3 Ways To Reduce Parent Shaming

“Parent shaming hurts families because we take away the parent’s power and instead tell them to do what society’s every changing ideals believes to be right or wrong.” Mercedes Samudio

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The idea of parent shaming has been on my mind a lot in the past few months, and more recently with the media coverage of the Baltimore mother. When I think of the damage parent shaming causes families, I think about how we can begin to make a shift in the ways we judge parents. So, I’m currently on a mission to #EndParentShaming!

I define parent shaming as any judgement made by someone towards a parent/caregiver about their parenting that does not help them become more effective in their parenting. Or, you could define parent shaming as thinking you understand a parent’s decisions based on science, experience, research, observation, or anything else we tend to use to bolster our shaming arguments. And, at the end of our parent shaming, what happens? Does the parent you just shamed miraculously gain the skills you deem worthy? Does the parent then garner an awareness of all the changes they have to make based on your expectations? The answer is no! No one changes from being shamed into it. No one changes because society’s wish-washy nature tells them to. And, no one changes because they have been fear-mongered into it.

So, how do we decrease the pain families feel when parents need more effective strategies but are too ashamed and scared of ridicule to ask for help? Ask yourself this question each time you are about to make a judgment – whether a positive or negative one – about a parent’s choices. And, after you’ve asked yourself this, take a look at this video for 3 ways that you can reduce your parent shaming:

Overall, parent shaming hurts families because when a parent is too embarrassed, too ashamed, or too fearful to reach out for support the whole family suffers. They don’t get the help they need and they don’t have the support they need to heal or be more effective. The best way to raise resilient children is to provide support to their caregiver – not just chastise or praise them. When families are whole and connected they do better – children feel heard, parents feel less stressed, and families bond. But, when we shame parents we take away a family’s right to experience this. If you get nothing else from this post, take this away: Let’s #EndParentShaming and begin supporting parents regardless of what we think of their strategies.

This post is part of the Raising Resilient Children series. Click the image below to find more tips from mental health professionals.

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3 thoughts on “3 Ways To Reduce Parent Shaming”

  1. kimberlyds says:

    I have this grouse against some activists who sometimes (maybe they mean well) take things too far. And too much interference from external parties can sometimes do a great deal of damage.

    1. Welcome to the blog Kimberly. I think that passion without thinking can definitely cause more confusion. We get passionate about our causes, but forget that humans all have flaws – no passion is more relevant than the other. Thanks for sharing your insights. I hope you’ll share your thoughts on other posts here as well.

  2. Mercedes, you have a lovely blog with quality content. And that is why we’ve nominated you for the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD! See the details on accepting your award here http://tunedinparents.com/2015/05/28/one-lovely-blog-award/. Thanks! ~Elle C., Tuned In Parents

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