Dear People Without Kids: You Don’t Get to Judge Parents. Ever.

People who don't have children of their own aren't allowed to judge parents | The Champagne Supernova

Here’s a new rule.

If you don’t have children and/ or never had to raise children, then absent blatant emotional or physical abuse, you don’t get to judge people who are real life actual parents.

Like, ever.

I recently shared an article on my blog’s Facebook page about how people who choose to not have children are not entitled to live in a child-free world. A guy named Joseph commented that “when kids are misbehaving in an intolerant manner, it is almost always shitty parenting.”

[Exact quote]

When I replied to his comment simply asking whether he had kids (literally, I asked nothing else) Joseph replied that his comment “represented the statement of an opinion and not an invitation to converse.”

[Wrong buddy, the beauty of owning a Facebook page is that I can converse with whomever I please and if someone doesn’t like it, they can skedaddle somewhere else on the good ole’ web.]

[Also: Joseph clearly doesn’t have kids.]

You’re right, Joseph. So when my daughter was having an inconsolable meltdown at the public pool the other day, it wasn’t because she was exhausted, had a cold, snuck too many cookies behind my back, OR BECAUSE SHE IS FIVE AND HER MENTAL CAPACITY HASN’T FULLY DEVELOPED.

It was because I’m a “shitty parent.” You sure nailed it!

Whomever wants to judge a person as a de facto bad parent after witnessing a snippet of their child’s behavior has clearly never had to deal with a youngster themselves.

Or a twelve year old for that matter.

Heck, I’m 35 and guarantee I still frustrate my own parents.

As parents, we usually must guide our children in the proper direction many, many times before they figure out on their own how to follow that direction.

It is an ongoing effort.

Yes, there are absolutely terrible parents in this world. However, I firmly believe that 95% of us are trying our absolute hardest to raise children to become functional, loving, and contributing members of society.

Most people who don’t have children cannot understand how hard it can be to raise them. Which makes it that much more annoying when I can tell a childless person is internally shaming me when my kids are acting inappropriately.

These people see the five minute “sound byte” of a child’s poor behavior but don’t see the other 23 hours and fifty-five minutes of the day that involve waking up, eating breakfast, making lunches, getting out of the house, talking on the drive to school, going to work (or staying home with other children and tending to household chores), attending extracurricular sports and other activities, returning home and doing homework, making and eating dinner, and then bed time. Throw in some important life lessons about navigating social situations and working our hardest at school and woah, that’s a lot!

The judgmental childless person doesn’t see the parent who is trying hard to guide their kids in the right direction. The parent who is crying in the shower because their child is strong willed and unmanageable. The parent who is making every effort to obtain effective treatment for a child who has a disability. The parent whose fingers are bleeding from putting stickers on a star chart every single night hoping it incentivizes their child to “make good choices.”

They don’t see all of the sincere efforts parents make behind closed doors.

So to the childless person, take heed:

We teach our toddlers to behave at restaurants but they sometimes end up screaming and throwing french fries on the floor.

We tell our kiddos the importance of sharing and being a good friend but they will occasionally make another child cry when they don’t want to hand over a couple of Goldfish crackers.

We remind our young children to be considerate of other passengers on airplanes but sometimes the flight is really really long and they end up running up and down the aisles or hysterically crying when their ears are popping.

We make sure they know its important to be quiet in places like the library, music lessons, or church but sometimes they’ll forget and squeal with laughter or excitement.

It happens.

And I promise it’s not because the child’s keeper is a bad parent: it’s because the child is a CHILD. And most of the time, the parent is trying really hard.

So if my kiddo is melting down at a restaurant, cut me a little slack.

Especially if you aren’t a parent yourself.



    50 Comments on Dear People Without Kids: You Don’t Get to Judge Parents. Ever.

    1. Joe
      March 28, 2022 at 1:10 pm (5 months ago)

      I can’t believe the replies to this article. The author really touched a nerve obviously! I agree with Jennifer (the author) 100%. I agree that no one is perfect. But 90% of parents do NOT want their kid having a meltdown in public and IS doing everything they know how to stop it. Kids are born like a wild horse, and they need tamed (civilized). Try telling the cowboy riding the bucking bronco “Common on, make that horse behave!” Lol. When people have no compassion or understanding of how impossible it is to make kids behave perfectly at all times, they speak from ignorance and selfishness. This is what I read in so many of the comments above. God bless you Jennifer! And all other good parents trying their best. I UNDERSTAND COMPLETELY. Raising 4 kids has helped me with that perpesctive.

