A Note to Parents…

A Holiday “Hang In There” Reminder, by Jen Dickson, MSW, LCSW

With more use of social media, it seems we place ourselves under the microscope of the world. With that, comes unsolicited advice, opinions, and judgement that range from meh to SERIOUSLY? It seems that behind a screen, some people lose their humanity and forget they are communicating with real people. It takes bravery to put yourself and your parenting out there for all to see. Yes, I’m  referring to dududunnnnnn!: PARENT SHAMING!!

I cringe when I see people make comments about other peoples’ parenting decisions. Honestly, no child comes with a manual that explains what, of the plethora of options and strategies, will work with your own, individual, quirky, sometimes confusing tyke. 

Parenthood is an ideal that rarely matches the ideas we dream about when expecting.

We are all trying to do our best. If you are worried that you aren’t, that is a good sign! It means you are trying to successfully take on the awesome responsibility of raising a young person. It is important to realize you may mess some things up, you may gets things spot on. Either way, you are not a bad parent, you may have made a bad parenting decisions.

My oldest son was 2 years old (before social media) when we were at a home show. He was in his stroller and cranky. He was whining and hungry so we parked the stroller and got him something to eat. There was an older woman there who became agitated by his whining and stated loudly, “He just needs a good spanking, that’ll quiet him down.”

I felt offended and that she was threatening my child. If I could rewind that scenario and make it be a helpful situation, the woman would look at me and smile, maybe even give me a “hang in there”, then go on her way.   This is what I hope for everyone going through this wild adventure, remember we are all trying and support each other rather than make judgmental comments about our worth as a parent.

Hang in there, parents!

“I don’t know what’s more exhausting about parenting: the getting up early or acting like you know what you’re doing.” -Jim Gaffigan

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