Passing Judgement

I often like to take on the role of ‘devils advocate’ not because I like to antagonise but because sometimes people need to see things from the other side.

This week on Twitter I saw a conversation between several people ripping into a father who had been seen shouting and cussing at his child, aged 6 – 9 months.

‘I don’t know what the f**k you want’

Not the ideal thing to say to baby, but I remember all to clearly those early months with the twins when I was the end of my tether because I just did not know what to do!

Now, I’m in no way defending his actions, I abhor abusive, destructive parenting. We know shouting and swearing at a child will get you nowhere and really isn’t the way to engage with a child let alone a baby.

But not one person took a moment to ponder what had driven the father to shouting and cussing.

They instead took turns in calling him a ‘piece of shit’, a ‘terrible parent’ or saying they would have smacked him. It even went so far as the witness noted down his car registration number.

At no point in the conversations decimating this mans character and parenting skills did anyone say

‘I agree he was in the wrong and shouldn’t have done it, but I hope he’s okay and nothing serious has happened to cause his outburst’

Nope, instead it was an automatic judgement and he was found lacking.

No thought was given to what prompted him to react like that, anything could have prompted his reaction

for all they knew his partner had left him

his wife could have died in childbirth

he may have just lost his job

could have been informed his house was being repossessed

his parents could have been in an accident

an anniversary of his child's passing

he could be a single parent who’d been up all night with a cranky baby, tried everything the books recommend to comfort a crying child, only to find nothing works. Maybe after 24 hours of no sleep, after trying everything he lost his patience.

And reacted in frustration.

It was the wrong reaction.

But who hasn’t after a really terrible night, or when going through a really stressful period said something they later regret?

You can bet he feels like the worst parent going for reacting the way he did. He’s probably promised the child the world, given hugs and kisses aplenty, promised never to shout or tell them off ever again.

The fact is, we can never be privy to what is going on in the back ground, what prompts a parent to react in any particular way.

Whilst there are something's I would be the first person to jump up and intervene, I’d then want to know what had caused it before passing judgement.

Because maybe that parent actually needs some help and support rather than judgement.

As a parent I know I’d do anything before harming a hair on my boys heads, I’m sure the majority of you are same, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve never reacted in a way I’ve later regretted. A raised voice, taking away a favourite toy and yes I have sworn.

Does that elevate me to Top 10 Worst Parents List, no it doesn’t.

It just makes me human, one who reacted in the wrong way, and doesn’t deserve self-righteous condemnation from strangers who know nothing about what prompted my outburst.

little monsters

Perhaps, before passing judgement on others we should take a look at ourselves and our own behaviours.

Linking up for more ranting with Mummy Barrow

MummyBarrow RantyFriday

Post Comment Love


  1. You're so right... I know I've been the snappy parent before, but also have to admit ve been the one to jump to judgemental conclusions. Thank you for this post!

  2. Very well said. It is so true that we all have moments that we are not proud of, it is one of the down sides of social media that people are ao quick to jump on the bandwagon when these things happen without really thinking about the reality of the situation.

  3. Great post. I know I would have judged this man, I wouldn't have thought to look deeper. Yet I know I too have said and done things that I regret in anger when I've been at the end of my tether, yet I, like you, am a good parent to my kids.

  4. As usual, you are bang on. I tend to stay out of arguments like this as,;like you say, the full story isn't told in 1 moment x

  5. Absolutely! People are far to quick to judge.... those who live in glass houses and all that!

  6. Very well said. It is so easy to forget that there can be so many reasons for someone's behaviour and even easier to judge. I must say that having a child has slowed down my judgement of others.

  7. What a great post ........ I am waving my hands in the air here, i have lost my temper before with mine and shouted and its been unproductive and destructive and has then lead to tears all round. Im human and make mistakes and I know so tend to air on the side of caution when passing judgements too! x

  8. Very interesting post. You make such a good point and, I'll be honest, I tend to make snap judgments before knowing the reasons behind the actions. I hope that I will think more now I've read this.

  9. Spot on! I must say I probably would have jumped to conclusions and judged too, I do think it is largely in our human nature. That said I do try and think a little deeper and play devil's advocate as well.

  10. Well said, of course his reaction was pretty awful but you are right that no one knows the reasons behind it. People seem to be so judgmental when it comes to parenting techniques. #PoCoLo

  11. You are SO right with this post. In fact, yesterday I pulled out in front of someone in my car by mistake because I was crying and listening to something on the radio and this guy was cussing and hooting at me and driving really close. So many people are quick to judge before knowing the reasons behind it all. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

  12. You are right. We are quick to judge.

    And as you say, whilst his behaviour is not right, we must not condemn him without having all the facts. He hope he has a better day tomorrow

  13. Here here Amanda! We've all been at the end of our tether and said things we later regret. No-one is perfect. Unfortunately the ease of spreading a message via social media coupled with mob mentality is not a very nice combo :( #PoCoLo

  14. Fab post and so nice to see that you've taken the time to wonder whether the Dad was OK and that he probably felty absolutely awful afterwards. Fab piece & loved reading it #PoCoLo

  15. Great post. It is so easy and human to pass someone like that and judge. I guess that what I would have done. I don't think, however, that starting a discussion about it on Twitter is the next logical step... I think everyone of us as parents is also a human being, and yes, sometimes we overreact, or say things we later regret. It is wonderful to be reminded to stop and think and maybe help others, every one in a while.

  16. Great post, people are far to quick to judge and I have been at the end of my tether many a time!

  17. I can relate to this totally. I've done many things i am not proud of when i have been pushed to the end of my teather.

    The one things that makes me totally angry is judgey behavior - people should juts mind their own bloody business most of the time.

  18. Spoken as a true mother who has experienced parenting in the real world. None of us has the right to judge a person till we've walked in their shoes. thank you for making me take a moment to stop and think. X

  19. Great post. As a parent of twins myself I know I've been driven to say & do things I later regretted. Raising children is hard!

  20. Well said - none of us are perfect and the last thing we need in our moments of weakness is the acid-tongued judgement of others! xx


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