    2. Celeste de Castelbajac
      December 13, 2020 at 6:50 pm (2 years ago)

      Seriously? Parents like you are a problem. You think that just because you have children, you’re exempt from any criticism. You use this excuse to lax your parenting and let your children run amok in public. Get it through your head that other people may know better than you regardless of whether or not they have children.I don’t need to have a child to know common decency, proper discipline, and presentation in public spaces. If you or your children exhibit unruly behavior that bothers others you are fair game for judgement.

    3. Me91
      March 29, 2020 at 7:07 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, I do. I don’t have a cat, but I know not to feed it chocolate, and I know it’s bad parenting, without even having kids to let your 1:30 stand up in their high chair at a restaurant. You want her to fall head first into the floor? Even without having kids I know I’m a better parent than they are.

    4. Eternally childfree
      December 6, 2018 at 10:56 am (4 years ago)

      Oh how dare you! You could have left your child at home knowing they were unwell instead of forcing us childfree to have to suffer your kid in a meltdown! You should be ashamed of yourself!

      If you think your child is having a fit you should have done what our parents did and taken it outside or spanked them for misbehaving! This is poor behavior you are allowing others to suffer!

      Ithis type of behavior was not tolerated while I was growing up so shame on you for saying it’s okay now.
      Teach them respect for others and an indoor voice or go home!

      • jenniferdaku
        December 6, 2018 at 12:50 pm (4 years ago)

        LOL. What a joke.

        • Samantha Black
          December 19, 2018 at 2:43 am (4 years ago)

          I had a coworker with a well-behaved, smart, but by no means repressed child. One night she came into work and we were talking. She had taken her child on an anticipated trip to the Mall on a city bus. Her child wasn’t listening, was oppositional and loud. My friend told her child that if she didn’t sit down and ride the bus quietly, they would get off at the next stop and go back home. Child was quiet for a few minutes then ramped up the noise. By then the next stop was the Mall. They left the bus, walked across the street and took the bus back home. Wonder how she learned to be so well-behaved?

          Another friend and I were catching up at a Red Lobster. Parent s came in with a fussy child, were seated, and it went downhill from there. The child was screaming, banging silverware, crying at the top of its lungs. I could barely hear my friend. Instead of one parent taking the child outside while the other parent paid the bill and had the food wrapped to go, both just kept their eyes averted from the other unhappy customers and shoveled the food in. See? That’s what a considerate person would do. If I wanted a meal with screaming children I would have gone to Chuckie Cheese! I spoke to our waiter, who passed the buck. I was going to go over and speak to the parents but I humored my friend. We cut our meal short and fled. Is there any reason people not related to the child should have to put up with this, and pay to have a meal in stressful settings? These parents obviously knew their child was acting like a hellion, but decided to ignore it because they wanted to go to Red Lobster. That’s downright rude!

          You seem to maintain that since your children aren’t badly behaving 24/7, that it’s just expected that they will misbehave. Maybe so, but YOU the parent have control over the circumstances where they act out. You can choose to remove them to a car or other non-public setting. If the child is old enough, like my friend’s daughter, you can give consequences for bad behavior in public and be consistent with enforcement. My mother neither yelled nor hit, but when she gave us “the look”, we stopped unruliness. Why is this such a bad thing in your eyes? Do you really think every place is a child’s playground?

          No one disputes that raising children well is a time-consuming enterprise, but it is one which you chose to do. If I choose to raise puppies and they keep my neighbor awake it’s my business to remedy that because my neighbor shouldn’t suffer the fallout from my choices. Same with children. I and others had nothing to do with your choice to have children, so why should we have to deal with their bad behavior? Especially as their are actions you can take. Remove a noisy child to a less public place. On a plane that’s the bathroom. It’s not as if they would be able to last an entire flight without going in there anyway. Take the child b the hand and walk it up and down the isles. Bring toys and video games with headphones. I’d hate to say the number of times I’ve been in doctor’s offices where a parent brings an infant and an older child with nothing to do. I make paper airplanes and the child flies them (away from seated people, amazing that they listen when I make this request, isn’t it?), happily. Why would this be so hard for a parent to do?

