1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
I received a comment yesterday that got me thinking. A woman told me that her three daughters were well behaved and she implied my kids act up because of my lazy parenting. I really don't think she was trying to be mean. I think she simply doesn't understand that not all kids are the same and it's not all about the parenting, but about the kids and their different personalities as well. Anyway, I started thinking about this and in all honesty, if I only considered my three daughters, I probably wouldn't have much material for this blog. They're well behaved. I don't have problems with them. Now, I'm not saying that boys are bad or that I don't like my boys or anything remotely like that, but I will say that my boys are the root of the behavior issues in this house 99% of the time. Jackson has ADHD and can't take meds because they cause high blood pressure for him. Until you've spent a day with a kid whose brain doesn't have that little switch that makes them stop and think before they act, you can't begin to presume I'm a lazy parent. And Clay hasn't had any official diagnosis, but I'd bet big money that he has it too. I have six kids and they're all VERY different. They all have their own personalities. And they all react differently to instruction. I'm not getting into all this here because I've already written about it in my book. I did want to talk about judging others though.
Before I had kids and even when I just had a couple kids and things were calm and well ordered around my house, I did judge other parents out there. I kept my opinions to myself but they were there. There were several times that I thought I was better than someone else - the mom, frazzled and yelling at her child; the parent feeding their toddler fast food; the house that was a giant mess; the child throwing an all-out tantrum. Maybe it's just human nature to compare others to ourselves and decide who is better.
After having several children, some of whom are very difficult in nature, I see things differently. And after putting myself out there with this blog and being the subject of judgement from strangers, I REALLY see things differently. It's easy to judge someone else and decide that they're incompetent when things are going well for you. When I'm out with the kids and they're all behaving like angels and we're smiling and having a good ole time, it would be easy to look at the mom who is ready to pull her hair out and is almost in tears as she half-runs to catch up with her 2 year old and half-drags her pouting 4 year old behind her. It's easy to look at them and think, "MY kids would never act like that in public. I know how to discipline them. What a shame."
Well guess what - your day will come. Replace that holier-than-thou attitude with one of compassion. The last thing that mom needs is a condescending look from someone who, based on a brief glimpse, has judged her as incompetent. Give that frazzled mom a look that doesn't condemn her, but affirms that she's not alone. A look that says - I understand; I'm sorry you're having a tough time; it's ok.
I tell my kids all the time - you never know who your words and actions are going to effect. The kid in school who is a loner and gets picked on, just might end up being the kid who loses it, brings a gun to school, shoots several innocent kids and himself. What if instead of judging him, based on your preconceived notions, you befriend him? What if you say, "Come sit with us" at lunchtime? Maybe instead of being overcome with depression next year, he'll find that he does indeed fit in somewhere. Maybe you'll discover that kid who everyone called strange, is actually a really nice, funny guy. I'm telling you, don't judge others. Let your words and actions be a blessing to them.
Even if you think you know all about the other person or the situation, you don't. Not until you've walked a mile in their shoes, can you truly understand. And you certainly don't know enough about a person or situation from reading a few lines on a blog. And I'm not just talking about myself. I mean ANY blog out there. Too often I hear from other bloggers that they've gotten nasty, hateful, or judgemental emails/comments from people. Just recently Peggy, from CarePages - ColemanScott, got some negative mail over the dumbest thing. Peggy is the sweetest woman with amazing faith and certainly didn't do anything to deserve negativity from ignorant people. (By the way, if you haven't already, check out her Care Page. She has 2 of the most adorable boys and I love how she writes phonetically the way the boys talk. It's too cute!)Anyway, I digress. All I want to say is - For crying out loud people, can't we all just get along?!!!