Can we stop the shaming?
There is enough negativity in today’s society and adding more isn’t creating a healthy world for anyone. Think of it this way – if it was your sister, mom, friend, or self, being talked about negatively by a stranger in the store, park, or school how would you respond? How would you feel?
Shaming only makes people feel HURT, SAD, and maybe ALONE
And let’s face it, it may not even be that big of a deal. But at that moment, the moment of “shaming” that woman is likely having a hard time – and it is a big deal to have others make judgments.
Many take a small skirmish, a simple mistake, or a difference in parenting and create huge problems and judgments. Friendships are lost, rumors are started and the damage is done.
And for what? Shaming and fueling the hate and negativity around us makes our lives, community, and the world, worse.
When you see the mom in the store with her kids and one is having a meltdown don’t engage in shaming: don’t stare, don’t make comments about how you would handle it, or wouldn’t take all your kids to the store for that reason. Instead, smile at her, and if you do have to say something make it positive.
Your child gets upset because another runs by and takes cuts on the slide. Don’t yell and chase the other kid down and don’t grab them to take them to their parent. Most likely they saw it and are planning to talk to their child. Wait for the child to make contact with their parent and then approach if it is needed. Don’t make rude comments on how you think the parent’s “punishment” isn’t enough. That the parent is lazy and incompetent. Don’t tell them if they can’t handle their child they shouldn’t be there. You don’t know what their parenting style is, you don’t know what is going on in their lives.
Yes, it really happened:
Now let me share a little more to the story. I was that mom. I was at the park with 3 kids by myself and almost 40 weeks pregnant. I was trying to give my kids a chance to run, play and explore after a week of being inside due to severe restrictions and rainy weather. I chose that particular park because it is enclosed and I could see everything from the bench I was sitting on. My husband was working long hours so he could be there to take care of our family when the baby came. We just needed to get outside for a bit. My 2.5-year-old child that was grabbed and dragged back to me doesn’t speak well and did say sorry in his own way – using hand signals. He realized he hurt another kid’s feelings.
To the mom who shamed me:
Yes, I saw it all. Yes, I walked away from you after picking up my child who was scared and crying. No, I did not make my child apologize to yours again – the way you wanted – because it doesn’t work that way. I did what was best for my family, and left.
Life is filled with many situations that we only see one side. Let us teach our children to be kind. Let us teach them to be strong. Let us teach them to care and not judge based on what they see, or the gossip they hear. Let us teach them to care and show love. Let us guide our children to be kind, compassionate, and loving.
Let’s STOP the shaming.