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judging other parents - do you do it??

(27 Posts)
morocco Mon 28-Feb-05 12:18:25

and is it OK?

I see and hear it all the time and I'm guilty of it too. So what makes us do it? Why put all this pressure on each other when life is hard enough already? But I do it all the time in my head. Can't help myself. How can I stop??? Mostly I keep my mouth shut though. But sometimes I wonder if I should. I saw someone slap their kid so hard across the face that it left a massive red mark but I said nothing. I see people driving cars without strapping their kids in at all and say nothing. Then I come on mumsnet or chat to my mates about how awful it is and am a bit 'smug mum'. But even mundane stuff I find myself judging sometimes. Then other people regularly offer their unsolicited opinion as to how well wrapped up my kids are, whether I should be breastfeeding them or not, if they should be in creche already, if eating dirt will make them sick etc etc.

So what do you think? Is it ever Ok to judge other people's parenting choices outloud or in your head even? And how on earth do you stop it?

Don't be too hard on me now! It's also possible to judge people who judge others you know!!

amynnixmum Mon 28-Feb-05 12:22:10

I think we all judge other people in our heads - its human nature. As for saying something out loud i think that really depends on the situation and how strongly you feel about it. I generally don't bother because there doesn't seem to be much point in saying anything if it isn't going to be taken well and lets face it nobody likes to be criticised especially about their parenting skills.

marialuisa Mon 28-Feb-05 12:59:46

Yes I do and I know I'm judged by others. I tend to judge people who hit and swear at their kids in public very harshly (because if they think it's ok to do in a shopping centre, what goes on behind closed doors?)

I tend to judge people who feed their kids Dairylea lunchables and put juice in bottles.

I have commented about people hitting/swearing at kids but not about the lunchables thing.

Chuffed Mon 28-Feb-05 13:16:10

I do it too, and sometimes it helps build our own self confidence (isn't that terrible). I also think sometimes seeing things in others makes us decide consciously how we are going to do things ourselves maybe in situations we hadn't previously thought of.
I don't think I'd say anything out loud. It isn't just parenting we judge each other on it is everything, but you are right Morocco it does add so much extra pressure.

Beansmum Mon 28-Feb-05 13:22:24

It's impossible to stop yourself judging someone when you see them doing something that you think is wrong. Shouting or hitting their children is the obvious one and if I was braver I would say something, but if people are prepared to hit their own child in public I don't want to see what they would do to an interfering stranger!

I do judge people for other silly things like what they have in their shopping trolly, what their children are wearing, how they behave, but I would never comment on it.

SkiBunnyFlummy Mon 28-Feb-05 13:23:40

Absolutely where else am I supposed to get my Superiority Complex from?

KarenThirl Mon 28-Feb-05 13:40:17

I judge other people all the time - it's my social life. Like others have said, it's human nature. Comparing makes us decide what's appropriate and what's not - we learn from others' mistakes.

Read an article about chavs last week. The writer said we need to have people like that so that we can feel superior. Maybe it's the same thing.

WestCountryLass Mon 28-Feb-05 23:26:28

I try really hard not to as sometimes you might only catch a very brief snapshot of the whole day/life of someone else and it is in no way reflective of the whole kwim?

goreousgirl Mon 28-Feb-05 23:37:27

I've spent all my parenting years judging all my family and friends - commenting on their inability to do this or that. I now have a 2nd child, and am committing all the offences that I accused them of!! How stupid do I feel? However -the judgement was always behind closed doors - and never given directly - unless asked.

I've got a friend that puts herself down, and asks my opinion frequently - then gets offended if she doesn't like the answer - ie " Do you think I'm awful that I haven't put suncream on 2 year old - it's really hot and she's burning?" I say - "yes - think perhaps you should" - she then goes into a 10 min defence speach as to why she hasn't ...Here I go again....

nightowl Tue 01-Mar-05 00:53:11

yes. i judge people who beat the crap out of their children and treat them like scum...not anyone who choses not to breastfeed or gives juice from a bottle and may use a dummy...its not exactly the same is it?

Chandra Tue 01-Mar-05 00:57:16

I only judge parents that are either agressive to their children or those who feel the need to be judging all other parents all the time. Reciprocity law I suppose...

