let’s her toddler sit on her lap while driving on the road. And especially to that grandpa I see in the afternoons at the train station who let’s his tiny grandson stand in the front passenger seat while driving. Car seats are not optional. Accidents happen so fast.
One of the reasons you often hear for not buckling up is “But he doesn’t like being in it, he cries when I put him in“. I would much rather my son cry because he’s unhappy than because he’s hurt. He can scream all the way to our destination rather than risk him getting hurt if, God forbid, we’re in an accident. It’s the same reason I’d rather listen to him scream because he doesn’t want to be in his jumper than cry because he got hot oil splashed on him while I was working at the stove.
That is NOT a good enough reason. I’ve had to wrestle my very strong for a 1-year-old son into his car seat because he doesn’t want to sit in it. But he’s health and safety not his happiness is my number one priority. Happiness is number 2 on the list.
*Just so you know you’re allowed a cup of caffeine a day and vegetable or prawn/cooked sushi is perfectly fine Judgey McJudgyPants at the opposite table!
Edit: Here’s a post Cindy did with some research on how unrestrained children are affected when car accidents happen. Read it, it’s valuable information.