You know what I think? I think there is so much more judgement than necessary when it comes to parenting, and I bet a lot of it is from insecurity.
Have you ever found yourself judging another parent? I have, and I bet if you are honest with yourself you have too.
When I was a new mom I lived in San Francisco, and back then there was a city wide yahoo group of moms that scared me shitless. I guess the purpose of the group was to support, but the tone and the language when talking about all kinds of stuff was anything but kind and definitely not supportive. The lack of empathy and generosity in having an even slightly different approach to parenting than whatever the mom police had decided was right was super intimidating to me and it made me feel isolated and afraid to ask questions or share experiences. It left people so tightly wound and our of proportion paranoid that I saw moms seriously anxious about having fed their child a cheerios type with slightly more sugar than another kind, or moms giving shade to others (me) for giving my kid raisins for a snack. I always felt like I was being watched and judged and like there was no way I could even be close to being a good enough mom.
I teach parents how to be empathic to their kids, and how to teach their kids empathy. I help them step into the other person’s shoes and realize that they are probably doing their best in every moment and that giving space and being generous will help them shine. Nobody ever had their most shining moment after being or feeling judged.
In that yahoo group, there were so many spirals of judgement, I am guessing the internal dialogues were laced with insecurity and resentment. I am guessing there were feelings of being inadequate, of not being enough. I am guessing these feelings ended up expressing a lack of empathy, which lead to a lack of support, and a projection of judgement.
So I am suggesting we stop that. We look over our internal dialogue. We look over how we talk to ourselves. Then we slow down, take a breath and listen to others, without an agenda or judgement. What do you think would happen? Would we have a kinder community? Would we actually be and feel supported? Would our kids see and copy our empathy? How far do you think the ripple would reach?