          I’ve seen parents with well-behaved children in public. It’s beyond reason to think all the children have had an ideal day. Maybe it’s skills? Just because you can birth them doesn’t mean you have the skills to teach them. There are well-behaved children in restaurants and hellions. Same in malls and planes. What do these parents with the well behaved children do that keeps their children from acting out in public? Maybe it’s something worth learning? Or is it easier to let them slide sometimes, because you’ve taken on more than you can do and there’s no “backsies”? It’s easier to go “waaaa….”, and let your problem become everyone else’s problem? Yes, it’s really, really, hard, but you knew that going in, didn’t you? Or were you an only child, home schooled, and never came across children in the wild before? So crack a book or two. Next time you see a parent with a well-behaved child, ask for advice. Most people are helpful. And don’t get so outraged about being judged. Everyone is judged, the minute they walk out the door. Sometimes it’s fashion choices, music, bad work ethic. Other times it’s having your screaming child kicking the seat of the person in front of them, for a two hour flight. Yes, you’re going to be judged, as well as your children. You can either guide them into more acceptable behavior or shoot the messenger, like you do above.

          • jenniferdaku
            December 25, 2018 at 8:53 pm (4 years ago)

            Samantha- how many kids do you have?

          • Joe
            March 28, 2022 at 2:00 pm (5 months ago)

            In reply to Samantha Black – The one thing you leave out is that all kids are different. My daughter has 3 girls that are mostly little angels. Their personalities are naturally to want to please and be kind and obey, much like my daughter was as a child. But, my daughter’s much younger brother (my 7 year old son), is very strong willed and wants to do things his way, and doesn’t care nearly as much about people think of him. So he is much more likely to missbehave (at home and in public) than my 3 grand-daughters mentioned above. That is just reality. I deal with it as best I can, but I cannot control him like a robot. And while I don’t want him to bother other people, I do need to go shopping sometimes, and he will be with me, maybe throwing a tantrum. Lol. When i see other parents in similar situations I like to smile at them and show them some kindness and understanding., because I KNOW how hard it can be.

      • Tired of intolerant people
        December 7, 2018 at 10:37 am (4 years ago)

        WoW. What an ignorant comment. You clearly know very little about parenting Or human interaction for that matter. Next time you see a parent struggling with their child throwing a tantrum, how about showing a little empathy or better, some help, instead of being judgy? I can think of a good dozens of instances where my child was difficult in public, and we do everything to raise her to be a well-behaved, tolerant, and kind person. But all you would have seen is the child acting out / shame on the parent. So to your point, how dare YOU?!

    5. Matt
      December 6, 2018 at 8:31 am (4 years ago)

      STFU. My opinion is not going to be relegated just because my wife and I don’t have a bunch of spawn.

      • C
        September 13, 2020 at 9:44 pm (2 years ago)

        Now who’s the selfish cry-baby.

    6. Amy
      December 5, 2018 at 11:39 am (4 years ago)

      I’m childfree and love kids. I understand kids get really overwhelmed when flying or when their parents have to go to the store and the lines are REALLY long and the kid feels overwhelmed.
      I get it.
      And there’s only one reason I get angry.
      What I don’t appreciate is when the parents are on the phone during meltdowns. Humans have meltdowns.
      Consider your perspective before you post a blog post while you’re reflecting on a stranger’s Facebook comments.
      Taunting happens and it seems like Joseph won this round.

    7. Kat
      December 5, 2018 at 8:59 am (4 years ago)

      what a logical fallacy. in this sense you could not judge anything you are not directly involved in, and it means most of things in life – all of us have very limited impact on this planet. also, since you are an attorney, you would sure know what an ad hominem argument means, you have just posted a very clear ad hominem argument article !

