Judgment and Shaming Have No Place in Parenthood

Image via Flickr/ Theresa Martell

Two major consumer products – neither of which are gender-specific – have campaigns focused on ending mom judgment and shaming. It’s a brave step for both Yoplait yogurt and Similac baby formula, who aren’t shying from tackling inherently negative and embarrassing topics.

A spokesperson for Yoplait’s creative group validated their approach by offering a somber nugget of truth: “One of the key experiences of motherhood is judgment and shaming.”

Then this past summer, I also noticed a headline on this very website, “Attention! Never Say This to a Working Mom!” This thought-provoking story was fortified with examples of moms saying off-putting things to fellow moms.

In all of these cases, I believe it takes a lot of courage to talk about this subject, and I offer hearty compliments for doing so. Judgment and shaming are ugly words, and I’m glad to see companies and moms taking steps to suppress them. 

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Observing all of this from deep in the trenches of fatherhood, I find these topics rather unfamiliar. I’m not saying dad judgment among dads doesn’t exist. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find the topic being discussed on the Internet, and there aren’t entire marketing campaigns devoted to it. And I certainly have never heard the phrase uttered, “One of the key experiences of fatherhood is judgment and shaming.”

Reading about the judgment and shaming proliferation leaves me with these questions:

  • What can parents do to stand up for themselves?
  • What can parents say, tactfully and gracefully, in response to shaming and judgment?
  • Do moms defend their husbands when his parenting style is attacked, or when he’s left to feel inferior to moms?

No two coaches in the NFL are the same, and yet many different ones have won the Super Bowl. Perhaps if we could mind our own business a little more, be open to others’ ideas, and focus on our own team – we just might keep our eyes on the prize.

Then we’ll all be championship parents. That, and companies won’t have to emphasize the negativity of parenting. 

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Have you experienced shaming or judgement as a parent? 

What do you think?

Judgment and Shaming Have No Place in Parenthood

Tom Konecny is a dad of four children and husband to wife, Erika. Tom currently serves as a private consultant in writing, communications and marketing. In 2013, Tom founded Dad Marketing, a site dedicated to exploring the world of marketing to dads. He previously worked in sports marketing, served as an associate editor and writer for several publications, and directed an award-winning corporate marketing department. His first book, "DADLY Dollar$" will be published this summer, and he is c ... More

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1 comment

  1. Great idea Tom. Enough of the judgment, negativity, labeling and criticism. Let’s spend more time focusing on ways to unify and strengthen the parenting community and leave a better parenting legacy for our children.


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