If it isn’t coming from our own mouths, criticism of our kids can be hard to take. We don’t want to hear from other people that they think there is something wrong, or that our child isn’t behaving properly. As parents we are very protective of our kids and what people might think of them.
Our kids will misbehave and not always be on top form, and there are parents out there that may voice their own opinions about it. Whether it be out of concern or jealousy, they will try and let you know what they think. This can be really tough to hear, especially if you don’t agree with what they are saying.
It is hard to accept criticism from somewhere outside of your family unit. Firstly, they do not know your child like you do, and they might not also know the whole story. If your child has a learning disability or has a social impediment, it is not fair for them to be judged by someone else. But criticism from other parents, friends and family members is going to happen sometime in your parenting journey.
When the criticism does come along, remember to take it where it comes from. You will be able to judge how honest this criticism is depending on the intentions behind it. If it is from a parent that feels like their child is in competition with yours, or maybe their child is overshadowed by yours, then rather ignore it. They are only passing judgement to try and belittle your child, while making themselves feel better. However, if it is from a concerned family member it would be better to listen to them, as it would be said out of love.
As hard as it might seem at the time, it is best to just remain calm. There is no need to get revved up and retaliate. It might even be what they are looking for. Instead, calmly thank them but tell them that you are dealing with it on your own or you don’t agree with them. Getting angry will only make the situation worse and possibly spur them on even more.
While it may seem that they are saying it out of spite, why not give it a think again later. Even if they are saying it to eat at you, it has to come from somewhere. Observe your child and see if there are any signs that they might need additional help with behaviour or school, and take it from there. Don’t let it bother you though, at the end of the day you are the parent and you do know your child best.
It will be tough to resist, but try not pass criticism back. You will sound like a third grader shouting “I know you are, but what am I?” There really isn’t a need. Fighting fire with fire never works. You also don’t want to be the exact thing that is irritating you in the first place. Rather be supportive where you can.
Not all of us are up to the task of turning down the criticism given our way. You need to actively push yourself to stand up to another parent who thinks they can let you know what they think. Stand up for yourself, but do so in a calm and respective manner. Don’t be a bully back, and don’t let them see that they have really got to you. They might do it again if they know it really bothers you. By standing up to them and letting them know not to pass judgement when they feel fit, they will hopefully not do it again.
Parenting isn’t easy, and it is not just the kids that make it difficult. Other parents will always feel like they know better and they will definitely try make it known. Just nod politely and thank them for their advice. Then simply move on with your day. You are the parent, you spend the most time with your child and know them better than anyone else.
Rise above these small incidents and carry on rocking parenthood!