All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Monday, 1 August 2005

The Appropriate Course Of Action

I was invited over to an old friend's house yesterday afternoon. She and her husband have recently become first time parents to a gorgeous baby and you can see that this is a very loved and fussed-over little girl (in the way that we all paid that little bit of extra attention to our first child) who is but twelve weeks old.

Another parent and I were sitting in the room talking with the mother as she was changing the baby's nappy and we both noticed that she wasn't supporting the baby's head when she put her down. I felt it right to gently mention this to the mother, mindful that she might take offense. The other mother backed me up, saying that she didn't want to say anything, but since I had said something about it, added that she'd noticed the father doing the same thing and had wanted to say something. I should add that I've known this friend for over ten years and we've been through quite a lot in our own lives during that time, which we've shared together in many conversations.

My friend took my advice well and I later showed her the way pick babies up (and let's face it, I've had a lot of practice) when it came to photo time. Again she was fine about it (or rather, she looked as though she didn't mind).

I later spoke with someone else who admonished me for having told the mother "how to bring up her child", saying that she would have really resented someone telling her what to do, with regard to child-rearing. She asked me if the baby looked happy and I said she did. "So why make the comment in the first place?" was the general reply.

I feel very strongly that if I see a situation like this, I should say something - but in hindsight, should I have kept my opinions to myself? Parents out there, can I please have your say, because I would like to know the appropriate course of action, should I encounter this again? How would you feel if a person commented on something you were doing, with regard to your baby?


athena said...

It definitely depends on what the subject is. If I was missing an important point (like failure to support my infant's head and neck) I would be happy you said something (some people might be embarassed, therefore snippy for a minute, but never forget to use the advice later!)

If I said "no sweets" and you handed the baby a lollipop...that's another matter entirely!

We have all heard that it "takes a village to raise a child".

How can you NOT point out a potential harm? If the parent is resentful, oh takes all kinds right? At least you tried.

You have 1 vote on your side here!

The Teacher said...

Thanks Athena!!