FairyMum Tue 01-Mar-05 07:17:53

Yes and I am judged back. I am not super-mum and I don't expect anyone else to be either. I don't judge other peoples children though and I think a lot of people do this too easily.

reindeer Tue 01-Mar-05 08:03:45

I try not to judge people out loud but in my head I've got a running commentary going on.....

I bet most of us are the same!

bobbybob Tue 01-Mar-05 08:29:42

Yes I judge them. I don't like seeing kids not wearing sun hats (never have even 10 years before ds came along). I don't like seeing people give in to whining kids. I don't like hearing parents tell a kid to shut up. I don't like it when parents call their kids "little horrors" or "little monsters". I don't like gender stereotyping. I don't like to see parents who constantly tell their kids they will never amount to anything. But these are my hangups and I keep them to myself (although sometimes my face may give me away).

But then I know some people don't like my extended breastfeeding, my making my son walk everywhere at 2, my insistence on please and thank you and saying pardon after you burp. I know because sometimes their faces give them away.

If we never judged people it would mean that we were not comparing our parenting with others and were not using these comparisons to make decisions which could make us better parents.

Bozza Tue 01-Mar-05 08:50:54

I'm like most of the rest of you. But never say anything, except perhaps to DH at home (and not in front of DS). I think what we judge people on tells us as much about ourselves as them if we do a bit of navel gazing.

Miaou Tue 01-Mar-05 08:58:38

Oh yes, I'm very guilty of judging other people. I don't say things to people, but often discuss other people's parenting skills with dh! Partly perhaps because it boosts my own (low) self-esteem, and partly because I think I genuinely learn from watching other people and how they act with their children. I can judge them in a positive way as well as a negative one.

I don't think there's anything wrong in thinking about(or discussing with dh in private) other people's actions. I know for a fact that other people do it about me. But I would never offer unsolicited opinions/advice, and often hesitate even when I am for fear of hurting people's feelings.

morocco Tue 01-Mar-05 09:00:19


I drive myself mad though. I know you're right nightowl about the difference between whacking a little kid and giving them a dummy, but I still end up with this nasty little voice in my head judging ridiculous things exactly like whether you let your child eat sweets all day. Ha ha though - got my comeuppance on that as ds2 now eats biscuits all day long - ds1 wasn't allowed near one at his age.

Ah the strain of being right all the time!

FairyMum Tue 01-Mar-05 09:01:16

And I judge previous generations like my mil and she judges me. And I judge people who coose not to have children and they judge me. So we all judge eachother.

DaddyCool Tue 01-Mar-05 10:07:00

i used to judge before we had DS. we don't really do much judging any more as we know now how difficult it can be.

i do judge some other dads though. i think many some of them really have to pull up their socks and i get really pissed off when i see friends and family dads not pulling their weight.

nightowl Wed 02-Mar-05 01:41:51

oh dont start me on the mil one! i found out from ds's dad's gf years after his mother looked after ds that every day they would defrost the dinners we cooked and sent down, throw them away and take him to mcdonalds every grrrrr!

northerner Wed 02-Mar-05 11:49:37

Don't we all judge others - it's not exclusive to parents.

I judge other women (and their fashion sense/hair cuts etc), other drivers, my colleaugues etc

Albeit mostly silently, but I still do it.

Isn't it just human nature?

HappyMumof2 Wed 02-Mar-05 13:34:52

Message withdrawn

triceratops Wed 02-Mar-05 14:06:52

I rate peoples hair and choice of shoes and husband. I rate their style, integrity and their intelligence. And I rate their parenting skills.

I wouldn't offer a critique unless they asked me and I would have to be prepared for one back.

Speaking generally though I know there are things that I disapprove of (smoking, smacking, dummies in NT kids over 3, bottle feeding for anything other than medical reasons) which other people think are fine. I am not perfect but I am working towards it from a distance

Poshpaws Wed 02-Mar-05 14:10:57

Triceratops, how do you rate people's husbands? Is it by the job they do, how the look? Quite intrigued....

triceratops Wed 02-Mar-05 14:39:56

I decide if I think I would like to take them home . Seriously though I know people whose husbands are really nasty to them and to the kids.

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