    8. Erin
      December 5, 2018 at 8:48 am (4 years ago)

      ” it wasn’t because she was exhausted, had a cold, snuck too many cookies behind my back”
      So instead of recognizing the warning signs that your kid was exhausted and leaving before they have a meltdown… instead of keeping a sick kid home to rest, and bringing them TO THE POOL TO SWIM and infect everyone with your germs because your selfish ass wanted to swim, instead of watching your 5 year old enough that they don’t ‘sneak’ so many sweets they become ill… you’ll blame her developmental age instead of YOUR SHITTY PARENTING and say that the childfree can’t judge? Lady, you just proved the whole point you were trying to disprove in your article… that shitty PARENTING results in shitty BEHAVIOR. And yes I will judge the hell out of you for putting your own selfish wants/ needs before your child so that the rest of the world is inconvenienced by their SHITTY behavior, so you don’t have to be.

      • Kswizzle
        December 7, 2018 at 10:07 am (4 years ago)

        Lmao you clearly do not know how to read.

    9. Kitty
      December 5, 2018 at 5:40 am (4 years ago)

      But what you’re ignoring is that your child’s “melt-downs” don’t affect her and you only, unlike our child-free state. They impinge on everyone around you. I have had far too many special outings made miserable by toddler tantrums. To insist we put up and shut up is a form of bullying. This has nothing to do with whether I have children or not. I write as a human being who would prefer not to be intimidated out of shopping, theater-going, eating in restaurants, walking in parks.. Anything.. By the fear they will be packed with children having “melt-downs” and their aggressive parents.

      Incidentally, I never threw a “melt-down” as a child, neither did any child I knew. We were given the very clear message, right from the get-go, that behaving like that in public was NOT OK and would not be tolerated.

      • jenniferdaku
        December 5, 2018 at 11:52 am (4 years ago)

        Kitty, LOL. I’m sure you never had a meltdown as a child. Sorry to say, but you aren’t entitled to a child-free world. Cheers.

        • Roooossseee
          December 17, 2018 at 10:58 am (4 years ago)

          Jennifer, LOL. You aren’t entitled to tell someone how to live their life because they don’t want children. Cheers. (:

          • jenniferdaku
            December 25, 2018 at 8:52 pm (4 years ago)

            Nobody ever did that. Might wanna read the article again.

        • Samantha Black
          December 19, 2018 at 2:54 am (4 years ago)

          yes, but I’m betting Kitty was removed during her meltdown, to the car, outdoors, somewhere. I’ve seen far too many parents who just keep on doing whatever they were doing, even continue to shop while the child screams like a banshee. My parents tag-teamed when we 6 children were young. One would shop while the other was minding the children. There’s a reason there’s birth control, so that people can plan for a child, including having people in your life who can help, so you’re not dragging tired children around for many hours of adult chores.

          • jenniferdaku
            December 25, 2018 at 8:55 pm (4 years ago)


    10. Sloane
      December 5, 2018 at 2:58 am (4 years ago)

      Your assumption that Joseph has no kids just blew any intellectual credibility your argument had. If he didn’t answer your question then you really don’t know what you’re talking about regarding his experience. Making assumptions? You don’t get to do that and then complain.
      When your child is having a public meltdown, shrieking at the top of its lungs, (no matter the reason) you be a good parent and a decent human being and remove it from an area where people are trying to enjoy their day or go on about their business. Who do you think you are to allow you are misbehaving child to intrude on the lives of others? Sorry buddy you’re just not that entitled and your kid is just not that important.
      It is parents like yourself who make everyone’s life a misery.

    11. Cheryl
      December 4, 2018 at 9:54 pm (4 years ago)

      i was once a kid. My Mom was a damn good parent. We learned to respect the space and environment of others. I will judge other parents all I want because I base my judgement on my own upbringing. Freaking out and disturbing others in a disrespectful manner was not tolerated. The reason the child free judge is because parents nowadays let their kids be entitled brats that no longer respect others in public spaces. So shut the eff up and raise your children to realize they aren’t the centre of the god damned universe.

      • C
        September 13, 2020 at 10:01 pm (2 years ago)

        Your mom did a bang up job on teaching you empathy and compassion too? I won’t judge her.

    12. Mari
      December 4, 2018 at 9:39 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh God… another unsufferable and entitled momzilla who thinks the world owes her for having bred.

