Parenting is hard. Parenting in public is even harder.
A recent parenting fail that happened because I was in public made me realize that I sometimes don’t follow my own parenting, and common sense, rules in order to please or not offend others–or what is worse, to not be judged by strangers.
Writing this down, and sharing it with you, is a way to remind myself that parenting means putting your child’s development before other’s feelings. As a mom I know and respect told me years ago, “we are our children’s only advocates”.
This doesn’t mean that you should hurt others or not care about others’ feelings, but often I find myself putting others ahead of my own children. Here are a few things I regret and hope to never do again.
1- I have taken candy from an old man who kindly offered it to my son. Although I promptly threw it away, I should have declined it and teach my son the lesson that you never take candy from strangers.
2- I have let my children eat food I know it is bad for them just because I didn’t want to offend my friend who offered it. I should have politely declined and told my son he could eat something else.
3- I have let my own social anxiety and emotions affect my parenting, such as having a short temper and less patience because of how I feel in some social situations. This has led poor behavior, and what is worse, confusion, in my children.
4- I have modified my parenting when in public because I have felt that if I did things the way I do them in private I would be judged as either too lenient, too strict, to new age, too old-fashioned, etc
Do you feel like parenting in public is harder than in private? How do you parent in public?
Please tell me I am not alone, or at the very least, tell me how you handle this extra difficult side of parenting.