For some strange reason whilst recuperating from her operation Vicky decided to let people guest post for her. Now that’s not that strange. What is strange is she asked me to do one of the posts!
I’ll try not to scare too many of her readers away!
As I sit here pondering parenting in the 21st Century I can’t help but think our parents had it so much easier, and for one very simple reason. They weren’t judged as much!
With the birth of the internet and social media we have seen every parenting decision we make scrutinized and analyzed by a thousand nameless, faceless keyboard warriors. In some instances this isn’t confined to the internet but happens in the real world too.
I know for a fact that my mother didn’t give two hoots what anyone else thought about her parenting decisions as borne out in this little anecdote.
It was back to school time and I needed new trousers. Off to Debenhams we went. Me, complete with the stroppy attitude only a ten year old, who would rather do anything else on a Saturday afternoon than uniform shopping can possess. After twenty minutes of turning my nose up, for no valid reason, at every pair of trousers in the shop, my mother had enough. A few swift slaps to my backside in the middle of the shop persuaded me to make a decision.
Putting aside your views on smacking as a punishment, I’m quite sure that my mother wasn’t too concerned what anyone else looking may think.
In the modern world when faced with an awkward, sulky, pre pubescent boy you are faced with a thousand invisible eyes boring into your skull:
“Look at them!” “No respect for his parents!” “Bet he’s let do what he wants.” “Never had no said to him!”
Raise your voice in frustration and it’s:
“Speaking to a child like that!” “Not surprised he behaves like that if that’s how he’s treated” “Imagine what they say to him in private.”
I can’t help but think that the gutter press are partly to blame for this. Since they started being the parenting police for celebrities, highlighting in double page spreads the not so great parenting moments of the rich and famous, we have all jumped on the bandwagon.
With so many “experts” writing so many books on the right way to raise children, this has led to some people thinking they are doing the right thing and other people are wrong in their choices.
Well I’ve a bit of advice for you. “Fuck them!”
YOU know what is best for your child. Breast, bottle, free range, helicopter, attachment. Baby led weaning, spoon fed puree. The choice is yours.
We all have days when we aren’t the best parent in the world and we all have days where we rock it.
So the next time you see a child giving their parents a hard time in public, or a post on Facebook admitting they are struggling. Don’t judge them or attack them. Offer support. Tell them it gets better. Offer advice for what you found helped night situation.
If you are the one out there in the shopping centre with a two year old throwing the mother of all tantrums to ride on the Peppa bloody Pig ride, that all shopping centres have nowadays: Don’t worry. We’ve all been there and we will again. Maybe not today but one day.
So don’t worry about those judging looks. You can do this.