Sigh. I have to realize that growing up in a family like mine, I learned things very young (and am still learning more now) about medicine and psychology that most people have perhaps only recently learned.
One of those things has led to me being a fairly good judge of character, as long as either my hormones or my own issues aren’t clouding my vision (like I can’t say that my ex was exactly an example of good judgement).
I also do a hell of a lot of people watching.
And having children in my family with serious issues of their own means that I recognize similar issues in children of strangers. Autism, attachment issues, defiant disorders, the list goes on and on of things that can be a problem. And, I can usually recognize a parent who is doing absolutely the best they possibly can for their children, even if the parent may have a similar issue.
Yes, I may judge certain types of parents. BUT, I do my damnedest to keep that judgement either only to myself (including facial expression control), or occasionally post it as “friends only” on Facebook.
People who respond in comments on FB can occasionally get very offended at my willingness to “go off” about something I witness as being poor parenting. They get mad because they assume that I’m blindly judging a parent. I’m not.
The reality is, I will stop and help a parent (or set of parents) who have an autistic child or a child with some other issue, because sometimes trying to clean up whatever mess the child made while trying to be a good parent to the child is overwhelming. I will encourage the parent(s), letting them know that not everyone judges their ability to parent by the actions of their child. I’ve become very adept at recognizing some of those symptoms, because it seems that there are a greater number of children with issues out here. It may actually be the same percentage as in urban areas, but the larger population masks those children because of the greater mass of humanity.
That does not mean I’m some sort of saint that does not judge anyone or any parent.
It’s just that in order for me to feel justified in bitching about someone’s parenting skills I need to be able to observe more than 2 minutes of the behavior of both the parents and the children.
I made such a post today. No, I’m not going to describe the situation, because it’s not my job to publicly shame someone, and the description I could give could easily be recognized by the parents in question. Let me just say that it was a set of parents with a serious sense of entitlement and privilege, who are teaching their kid the same. In essence, they are raising this child like someone who has a puppy and no clue how to train the dog. Something the puppy or the kid does now when they are younger than 10 might be “cute” or “adorable” now, but when they do the SAME thing as an adult – the parent then asks themselves “where did I go wrong?” or “how did I raise such an asshole?”
They don’t seem to be able to connect cause to effect.
This is the SAME shit as when someone tells a girl that if a boy punches her on the playground, or pulls her hair, or some other form of physical attack – “Oh, he likes you but is too embarrassed to tell you.” And you wonder why so many of us put up with abusive douchebags.
Every action you take, every phrase you speak affects someone. Yes, be careful what you say and do – but also pay attention to the long-term effects. It’s up to you whether you are a blessing on this Earth, or a curse.