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Monday, October 03, 2011

Judgmental? Me?...

I have always been the "non-advice giving" type.. Having been on the receiving side of all the usual "No baby yet?", "No second one yet?" and of course all the in-between stuff on how to raise your child (!) I always hold myself back from telling anyone what to do in situations unless explicitly asked about it!

But during my recent vacation I found myself sitting in judgement a wee bit (ok maybe quite a lot) on other parents in the resort. Still no advice of course, but LOTS of judgement :). Maybe I feel 6+ years as a parent has made me wise or maybe I do pride myself just a little on some parenting philosophies, but whatever the reason, it really bothers me that in the name of being "nice" or not wounding the confidence of the child, this child can get away with nearly any kind of behaviour in a public place.

In one family I found that when the child knocked down a glass, there was not even a gentle mention of "Oh you've knocked it down!". Instead the immediate reaction seemed to be "Oh don't worry someone will clean it up!". This without even an actual request to the staff to do the actual cleaning, they were supposed to just seamlessly do it because that was their function! I was quite horrified because I would have definitely added a bit to the child about being careful, in fact on our table we keep pushing the glasses inside if they are on the edge (are we completely crazy?!). Ok this was not really an example of bad behaviour on the part of the child, only on the part of the parents(!). But so many other instances of kids running around, knocking others chairs, getting in the way and generally being annoying, with the parents seemingly turning a blind eye. Not sure if they were embarassed to react, or if this is the way the children are brought up generally!!

While I am on a rant anyway, the other thing that really gets to me is kids being overweight/obese at a young age. I know in many families the focus is on "healthy looking", and that is the parents' choice as long as the child is healthy and active, but when I see kids actually labouring to move around I think someone should be doing a better job of watching out! This is why I literally bristle if anyone tells me my kids are thin - I would not have it any other way!! With my personal experience of being "thin" for most of my early life, I still had to deal with all the post-pregnancy weight/tummy fat and body image issues, and I can not even imagine already starting off on the wrong side of this at the age of <5 years!!

And I'm done for the day! Actual vacation post coming up soon, I'm still in trying to straighten out the house mode, hope you all are having lovely holidays/festive times at home :).


  1. Aparna, it's almost like reading one of my (future) posts becos i was going to do one on overweight kids/bad snacking habits and good/bad behaviour on the part of both kids and parents. LOL!! I was just wondering if we were going crazy asking our kids to be polite, say please and thank you and sorry, and BEHAVE, esp in public. Now I know there's atleast one more strange mom out there ;)
    I haven't been in Bangalore, observing kids in a while, but I invite you to come to NCR and observe "healthy" punjabi and jat kids snacking on a large bag of kurkure for evening snack, washed down with icecream or juice. Who? judgemental? Me???

  2. LOL on the Kurkure for snacks.. not actually funny, but i just have to laugh at that mental image! And here we crazy moms kill ourselves thinking of healthy snacks :).

    This was in Thekkady.. have encountered some of this when you go to a park or a store in Bangalore, but have also come across sane parents among D and S's schoolmates thankfully!

  3. oh tell me about kids misbehaving in public!
    But, you know what, I was super judgmental before I became a I am scared to judge others..
    But obese kids/kids with bad eating habits can only be the guardian's fault..

  4. LOL Uma, my most vivid pre-mom/post-mom image is of me on a plane/train before marriage and thinking "OMG why can't those parents control their kids from making so much noise!". Post momhood my first time on a plane, I tried for about 10 minutes to control D who was then 1 year old, then decided the best option would be to forget about being embarassed ;).

  5. Oh my God! I was judgmental too. Now, I get so scared.
    Now, I comprehend that the kid is beyond your control in some matters. Free spirit, has nothing like right or wrong in its dictionary has only FUN attached with an action.
    It is so difficult to make them understand the right and wrongs. It is even bad to explain the behavior of kids when others complain. :(
    Lovely write-up!

  6. @Sahana - just realized I missed replying to this one. Thank you for dropping in :). Yes, it is so daunting sometimes to figure out this stuff which keeps changing as the kids grow up too!

  7. Aparna,

    I think that enabling behavior is becoming rampant these days. I agree with you, atleast a "please be careful next time" would have been responsible thing to do!!!

    Your blog is an interesting read!! will come back for more for sure!!!

  8. Thanks for the encouragement Angai :) Do keep dropping in.

    It's a big avenue for me to vent my feelings - the good and the bad ;).