As a mom of three younger kids, I feel like I need to respond to the letter “Bad parenting” (The Daily Astorian, Oct. 20). While I can sense the frustration of not relating to or approving of parents’ choices, I think it’s always helpful to compassionately consider their possible circumstances before jumping to judgment.
There actually aren’t any nearby pumpkin patches for families to visit, and the mother was likely wanting to capture this fun season and share it with friends and family. Perhaps the parent couldn’t afford a pumpkin and felt that this was the best that they could do.
Likewise, one of the things I love about Astoria is the #AstoriaRocks phenomenon. I appreciate how it gets families outdoors to explore, look for the unexpected, all while sharing and appreciating art. Perhaps the father wasn’t trying to “intimidate” but he was confused, thinking the writer’s rocks were up for grabs, like hundreds around town.
Over the years, I’ve experienced shameful looks from strangers myself, thankfully balanced with many thoughtful compliments. Yet, I know from experience that getting a disapproving look when in middle of a parenting challenge is the last thing that could actually help a parent.
Sadly, abuse and neglect do happen, and I would ask that next time you witness “bad parenting,” that instead of playing the part of a bystander, we all act with compassion and use the situation as a teachable moment, take the chance to learn more about the situation, and offer whatever assistance we can.
Parenting is a demanding job, and I believe that even so-called bad parents are just doing their best. And yes, with some parenting education and community support, we probably could all do better.
Darcy Rose Cronin