    13. June
      December 4, 2018 at 9:36 pm (4 years ago)

      If you are letting your kids behave like drunk monkeys and they’re disturbing the peace, I will be judging you. It’s fracking painful to hear kids scream in an enclosed area where the sound has nowhere to go. I’m nearly going deaf because parents are too lazy to keep their kids quiet. The public is not your babysitter. Control your child or leave them at home. And stop trying to use mental illness or neurological disorders to excuse your child’s bad behavior. It’s ableist and it makes it hard for people with real mental illnesses or neurological disorders to get help or be taken seriously.

      • Samantha Black
        December 19, 2018 at 3:04 am (4 years ago)

        Thank you June! I have a relative who has been flying his severely autistic child out of the country and on vacations to Disneyworld. The child doesn’t have The Good Doctor or Temple Grandin autism, it’s full-blown, non-verbal, flapping, seizure, hyper, autism. The poor parent hasn’t had sleep in 20 years. But I would choose to fly in an adjoining seat rather than near many of the children flying today. It takes work, consistency, and knowing what you’re doing. That shouldn’t be too much to expect.

        • jenniferdaku
          December 25, 2018 at 8:54 pm (4 years ago)

          How many kids do YOU have?

    14. RHONDA
      December 4, 2018 at 9:28 pm (4 years ago)

      Please dont judge us that decided to not have kids.

      • jenniferdaku
        December 5, 2018 at 11:53 am (4 years ago)

        Nobody did.

    15. Steph
      December 4, 2018 at 2:06 pm (4 years ago)

      It depends. Joseph isn’t right and neither are you.

    16. Ell
      December 4, 2018 at 7:25 am (4 years ago)

      Dear people with kids, You don’t get to judge people without kids. EVER. It is our choice to not have kids. This is not an invitation for you to tell us we’ll change our mind or that we are too young to know what we want.

      This is not an attack on you. We simply choose to live the childfree lifestyle. More freedom, more money, less aggravation and less sleepless nights.

    17. Maggie
      December 4, 2018 at 7:07 am (4 years ago)

      If you’re a teacher who’s with kids all day, you do.

    18. Suzanne
      December 4, 2018 at 5:07 am (4 years ago)

      In that case, people who are parents don’t get the choice to judge childfree people either. How about that?

      If I am judging someone which we all do, they wouldn’t know it because I don’t say anything to them. I leave them to live their life in whatever manner they prefer as it’s not for me to dictate how any other human being does anything.

      Bottom line: Everybody judges each other, childfree or with kids.

    19. Kelly
      December 4, 2018 at 3:50 am (4 years ago)

      Dear people who do not write or perform music, you don’t get to judge music, like, ever.

      That is how rediculous you sound right now. If one person says you’re a bad patent, maybe they are a jerk. But if there’s a whole slew, it might be you.

    20. t
      December 4, 2018 at 3:43 am (4 years ago)

      if your kid wont scream at the retrunt or movie or lecture or concert…i wont
      if your kid will bully others i will

    21. Hmmmm
      December 4, 2018 at 3:09 am (4 years ago)

      – this is taking one person’s comment (very personally) and generalisting (very judgementally) across an entire group of people. Not cool. I am a parent, and I have seen many more judgemental parent judging each other than childfree or childless people. Like someone rose said- it’s not the “group” judging that makes them more or less entitled to judge – it’s not okay to go judging others experiences full stop. That includes judging people without kids. As little insight as you accuse them of having into your life- have you considered you might not have the insight you think into theirs? Not cool

    22. Jana
      April 12, 2018 at 1:32 pm (4 years ago)

      I will judge you if you are a friend of mine who I have lived with, helped get you on your feet, and at times raised your kid. There is such a thing as being a lazy parent in a bad way. Just because I don’t biologically have kids doesn’t mean I haven’t spent time around others, raising, and taking care of them for extended periods of time. If I’ve been a nanny, If I’ve been the oldest of multiple children, If I’ve lived with you for more than a year. I will absolutely judge the fact that your kids aren’t living with consistency and an attentive parent. Get off your phone, and get over yourself.

