I know when I am out-and-about I tend to notice various parenting styles. It’s so easy to quickly view a snippet of a person’s day and judge them. Screaming child: “Ugg, why doesn’t she quiet him down”. Whining child: “Why doesn’t she just tell her no and let her no mean NO!”. Child running wild: “Can’t she control her children!!” When my daughter was born, she made parenting seem really easy. My confidence as a parent was boosted and I allowed myself to believe that part of it had to do with the fact that I was just an AWESOME! MOM! and just knew how to do it right.
Last night, I was watching one of my all-time favorite shows, The Amazing Race. I am determined to race in it one day. But that is another post.
Two of the racers are a father/daughter team. They are both intelligent, hard-working professionals. But watching them race was painful to watch. I found myself wanting to shake him and hug her and then yell at him and then yell at her. He went on and on to her about her mistakes and her short-comings. His “help” was far from it. It toed the line of belittling. At one point, I was so angry at him, and thought “how dare he talk to his own flesh and blood like that!?“
Then I thought, what if someone were filming me? What would they say about how I talk to my children? Would they see a snippet and judge my whole person and think I’m an awful parent?
Remember what I said about how I felt like I was AWESOME! MOM! before?
Fast forward seven years and three more kids later. I like to think that I am more realistic and less judgmental of other parents. Getting around is no simple task with children in tow. It’s hard. And parenting is hard. There are good days and not-so-good days (and the occasional flat-out horrid day).
I watched this father/daughter team as they reached the pit-stop and the love this father has for his daughter became more apparent.
I’m sure when he sees himself on tv, he will cringe and he will be hard enough on himself. He doesn’t need my input. Besides, who am I, other than a sinner who tries to raise her children and love them the best that she knows how, but who daily has to apologize to said children and my Heavenly Father for being less than encouraging and perfect.
We need to encourage our children and lift them up. Life’s hard enough.