I’ve been thinking about ‘judging/judgement’ even more in the past week…
There was an incident at a fest one week ago, where apparently my older son hit a kid at the playground, while I was helping with the organization of the festivities.
This kid’s father came to me and said: “I know that you are helping out here, but your son just hit my son and kicked some other kid.”
What I heard was: MY son was hurting people and I was a TERRIBLE MOTHER because I wasn’t watching him and didn’t stop him.
What I have been feeling: People are still looking at me in a weird way at the playground and other places. I have no idea who the other kid was that he kicked … I would like to at least know who to talk to to apologize or avoid, because they might still be judging me or could still be mad at my son or me. Why do people even tell me this when they could just told him to stop! If he had stopped and handled it all by himself after somebody had interjected, I wouldn’t have even needed to know!
What I have been asking me since: Why do I feel so judged? Why can I not brush this up as ‘this is what boys do at his age’ and nobody is actually hurt, people forget and will be fine and moving on.
Am I being too german? I feel like in Germany kids are brought up by ‘the village’! Nobody would stay quiet, if they see a child being hurt, no matter if it’s your own kid or a different one! Come on! Hurting is not acceptable! And kids need to learn this in an appropriate manner … and in the best case they need to be stopped in action! What a great moment to teach a kid! What an opportunity! You have the victim right there … can look into his/her eyes … can feel the tension/hurt feelings … or even actually see the ‘boo boo’ … teach kids feelings and empathy!
But here, meaning in this community of the US, where I live most people are not taking action. Parents are only focussed to scold/control their own kids (sometimes in the cruelest ways with time-outs and such) and otherwise they just look away! AWAY! Where is this going? Why are people so passive? Is common sense really forgotten or too difficult to handle?
I see this so often, that let’s say that 4 kids are throwing wood chips at each other and 4 adults jump to the rescue and every one catches their own child to stop it… Is it not enough when ONE adult goes there and stops them? And uses the situation as a learning opportunity?
The thing is, it’s not! Not any more! Because kids have experienced this craziness all their life long that only mommy or daddy can tell me what to do! They have seen them jump whenever they do something. They pretty much think that they don’t need to listen to others because they know that ‘MY parent’ will come to stop me when I am doing something wrong. (And then I sit out a time-out or say sorry … and do it again …)
I personally don’t get it!
If we all feel a bit more love and responsibility for ALL children and maybe even all human beings, we could change this world for the better!
All children are our future! We can’t just passively let things happen und look away. It’s time to act and show up!
I hope, I got clear about that I don’t want to say that any rude and hurtful behavior that my son is showing is okay in any way and that I don’t want to be responsible for his actions! I just want him and other kids to have the best opportunity to learn that it’s not okay to act that way and that can only happen in the moment of the incident. This all with the goal of the kids being able to communicate this to each other and solve problems on their own very soon 🙂
And on my part…what I got out of this whole story is that I need to show up, too!
In part I am doing this right now, right here for everybody to see and read. I feel like I can spread awareness this way and if it inspires just one parent out there who can act differently, I would be happy. People learn from examples and there will be a ripple effect at some point.
And I just realized in a therapy session this morning that I could have acted differently, too. I should have SHOWN UP when this father came to me to vent about my son’s behavior…
I felt ashamed, but next time I will tell him that in the future would he please talk to my son (or other child) and stop him/her hurting people, when this father happens to witness it.
If I don’t speak up and show up right there in the moment, I won’t change it…
So again! Let’s all do a better job teaching all children kind and friendly and safe behavior! And let’s stop judging parents for their kids’ behaviors! They are simply KIDS!
I am thankful for this father that he made me feel bad and gave me the opportunity to grow and realize so many things where I can act differently in the future and be my best self 🙂
As always please let me know if you agree or also if you disagree with my thoughts. I would love to hear from you and am open to never stop learning!
2 thoughts on “Cultural parenting shock?”
Great blog! Unfortunately (and I am not quite sure when) parents would get yelled at by other parents for “disciplining” (or teaching a lesson to) children who weren’t theirs. You are right. Our children are too controlled……. by their own parents and those parents thought that if their kid was going to be “yelled” at it was going to be by them. But why can’t we teach them a lesson, not yell or put a kid in time out but teach. If another parent was speaking to my child in a respectful manner and discussing what happened, I would have no problem with the situation. Some where along the line the discussion/ teaching became yelling and then yes I would have a problem. It does take a village. Where did the village go?
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Yeah, just to make it clear, I would never suggest to yell at any children, not your own, not others, not any human being. Yelling is never the best choice ever!
I’m truly talking about teaching children and respect them as human beings…and taking an opportunity to talk with them.