      NOTE having had these experiences also means that I am capable of judging when a kid is just being a kid. And when a parent really is running on a low battery. Letting your kid eat cereal for every meal once in a while is fine. I get it. But everyday?

      You’d better believe I’m judging you.

    23. Ali A
      October 21, 2017 at 11:33 am (5 years ago)

      I hear you! I’ll be totally honest — I’ve had my moments where I got annoyed at screaming/misbehaving kids (if I’m at a restaurant and it’s really loud/distracting and parents don’t take them outside to get them away for a minute) but ever since my brother had kids, I’m way more understanding about it. My niece and nephew are really good and have amazing parents, but yeah, they freak sometimes. My 3 year old niece will scream in a public place, or just start running. It’s not my brother/SILs fault by any means and they try to control it, but sometimes it’s really hard. I NEVER judge parents who are doing their best and especially when things are out of their hands. I ALSO think certain places are kid-friendly and if you really don’t wanna be around kids, don’t go to them. Go to the fancy bougie restaurant in your city/town and enjoy the stuffy quiet atmosphere 🙂

    24. Jane
      October 20, 2017 at 11:03 pm (5 years ago)

      You nailed it

    25. Julie Borm
      October 16, 2017 at 5:59 am (5 years ago)

      I couldn’t agree with your post more (and this Joseph guy sounds like a real gem). But I recently had instances when parents were the judgmental ones and I’ve come to believe that can hurt even more. NO ONE SHOULD JUDGE – PERIOD! Parenting is freaking hard and we should all just work harder to be more empathetic and supportive.

    26. Kelli
      October 12, 2017 at 10:56 pm (5 years ago)

      Amen I too have had those judgemental shaking of the heads from those who are childless.. oh and let us not forget those who do not have children but consider their pets as their children and try to compare the two.. yeah right!! We parents are not able to cage our children when we go to work or just let them run around in the backyard unsupervised for hours at a time! So again I say amen to you!! Keep on keep in on fellow mommy and daddy’s too!????

      • diane
        July 10, 2018 at 10:22 am (4 years ago)

        I see just as many “judgemental” people shake their heads that are parents. I am childless and I am SO tired of being placed in that bucket by parents. Why are you, as parents, so judgemental of those of us who aren’t? Sounds hypocritical.

    27. Alana Coddaire
      October 12, 2017 at 5:26 pm (5 years ago)

      Love this!!

    28. Pamela
      October 12, 2017 at 3:33 pm (5 years ago)


    29. Judy
      October 12, 2017 at 3:32 pm (5 years ago)

      The “seasoned” parent or grandparent, when seeing a child having a meltdown, probably thinks, “I am so glad my kids have outgrown that stage…or…I am so glad it isn’t my grandchild doing that this time” that what they are truly feeling is just compassion. Every time I see a parent dealing with that I just want to give them a hug and tell them to just enjoy those moments, as they will be over in a flash. In many ways the noise of children is so much nicer than silence. Cheers.

    30. Lara Butera
      October 12, 2017 at 11:07 am (5 years ago)

      great read. that is all.

    31. Rachel Palmer
      October 12, 2017 at 6:44 am (5 years ago)

      You’re so right. The only way to teach children how to behave in public is to take them out …. in public! So sometimes they’ll act up, but parents feel shit enough when this happens and don’t need judgement from anyone else

    32. Kate Williams
      October 12, 2017 at 6:36 am (5 years ago)

      My four year old is known to have the most epic meltdowns known to mankind. Am I a shitty parent? Well, I’m not perfect but I’ve put more effort into trying to fix this than I ever did into any traditional job. There’s an epic article by Bumdi Lattiden called ‘Dear perfect parent in the Facbook comments’ which I refer to everytime I have to deal with like the idiot that you had too. And hugs, kids having meltdowns are the most draining thing on the planet x

      • Suzanne
        December 4, 2018 at 8:50 am (4 years ago)

        You do realise that everybody judges each other right? Would you also apply this to other things like not being allowed to judge music because I’ve never sung on a stage myself or not criticise films or TV shows because I’ve never acted?

        I also hear parents say rude or hurtful things about or directly to childfree people which is also wrong. But unless someone says something to you directly, how do you know if they are judging you?