I will blush to admit it, but I have been very quick to judge. Specifically kids’ behavior in public, and a parent’s tone of voice.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged, do not condemn, and you will not be condemned, forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:27)
I am willing to believe I am now in the position I am in because at one time I was so “quick to judge” a child (any child behaving a certain way) as spoiled.
What I know now:
- Those signs I used to gauge “spoiledness” are normal developmental stages for most children.
- It is when they hang on, or succeed in manipulating the behavior of the parents that they become true signs of “spoiling.”
- Five minutes (or 20 minutes) of observation is not enough for me to determine what level the signs are at.
I would believe somebody thought one or two of my kids were spoiled, and I’d equally understand their lack of belief in my objectivity if I told them the kids were “normal.”
But I think they are.
How like a mom. But I’m not trying to change their minds because I’ve settled in my mind that there just some things you don’t know until you know. (YDKUYK)
My first child I let “cry it out” (CIO) when she didn’t want to go to sleep at night. I wasn’t going to be this mom who was manipulated by my baby’s tears. I felt confirmed in this when she always zonked in 5-10 minutes after I left her alone.
I didn’t believe anyone who said CIO was cruel or “didn’t work.”
Until I had Baby #2. And CIO simply didn’t work.
Seriously. I’d had one where it worked, so I knew what to do.
But I didn’t jump on the CIO-is-BAD bandwagon, because I’d had one that it was perfect for.
And I began to understand the *why* of people’s misunderstanding. Their view of the world does not yet include the reality of what is being described. Your experience really is the largest determiner of your behavior and beliefs. I think it would be hard for things to be otherwise. It takes practice, anyway.
So today when I saw a light-hared young mom snapping at her two slim, blond girls, with their toe-headed little brother looking dazedly back at them, I wasn’t mentally clicking my tongue at her tone, I was thinking, That could be me in three years. And, yeah, my girls do need (or at least deserve) to be snapped at sometimes. I get it.
When I see things now, I pray for the other person, and myself, becasue it’s not easy to perform before the world in such a personal event, and I thank God I’m not having immeadiately to make those choices myself.