Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Question: Do you give advice to another parent?


You, your spouse, and your three children have been enjoying a local museum, touring the exhibits, viewing the planetarium show, and lunching in the museum café. As you prepare to head home, you visit the restroom.

Andrew at nine months
In the restroom, a parent is changing the diaper of their child. The baby boy is about nine months old and dressed in adorable bib overalls with just a little tuft of hair on top of his otherwise fuzzy head. As the parent removes the diaper and begins to wipe, you see that the baby’s bottom is bright red and splotchy with diaper rash. The baby screams as the parent uses the wipe, and soon his face is also bright red and splotchy with the exertion of crying.

You –

  1. Leisurely wash your hands, enjoying the automatic foaming soap dispenser. How others parent is none of your business.
  2. Look away and finish washing and drying your hands as quickly as you can, whispering a prayer for healing. That parent probably wouldn’t listen to you anyway.
  3. Suggest the use of your favorite diaper rash cream, commenting that it will clear up the rash overnight and make the baby feel better.
  4. Push the parent aside and apply diaper rash cream from your own tube, picking up the baby to comfort him and take him home with you where he will be parented properly.
  5. Upbraid the parent with a good tongue-lashing, calling the parent negligent and unloving. On your way out of the bathroom, you speed dial Child Protective Services.


What do you do? Is there another way to approach the situation?

~Meghan

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12 comments:

  1. I will often smile and commiserate if possible...but it's often difficult to have a conversation over the baby squalls. I have found too (now that I have nine kids) that what works for one little bottom does not necessarily work for another baby bottom so I might make a suggestion, but mainly I offer sympathy and encouragement. A smile of understanding goes a long when in those situations.
    Thank you for the interesting question...

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    1. You're right about the smile of understanding. I think we could use more of those in this world.

      Thanks for the comment, Lori, and thanks for the follow.

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  2. I don't think its bad parenting if a child has diaper rash. I've been there, and it can happen quick. I would tell her of my fav diaper rash cream and say silent prayer of healing for baby. It's hard being a mom without judgmental people out there looking over our shoulder. :)

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    1. The question could change so quickly depending on what the problem is, but there seems to be a big difference between saying something when it's an issue of physical harm and an issue of discipline. It's so hard to know, and, of course, you can never be sure that anyone will understand or accept your good intentions. Thanks for commenting, Ashley. (Your blog looks great -- I'll be stopping by regularly!)

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  3. Hi Meghan! This is such a great post. I take these types of situations one at a time...depending on how "receptive" I think the mom is. I usually try to strike up a conversation about something unrelated and see if she responds kindly. If the mom were stressed out and angry, I would probably pray and leave her alone...I've been there, you know, stressed and had a do-gooder offer advice when I was not in the frame of mind--or maturity level--to accept it with grace. But I have also been able to graciously give help at times, and usually by commenting that I've been in her shoes...just being very careful not to be condemning of her :)

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    1. Thanks, Bambi, for your excellent comments. You are so right that it depends on the frame of mind of both giver and receiver. Another situation for "Be ye kind, one to another." Thanks for the follow as well!

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  4. I'd probably say something like this, "Oh, poor baby, have you tried triple paste? That's the only thing that would work for my daughter, and she had awful rashes until the day she was potty trained no matter what we did."

    I would definitely give advice because I've been in the situation of an incurable diaper rash. I probably would have used my own saliva if someone told me it would bring my little one relief (gross, but trust me we were desperate)I actually potty trained my daughter much earlier than I intended because she was getting such bad rashes. Prescriptions, cloth diapers, different diaper brands, changing them frequently it didn't matter, her little hiney is just sensitive I guess : )

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    1. Thanks for the comment. Love your kind heart!

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  5. Love this! It's probably the type of response that I would have as well, if I said anything....sometimes I want to reach out in a kind way, but end up too shy.

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    1. "Too shy" -- that's me. I'll be posting my follow-up tomorrow -- the story behind the questions. Thanks, Crystal.

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  6. I wouldn't say anything. I would assume that the mother is well aware of the rash, and that she has done what she could do for it.

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)