It’s very easy to judge people because they don’t have the same values and beliefs as you. We all have thoughts about what someone is saying or doing, but it is actually another thing to say it out loud. Judging others is not a trait that we want to encourage in our children. It is not nice to say that someone is not as good as you, or they are wrong because they have different beliefs or behave in a different way.
One reason children judge is because they don’t feel good about themselves and so put others down in this way. They think it helps them to feel better about themselves and who they are and makes them feel superior/ right.
Why Do Children Judge?
Gossiping and complaining about someone are both signs of judging. If you hear your child having strong opinions about the actions of others you need to nip it in the bud. Talk to them about it and why it is wrong. Get them to think about why they are judging:
- Is it because they don’t like that person?
- Do they not understand why their friend saying something or behaving in a particular way?
- Could they be more tolerant of others? How?
- What other thoughts could they have?
- Are they able to think and understand why others behave differently to them?
Talk to children about how they feel about themselves and work on their own self-esteem so that they are less critical of others and more accepting. Often I talk to children about why we are different and the fact that we all have different parents and are taught different values. These may be similar to other friends they meet but if they aren’t it does not mean the friends are wrong.
We should not judge our friends or anyone else. Judging is ugly and not an attractive trait. It won’t bring your child friends or improve their relationships, so it’s best to tackle it head on and as early as you can.