The Apple Doesn’t Fall…

There is a saying that I have heard many times over my teaching career; I am sad to admit, I used to say it.

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”

When people say this, it is often accompanied with a sigh and an eye roll.  We’ve all heard it and we all know what it means. It isn’t used in a complementary way.

“No wonder that kid is that way because his parents …” Now fill in the blank with any of the following:

…are clueless

…indulged him

…not the sharpest tool in the shed

…have a trucker mouth

…are disorganized, opinionated, messed up, pain in the asses!

I used to say this phrase without any pause.  I never thought about the pain. I cringe when I hear it now.  It hurts my ears.

There is a sound of know-it-all superiority when I hear it.  I feel like turning around and snapping, “Do you think you could do better?!  That freaking tree is probably exhausted and trying to do the best she can as an overwhelmed working mother of a sometimes challenging, quirky kid!  There are no freaking manuals to handle this whole parenting thing and I think I’m doing pretty damn good!”

Okay…Breathe.

It seems that it is still very socially appropriate (if not expected) that we continue to judge each others’ parenting.  Childless people are REALLY good at doing this!

I know, I used to be one.

That is probably why I used to get SO paranoid about my child’s tantrum in Target or his refusal to stay in an over-crowded and loud restaurant.  I knew what Janet McJudger was saying because I have BEEN Janet McJudger!

I am quite sure that when I lost my mind and screamed and swore during a phone conversation with the special education director that she  wasn’t considering what craziness finally pushed me to say those things; instead I’m sure she thought…

Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Here is what I would like us to consider….Before you make blanket, general statements that are filled with judgement…stop.  Have empathy.  Consider compassion.

Try the golden rule instead.

My son has taught me about the pain that judgment causes and that acceptance and understanding can go a long way.   Without him, I think that I would be judging your parenting right now!

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11 thoughts on “The Apple Doesn’t Fall…

  1. There’s about a 95% correlation between kids/apples and parents/trees. Only about 95% and that is scary as all get-out.

    It is also worth noting that there are plenty of gifted, autistic kids who do not meltdown in Target because their parents have taught them to behave like civilized human beings. The alternative is to declare your gifted, autistic kid so very very very brilliant special that you cannot possibly be bothered to do so. I mean, who cares if he has no social skills? Or friends? Or resilience? Because mommy decided the precious little dumpling was a precious little snowflake to whom rules do not apply.

    • Dear Gage, You are kidding aren’t you? Aren’t you? Please tell me you didn’t mean what you just implied. Perhaps you are one of those teachers/doctors/politicians/neighbors/relatives with NO children of your own? No education as to the fact that children are not plants to be neatly lined up in pots and watered or shoes to be polished so they can be admired by strangers in public places? Amazing the ways in which we as humans judge those around us with little or no knowledge as to what we say. So do I blame your mother for your ignorance regarding children and extraordinary rudeness?

  2. I love the way you explained that which we all should already know, but your story really brought it home! We all need this golden rule reminder; some of us more than others! Oops, I guess I need to read that reminder again! 😉

  3. Pingback: Are You One of The People Who Uses This Saying? - What The Flicka?

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