Sorry for the crappy title, I wasn't sure exactly what I was trying to say.
Tonight my dh and I took our almost 2 year old dd to a concert by my old college choir. We live far away and they were doing a tour that only happens every few years, so we really wanted to go and I wanted to bring dd to meet everyone. She behaved decently, about what you would expect from a 1 1/2 year old. DH took her out a lot, so she wasn't bothering anyone very often. We did get a lot of comments about how cute she was and all.
At the end of the concert, the director (who was my director and I know he's a super nice guy) took a moment to shake hands with 2 little boys (like 5 and 7-ish) who were sitting in the front and had been super well-behaved the whole time. The thing is, I know that family and I know those boys would never move or make noise, because they would definitely be punished. When we were pregnant, the mom "helped us out" by recommending all of the Pearl family books . We broke ties and aren't friends with them anymore because it just kills me to see their little boys, who are obviously very obedient but I know the cost. It's so not worth it.
It just bothers me, though, to know that someday others may think poorly of my dd because she doesn't behave like those kinds of kids. And honestly, it makes me feel bad that others may think I'm not doing a good job as a parent if my dd doesn't just listen and do as she is told. I don't want that to be my measuring stick for how I judge my parenting and my family, but it's so hard when that's what gets kids noticed and what makes others praise them. Obviously, I know that at this point, my dd is much younger than those boys and I'm sure no one was directly comparing them tonight, but I also know that as she gets older, without the threat of violence, I won't be able to "make" her behave like those children do. I don't even know what I'm looking for, just wondering if anyone else has had these thoughts? Do you feel judged because you don't punish your children like others think you should?