I don’t remember ever feeling judged, but had a bitchy incident with another mom once. I didn’t really know her, we just had kids in school together. She was a substitute teacher and had taught my son.
We were picking our kids up from a birthday party and she came up to me and said, “I feel so sorry for your son Lisa.” Nice opener to which I replied, “Pardon?” Turns out she’s this big fan of accelerated learning and found out from the school staff that I wasn’t allowing my son to be put up a grade. She went on and on about how I was going to mess him up. I didn’t say much as was so stunned this virtual stranger was talking to me like this. Plus, I don’t believe in going on the defensive when being attacked, it just feeds the bully. I did a lot of smiling and nodding then walked away uttering “Miss Bitchy Pants” under my breath. Yeah, I’m tough, lol.
The fact that my son still remains in an institution muttering “Mom screwed me up” over and over is irrelevant.
I’ve only ever come up against one other bully in my life. That exact same condescending tone as they tell you what you should be doing. They hide under the umbrella of caring which isn’t fooling anyone. It’s obvious they’re battling their own insecurities by attacking others. It’s sad but pity is no reason to expose yourself to such people.
I mentioned the above incident to one of the school staff and they said she’d complained to them about me holding my son back. They assured her I knew what I was doing. He was already the youngest kid in his class, sensitive and small for his age. It was Australia, boys are tough. He’d have been eaten alive if moved up a grade. Besides, he was happy and you don’t fool with that.
I was a very confident mom but having someone tell you they feel sorry for your child because of you can throw anyone off. It did to me for a minute or 2 before I realized she was just a bully.
Bullying isn’t just for kids, adults just hide behind “caring” or “helping”. If you feel judged by another parent, take a step back and identify whether or not that person is just a bully. Maybe they have something constructive to say, but chances are they don’t.
On a side note. I’m so sick of the word “judge” being bashed. I judge everyone and everything all the time. I judge how much I like a restaurant, how much I enjoy someone’s company, etc. Are we not allowed to have opinions about anything anymore? Judge and bully are not the same. I judge how each session with a client goes: “Did she relate to what I was saying about the countdown method? Did he agree with my recommendations?” Judge judge judge. Yup, said it too many times, no longer has a meaning.
Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach