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Mom Shaming…we’ve all heard the term, and see people/read about people getting shamed. Have you ever been judged for your parenting or as a person? Have you ever judged someone without even thinking about it? How about in front of your kids? I can answer “yes” to all 3 of those questions.
Innocently watching a show on TV and I see someone with a hairstyle I don’t like. I turn to my husband and make a quick judgment about the hair, not even thinking about who is in the room with us.
With that one judgment, I unintentionally demonstrated to my children that it’s okay to judge people you don’t know because the person I judged would never hear my judgments.
But what happens if my daughter or son likes that hairstyle, or shirt, or anything else I judge? What am I teaching them by my quick, unneeded comments?
When we express our judgments, even when the judgments don’t cause any harm to the person we’re judging, we are actually harming our children.
How we’re harming our children by our own judgments
A quick judgment can turn into a forever prejudice for our children. A child is looking to their parents as their leader.
The comment you made about the short bob haircut making the woman on TV look like a man has just been implanted into the mind of your innocent, impressionable child.
The quick comment, even joking, about that person who has a different skin color, can imprint into your child’s brain and stay there forever.
2. Begins judging others
When your child hears the quick judgments we express of complete strangers, children begin judging others themselves.
That little boy who enjoys having his nails painted because his mom and sister get their nails painted, gets judged at school because he enjoys the different colors on his finger nails.
That little girl who enjoys playing rough because she has all brothers who plays rough, gets judged at school because she doesn’t act how little girls are supposed to act.
3. Begins judging themselves
This is the biggest factor for children these days. They are bombarded with judgments, but the ones that have the most influence are the judgments from their parents, especially at a young age.
When parents judge others or themselves, children hear those judgments. Those judgments become their inner voice. Telling them what they can and can’t do, telling them how they should look or what doesn’t look perfect with their bodies.
What can we, as parents, do?
Judgments are harmful, even as innocent as they may seem when we’re making them. We need to always keep in mind what we’re saying and how we’re saying things to our children.
That example of a little boy wearing nail polish, that was my personal example. My son, who’s almost 5, wanted to put nail polish on after myself and my daughter put some on.
A few days after we put nail polish on, my son had a ninja warrior training class to attend. I found myself asking my son if he wanted me to remove the nail polish before class, because I was worried other kids would see his nail polish and make fun of him.
He asked me why and I had to catch myself from exposing him to any of my own judgments I have learned about nail polish on boys.
Here’s what we can do
- Think before we speak
- If it doesn’t effect you, don’t judge! Someone’s hairstyle isn’t going to change you in any way…don’t say anything!
- Everybody parents differently, there’s no parenting manual, remember? Don’t judge other Moms!
- Encourage your kids to be kind to others and embrace the differences in people rather than judge them.
- Lead by example. Stick up for others around you who are being judged.
The mom shaming, the judging, the verbal abuse needs to stop. There are so many cries for people to stop the public judging, and it needs to, but it needs to begin at home with the little judgments.
The small judgments that are “harmless,” actually do more harm to our children than we realize. Stopping those little judgments may help the big judgments disappear in the future.
Make a commitment in your house today, that you’ll watch what you say and stop making those unneeded judgments, especially in front of your children.