Being a parent puts me into a group that I didn’t even know existed; Judgmental Parents. I’ve been told by more than a few parents about how to parent my son. Unsolicited advice is as lovely as a fart in a sauna. It weaponizes an insult by spreading it thinly to say “I know more about your child than you do, based on 18sec of observation.” It’s not as if my kid’s freaking out, rolling in glass shards, wiping snot on others, face-punching, or climbing up the slide (WHAT THE …!!!). He’s just “rambunctious,” right?
Somebody thinks they have the answer to a particular kid-raising sitch. This comes up frequently should I somehow mention a flaw, shortcoming, a… okay, here we go… an IMPERFECTION in the behavior of my son. Maybe he doesn’t fall asleep so well some nights, you know, the way human beings tend to do. And Perfect Parent responds with “Well it’s really important that children his age have a schedule, that really helps them know when it’s time to sleep, and when I should be kicked in the crotch.”
So the overhanging assumption is that my wife and I just randomly put our son down in the night time to see if he’s sleepy. Sure, we’ve tried a crib, indoors, in a somewhat quiet area. A couple times he seemed to like not having the lights on or a small fire burning in the room. If he falls asleep, great! We won again! We never adhere to a schedule, we just guess, and eschew any kind of clock watching or routine. Thanks for setting us straight. You’ve built a case before hearing any evidence, talking to any witnesses, or asking the accused straight-out… “Do you have any idea what the crap you’re doing?”
As long as we’re in Chambers, I may as well come clean. I do this, too. I’m not proud of it.
When I can’t tell what gender a child is due to a lack of hair shaping, non-descript clothing, and/or naming (e.g. Tyler, Jadan, Harlem).
Or if a kid is running around with a face so snot-glazed that it’s obvious the parent is either unprepared or lazy or inattentive.
Or if a kid is super-aggressive and isn’t being disciplined by their parent. And I mean disciplined, not “Hey, Maximillionaire, you need to STOP THAT.” That’s horseshit, lazy parenting.
It all comes back to what the parents are putting into the situation.
But I usually internalize it instead of telling the parent, unsolicited, why a bikini top and sweatpants are probably not right at church, even if they are teaching their son “Creative Independnce.” Mind my business. And mind your own.