I came across this article that reminded me how insidious the anxiety around parenting is in our culture. Of course we should minimize our children’s screen time right? This may be the case but when we begin judging and shaming other people’s parenting, that is a sign something is off in my point of view. Life is always more complex than “just don’t thing that unhealthy thing!” Whenever the emotional energy around a particular aspect of parenting (or anything else quite frankly) feels very intense, that intensity, in and of itself, is an indication that more is at play than just the issue we are talking about.
After sharing the article on facebook, a colleague and mother responded that:
“Literally last night I was glared at for handing my toddler a smartphone! The choice was, two parents see their first grader in his first play singing a solo or hand the three year old a smartphone! For me there was no question.
I also offer a different perspective, I have three kids with special needs. We get many stares for various reasons, their needs are invisible to most. Technology actually keeps all of us safe and allows us to attend multiple appointments.“
After my years of reproductive justice activism, there is one thing I have learned– do not judge. Even in our progressive circles, we can get into the shaming game. Whose kid watches more or less TV or video games. Who is eating greens, organic greens, or greens grown in their own garden, etc etc.
A corollary to Universalism’s doctrine of radical love is a doctrine of no judging, no shaming. No shame, no judgment no matter what, whether it’s parenting or otherwise.
Blessings on this mother’s day, with all of it’s complexity. UU Church of Berkeley’s intern minister, Zackrie Vinczen is leading worship this Sunday with Tina Godsey: Teach them to Love–From one generation to the next we pass the mantle of leadership. There is perhaps nothing that can fully prepare those who take on his garment. Nothing but love that is. But who bears the responsibility of teaching love?
Please note: I am taking a week of vacation leave, beginning this Saturday 5/7. I’ll be back online Saturday 5/14. For any pastoral emergencies, please contact our administrator, Brenda and our Board President, Seren. They will be able to reach me.