1 July 2022, by E-van and Terry
There is a wide array of grievances we parents have to bear with. Let’s just put it as that 😂
This blog entry is going to be a little on the touchy side, where I wished I could be straightforward enough to tackle difficult conversations without worrying about how the other person feels, but my (ahem) kind nature seems to forbid me to.
Perhaps if you are a parent yourself, you just may agree with some of the woes I have on here. So, without further ado, let’s get started…
1. Parenting advice
“If this was my son, I wouldn’t let him act this way”. “If I had a kid, I will not spare the rod”. You may or may not be surprised, but most times these words come from non-parents. But of course, a fair share of random parenting advice comes from random elderly passers-by!
In my point of view, I could be struggling to don a mask for Raphael for the past twenty minutes (don’t get me started on the anxiety that he’s exposed to the virus without the mask on), and when I finally give up because he keeps removing or throwing the mask on the floor in protest, a stranger’s remark “why never put on a mask for him?” dances into our direction…At that point, you wouldn’t want to waste your breath explaining to a stranger.
There’s no easy way to say this, but why judge someone when you don’t know the full story?
It is hard enough sometimes to teach children how we want them to be, well-mannered, kind and courteous and be good human beings. But they gotta start somewhere, and at a tender age, it’s where “somewhere” starts. I do wish that people have a little more patience with young children or parents who are simply trying their best. In this day and age, there are so many different takes on parenting. But mostly, we don’t want to scar our children like how some of us were brought up in the past. We have the knowledge of the world at our fingertips and I feel that most parents in my generation would like to bring up their children respectfully but firm.
This covers many aspects of not wanting to shame the child in front of others and giving them the space to sort out their emotions. It’s all part of growing up, and a meltdown (what is perceived as a tantrum) is a normal part of early childhood as the child is learning how to manage big feelings when they feel overwhelmed.
2. No baby yet? Or, when is the next baby?
This is at best, one of the most insensitive, casual remarks anyone can say to a parent or a married couple.
“He looks so lonely! He needs a sibling!”
I’ve been asked this too many times and it often leaves me surprised to be asked such a personal question, and subsequently have to think up something politically correct to not make this person feel bad about their question. But I shouldn’t have to feel that way if this question wasn’t asked of me in the first place. Such a casual, passing remark can affect me the entire day because what if we’ve really been trying? What if I’ve had miscarriages that you don’t know about?
This question is not as simple as it sounds, imagine being asked this right after, or in the midst of a traumatising miscarriage. We never know what people are going through, so let’s respect everyone wherever they’re at.
3. He Looks Like a Girl!
I know many parents who get triggered by this. Sometimes it’s okay to ask if the child is a girl or a boy. But it’s definitely not okay to insist if it’s a girl when mummy has already said “he’s a boy”. You’ll be surprised, yes, people really do that. Is it denial? Or just plain ignorance? “But really look like a girl!” What more do you want parents to say? It’s fine if you made a mistake the first time around, well especially if it’s a baby when it’s harder to tell one gender from the other. But maybe, just maybe, just accept that he’s a boy, even if he has long hair. Yes, even if his hair is tied up in a ponytail. Also, boys can wear certainly wear pink/purple and floral prints!
I think in general, what I’m saying here is to be respectful. And perhaps, a little more understanding at some point. We are all learning, and what you’re used to growing up may not agree with my parenting style and that’s okay. We do not have to agree on everything. Let’s understand that parenthood has its unique challenges for each of us, so let’s be kind to each other. ❤️