Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mom Competition

We've all apparently felt it. And heard the comments. And probably made the comments. Moms bash other moms ALL. THE. TIME. Why? I'm guessing it's because it makes us feel like we are doing that much less of a crappy job as a parent if you can point out at least ONE person who is doing worse than you. The problem is, this behavior/thought process/arrogance does no one any good, especially your children.

We are surrounded by judgmental looks on the playground, reality TV shows like "Dance Moms" where the parents spend their lives cutting each other down, and our own insecurities - it's amazing our kids can get themselves to school in the morning.

If you've ever read a thread on a parenting message board where a proud parent is asking if their 1 year old is "advanced" because of A, B, C, that parent will be shot down so fast it is like they were lurking in the background and waiting for this type of post. I have rarely ever seen supportive comments come out of that discussion, and I feel like it is all driven by competitiveness and jealousy.

It has to stop! Why not just say, "Hey, that's great that your kid can do that! You must be spending a lot of time working on X skill with your child." What is the harm in that? As parents, we rarely get reassurance we are doing things right, and a comment like that might just keep that household going one more day that week! Think of it like the basic compliment - you tell someone you like their outfit or their hair why? Because you have to? No, because you want them to feel good about it! What's wrong with someone feeling good about their parenting? It in no way takes away from how you parent, just like a hair compliment doesn't make you look any less attractive.

What I fear are those parents you see on reality TV (so they must be real, right?) who will take discussions with other parents as far as yelling and screaming, with the obligatory foul language - and right in front of their kids! That is child abuse if I've ever seen it. I still can't believe the networks don't get involved, but apparently you sell your soul for ratings.

Be a better parent. Make someone else feel like a better parent. Your kids will thank you.

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