Expert Claims Parents Should ask Babies for Permission before Changing Diapers


    A controversial perspective has emerged in parenting circles, suggesting that parents should seek their babies’ permission before changing their diapers as a way to establish a culture of consent right from infancy. While parenting is often filled with love and laughter, the less glamorous aspects, like dealing with dirty diapers, are an undeniable reality.

    Deanne Carson, a self-proclaimed “sexuality educator, speaker, and author,” sparked a conversation about consent culture with her unconventional idea. During a 2018 appearance on ABC, she shared her insights on fostering consent awareness in early childhood. Although her work typically revolves around children aged three and older, Carson emphasized the importance of introducing consent concepts even earlier, including in interactions with newborns.

    While newborns obviously can’t articulate their consent verbally, Carson stressed the significance of non-verbal communication, particularly through eye contact, to convey the idea that a child’s response matters. She explained, “We work with children from three years old. We work with parents from birth.” This approach might seem unusual, but she suggested that parents could use phrases like, “I’m going to change your nappy now, is that OK?” to help establish a culture of consent within their households.

    Acknowledging the impracticality of expecting verbal responses from babies, Carson added humorously, “Of course, a baby is not going to respond ‘Yes, mum, that’s awesome, I’d love to have my nappy changed.'”

    Elaborating on this approach, she highlighted that by allowing a moment of anticipation and paying attention to non-verbal cues, parents can communicate to their infants that their reactions hold value. However, this assertion has triggered skepticism and debate online. Critics questioned the logic behind seeking permission from a baby who may not comprehend the situation.

    One skeptic posed the question, “And what happens when the baby says no? Do you do it anyway? That’s where the real problem lies.” Another expressed a practical concern, “Either she has never wrestled a toddler during a change or worse, she just left hers in a soiled nappy until it was ready to consent.”

    A third commenter pointed out the challenges of this concept, stating, “For sanity’s sake – if a baby’s nappy needs changing, you change it. You are the adult & in charge of the baby – the baby isn’t in charge of you. Although it feels like it sometimes.”

    This isn’t the only unconventional parenting perspective that has emerged. In a separate instance, a parenting columnist at the Omaha World-Herald argued against parents high-fiving their children. According to John Rosemond, this gesture could diminish parental respect as the child grows older, as it blurs the distinction between adult authority and peer interactions.

    These discussions underscore the complexity of parenting, revealing the diverse viewpoints and strategies that individuals bring to the role. While some ideas challenge conventional norms, others highlight the evolving nature of parenting practices and the ongoing search for effective approaches.

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