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 absoluteย 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 reallyย reallyย 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 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.



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

    1. Jana
      April 12, 2018 at 1:32 pm (6 months 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.

    2. Ali A
      October 21, 2017 at 11:33 am (12 months 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. Jane
      October 20, 2017 at 11:03 pm (12 months ago)

      You nailed it

    4. Julie Borm
      October 16, 2017 at 5:59 am (1 year 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.

    5. Kelli
      October 12, 2017 at 10:56 pm (1 year 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!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

      • diane
        July 10, 2018 at 10:22 am (3 months 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.

    6. Alana Coddaire
      October 12, 2017 at 5:26 pm (1 year ago)

      Love this!!

    7. Pamela
      October 12, 2017 at 3:33 pm (1 year ago)


    8. Judy
      October 12, 2017 at 3:32 pm (1 year 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.

    9. Lara Butera
      October 12, 2017 at 11:07 am (1 year ago)

      great read. that is all.

    10. Rachel Palmer
      October 12, 2017 at 6:44 am (1 year 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

    11. Kate Williams
      October 12, 2017 at 6:36 am (1 year 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


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