I've Been There

Dealing with stigma or judgement

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Some young parents feel judged by others who might think they are too young to have a baby. Hopefully you’ll never feel this stigma or judgement when you’re out on the street, on the bus or even with a health professional like a doctor.

 

But if you do - we’ve listed some tips here that can help you to deal with these attitudes positively if you’re faced with this.  

 

Control your reaction

You can control your reactions to other people’s negativity and respond to them in a positive and confident way.

 

Show them that they’re wrong. Surround yourself with good mates and family and focus on being a great parent.

 

Instead of reacting to negativity you could go for a walk with a friend or try meditation. The most important thing is for you to stay happy and healthy – your baby knows you’re a good mum!

 

Sometimes I feel like people are staring at me and judging, which makes me uncomfortable around my baby – then she gets upset because she knows that I’m upset. So now I just tune out and stay happy!”

 

Support networks are important  

Surround yourself with supportive people who make you feel good about yourself. Family, friends, neighbours and other young parents can be an important support.

 

Remember that you’re not on your own. There are support groups for parents and they are a good place to share stories and experiences. They’re also great places to meet new friends.

 

Try not to worry about social stigmas or judgement. These attitudes will always exist.

 

Talk to people - vent

If you need a chat about the stresses you’re facing - you can talk to a professional like a counsellor or social worker. We have a pretty good list here

 

Prove them wrong

Show everyone that you’re a responsible and a caring parent even though you’re young.

 

Try to focus on the positives in your life and what you’re doing well as a parent. There is no such thing as a perfect parent and if you’re doing the best you can, then you’re doing good enough!

 

 “My sister is great in those situations – if people are watching us then she just starts talking about what a great mum I am!”