This post is different from what I usually blog. Instead of being about kiddos, this one pertains more to adults. It’s something that’s been on my heart lately, so here goes:
Being a parent can be so hard. There are so many decisions to make and a lot of us find ourselves second guessing and wondering if we’re doing the right thing. I haven’t been a mom for very long, but GOOD GRIEF, I’ve learned quickly that everyone loves to judge mothers… even other mothers! I’m not sure why that is, but it appears to be worse on social media – I suspect this is because people feel as if they can say whatever they want because it’s through a computer/phone and not in person. Whatever the reason, it’s really disheartening. We’re human; we’re all fallible; everyone (yes, EVERYONE) has made mistakes. Instead of constantly belittling and judging each other, we should be encouraging, helping, and building each other up.
So I’ve created a list of 6 questions to ask yourself before jumping in with comments that are judgmental or negative at all:
- DO I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS PERSON’S INDIVIDUAL SITUATION? The answer is almost always going to be no. And unless the answer is yes, don’t judge them! Even if you know some details or *think* you know some details, you may not know everything.
- HAVE I BEEN IN THIS PERSON’S SHOES? Maybe yes, maybe no. The point is, if you haven’t been in the exact situation, you have no right trying to tell someone they’re handling it wrong… and if you ask yourself the other questions on this list, you probably don’t have the right to do so even if your answer to this question is yes.
- DID THIS PERSON ASK FOR MY ADVICE OR ASK FOR HELP? If not, then keep your comments to yourself. You can ask if the person wants help – with a simple “Is there anything I can do to help you out right now?” If they say “no,” respect it.
- IF I WAS IN THIS PERSON’S SITUATION, WHAT WOULD I WANT OTHERS TO SAY TO ME? On social media, I see comments like “the parents should’ve…” or “why wasn’t the mom…?” all the time in response to heartbreaking stories about children who have passed away. Set aside your “that would NEVER happen to me because…” and imagine you were the parent of that child who passed away. Would you want people placing blame on you and questioning why you didn’t do something different? My guess is you’d want some support, encouragement, and love. Keep in mind the whole “do unto others” principle.
- IS WHAT I’M ABOUT TO SAY HELPFUL? Are you actually trying to be helpful? Or are you trying to get attention? Or are you trying to prove a point? Or toot your own horn?
- This one applies especially to texts/phone calls/emails/comments on social media… IF THIS PERSON WERE STANDING IN FRONT OF ME, WOULD I SAY THIS TO THEIR FACE? The other piece of advice I’ve heard from my grandma is to ask yourself if you’d want what you say or type to be published in a newspaper for everyone to see. Additionally, as caregivers, we have to remember that everything we do is modeling for our kiddos. Keep that in mind when interacting with others – would you want them to talk to others the way you are?