Okay, we can all say “I’m not one to judge” or something along those lines but the fact is we all do. Whether it’s the way another person parents, how someone behaves in public, the clothes a teenage girl is wearing, how someone treats their animal, the relationships are friends choose, the way are family members spend money, etc. And we all like to people watch! So deep down, we are judging, we are judging everyone.
The reasons we can say “I’m not one to judge” and get away with it is because we don’t voice our opinions, at least not to the ones we are judging. But what about those people who do actually tell you? How do you handle that?
I am very aware of the fact that I am high strung when it comes to certain things, I have control issues, I am probably a little overprotective and lenient with my kids all at once, I am over the moon about my puppy, I’m almost always late, I take on way more than I should, I stress over little things and don’t worry over bigger things, although I’m extremely social I don’t really like bars and I laugh at extremely inappropriate times. I am very aware of this, not because people have pointed it out, but because I’m not blind to the obvious. The funny thing is though; some people do find it necessary at times to point these things out to me. Go ahead; you’re not going to hurt my feelings, but you may come off like an ass.
I am the Parent Assistant for my daughter’s soccer team. The other parents constantly thank me for all my hard work. I flat out admit to them “I do it because of my own control issues.” If I’m doing all the organizing and the paperwork then I know it’s done. I take my dog to the dog park every single day to let her play with the other dogs. We go so often that I have made friends there who I will plan to meet on specific days and times. I miss my puppy like crazy when I am at work. I know it is nuts. My children (10 and almost 13) aren’t allowed to watch many PG13 movies and no Rated R movies but I will let them walk seven blocks to the candy store with a friend. My friends give me a hard time because I would rather stay home and watch a movie than go to a club or a bar to drink. I worry every day if I turned my flat iron off even though it has an automatic shut off.
I am okay with my craziness. In fact, I own my crazy! We all have a little crazy. Accepting it about ourselves makes it easier. And if are friends are true and our family loves us, they’ll accept it too. I love my family but they all have their nuttiness too. I just recognize that it is part of who they are and love them even more for it. Owning it and not caring helps you live more freely as Pick the Brain suggests.
This is all great but it took me 30 plus years to be at the point of saying and meaning “I don’t care what you think or if you judge me.” So how do we teach our children to accept their own craziness? And how do we teach them that it is okay for their friends, siblings, aunts, uncles, parents, etc. to have their own neuroses?
I hear the 12- and 13-year-old girls talk about their friends’ idiosyncrasies or even be hard on themselves about their quirks. I see them write things on Facebook. I’m sure the boys do it too. I know my own children have asked me questions about things they do, I do or their classmates do that they find a little abnormal.
I constantly tell them “don’t worry about it,” “why do you care what they think” “you need to just let it go” but the fact is, tweens and teens aren’t mentally capable of not caring, not worrying about it and just letting it go when others judge them. So what should we be telling our children when someone tells them something they aren’t ready to hear or something that’s just plain mean? Empowering Parents has great articles on how to deal with bullying but how do you tell your child to handle the mean one liners and judging comments kids say to each other.
Share your thoughts here. And if you have a little crazy you want to own, comment with that too!