Have you ever noticed other parents looking at you and you just wish you knew what they were thinking? Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who doesn't actually care what other people think and good on ya....I wish. I always tell myself it doesn't matter. I just need to do what's best for my children and that's that. But when I put them in a corner in a grocery store, or use a slightly raised "mom voice" because they are misbehaving at an event or even just remove them completely from a situation kicking and screaming while onlookers flash this or that look, I have to wonder. I do wonder, I can't help myself.
Are they thinking;
"wow, she must be an awful parent - look how bad her kids are?"
"I cannot believe she's embarrassing her children that way by doing a time out in public! Honestly!"
"Man that kid can scream, no respect at all. My children will never act like that"
"Making her kids leave? That's not going to teach them anything"
Judge, judge, blame, accuse.
It's all in my head, and it makes me question my parenting. Am I not consistent enough cause I'm so busy? Do I not pay enough attention to my kids? Why don't I ever see any other children act like mine? What am I doing wrong!!??!!
Bottom line is that I'm doing the best I can. I'm not nice all the time. I lose my patience, raise my voice, and I see them on a daily basis using the same tone I use or getting frustrated. There's no manual on parenting, every kid is different and I read any advice I come across on being a better parent.
Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if I could really read their thoughts. Would it be as bad as I think? Worse? Or is there some commiseration that would take place? The odd time I do see a child misbehaving, if eye contact is made with mom or dad, I try my darnedest to project - "Been there, you're OK, you can do this".
I really hope it comes across.