Nice Kids, Rude Parents: Does Your Playdate Etiquette Need a Makeover?

Social Slipup: You're Judgmental

There are a million different ways to raise healthy, bright, resilient kids. We've all spent hours chatting about natural childbirth versus epidurals and cosleeping versus cribs with our fellow moms. But when you start criticizing other people's parenting choices, you risk alienating them -- and limiting your child's social circle. You may think you're simply educating other people when you make these judgments, but it's not that innocent, says Dr. Holland: "You're trying to make yourself feel better about your parenting choices by putting other people down."

The fix: "Make a list of everything you've done right as a mom and everything you're proud of," suggests Dr. Holland. "When you see your accomplishments laid out like that, you may feel less compelled to critique other people." If you still have the jones to judge, pinch yourself before you say anything. "Just smile, knowing that you're making good parenting choices," Dr. Holland says with a laugh. "It's fine to gloat inwardly, just not outwardly!"

Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the March 2008 issue of Parents magazine.

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