Wednesday, February 17, 2010

people watching wednesday

It is that time again, week 2 of my people watching! This week has been filled with some interesting people. People that like to make comment on your parenting or even share some grunting and disgraceful facial features, while they watch your every move.

We all parent our children differently, we are all different people, and so are our children. So it goes without saying that I personally may do something for my children that is the same as you do, but it will still be a different experience. There are people out there that like to think it is their right to make comments about how they perceive your parenting skills. I sometimes think these people make this their job in life, they truly have nothing better to do then make judgement on your parenting style!

After deciding to do this column I have really started to soak up all that is happening around me. I must look like a stalker to some people, with my big lens and my note pad and pen! It is interesting to sit back and think like the people that analyse us as parents, those people who make judgement and occasionally let us know what they think. However, I am not making judgement in the way of comments, but I am watching and learning how others might perceive someone as bad parent, (not so good parent; don't like the term bad parent, but I am trying to think how they would think).

I really enjoyed watching the man above with his son. It was interesting to see why some people might perceive him as a "bad" father. He spent the whole time on his blackberry while his son rode around on his bike. I however could look at it with a different perspective and see the joy his son was having spending his afternoon at the beach on his bike. When you really think about this you can see why some people may take judgement on you as a parent. Don't get me wrong, he could be a father that is not there for his son the way he needs him, but you also need to look at it in a different light.

I have had a week where I have personally received some judgement on my parenting skills, actually I don't think I have a week where I am not judged! I really do go with the flow with parenting, especially when it is spent by the beach. I am not fussed if my children want to jump under the beach shower fully clothed. Really, does it matter if it is hot and they are having fun? It matters to some people, but it also brings a smile to a lot of others! I have had one woman cringe every time my son would make a noise to communicate with me. He really wanted something, so I guess from an outsider it would have been whinging to them; well an outsider without any children! See now I am judging her and taking her reaction as being a person without any children. I guess this is where my love of people watching comes in; I cannot help but analyse other peoples lives.

I would love to see what you all think as parents, or even readers without children, of people watching. It would be interesting if you took some of what I am saying and doing and put it into your days and see what you come up with. See how you analyse other parents, or just your everyday people walking past you. I love to sometimes think about what their lives are like, what they do as a job and how they live.

I went to the beach last night and took some images of people around me. I was drawn to certain people from their body language, their moments in time and their facial expressions. I have analysed these people, how they may have been analysing me stalking everybody on the beach!

I loved watching these people above. I know they are not parents with young children, but I still enjoyed watching two friends have a great conversation! The lady at first made me wonder if she was lonely, she sat quite content on her own staring out to sea. Within ten minutes she was walking arm and arm home with her husband. I enjoy making up stories about other peoples lives and I love it when they do something that makes my whole story change and evolve into something more!

I look forward to another week of people watching. I also am interested in hearing what comments you may receive during the week about your parenting, what people you personally analyse and how you go about taking on those direct comments.


  1. i have to say... i am 32, i am short and i do actually look very young, most people say i look 16 but i would like to think that i at least look 22ish (?), so i do catch the occassional look from observers and i know they are thinking i am a teenage mum. and whether i am doing a brilliant job or a not so brilliant job with my parenting skills at that time, i really do feel that it doesn't matter because they judge me for being "too young". i could be wrong, but that is what i pick up on. i often feel like telling them that i am 32 and well capable of being a mum! xx

  2. Hayley, this is a great post! When I was teaching, I would look at what parents were doing and find myself thinking 'I am not going to be that type of parent' or 'I can't believe they let their child do that'. Now that I am a parent I make every effort be as non-judgmental as possible. My new parenting motto seems to be 'if it works for you, go with it'.
    Next time I am at the supermarket with a whinging 3 year old and a screaming baby I will ignore the disapproving stares as I hand over a bagful of sweets for some peace and quiet!!

  3. love this post and the shots are beautiful

  4. Every time I hear the haughty-"some people shouldn't be allowed to have children"- line, my first thought is "some people shouldn't be allowed to have tongues!"
    love the verse "take heed, when you think you stand - lest you fall" it keeps us wary of our own weaknesses and more understanding of those around us.



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