Expert claims parents should ask babies for permission before changing diapers

According to an expert, it is suggested that parents establish a culture of consent by seeking permission from their babies before changing their diapers.
Parenting is undoubtedly a challenging journey, and amidst the affectionate moments and joy, there is the unavoidable task of managing a considerable volume of soiled diapers.

While this aspect of parenting may lack glamour, it is an essential responsibility. After all, we have all been infants at some point, and one crucial thing to note is that babies cannot express themselves through speech.

So one expert saying that parents should ask their babies permission before changing them is raising some eyebrows.

Deanne Carson, a self-proclaimed "sexuality educator, speaker, and author," has sparked a conversation about consent culture right from infancy.

In a 2018 appearance on ABC, Carson discussed her approach to instilling a culture of consent in early childhood. While her usual focus is on children aged three and older regarding consent, she emphasized the importance of introducing these concepts even earlier.

Although newborns cannot provide verbal responses, Carson underscored the significance of non-verbal communication, particularly through eye contact, to convey the message that a child's response is meaningful.

During a segment on consent laws, she explained, "We work with children from three years old. We work with parents from birth." This unconventional strategy prompted a reporter to inquire, "From birth?" Carson firmly replied, "Yes, just about how to set up a culture of consent in their homes, like, 'I'm going to change your nappy now, is that OK?'"

Recognizing the impracticality of expecting a verbal response from a baby, Carson humorously added, "Of course, a baby is not going to respond, 'Yes, mum, that's awesome, I'd love to have my nappy changed.'"

Carson elaborated on the practice, suggesting that by allowing a brief moment of anticipation and waiting for non-verbal cues and eye contact, parents can communicate to their infants that their reactions are valued.

This claim sparked online debate, with many questioning the purpose of seeking permission from a baby who may not comprehend the situation. One person asked, "And what happens when the baby says no? Do you do it anyway? Whoa, now that is the real problem."

Another commented, "Either she has never wrestled a toddler during a change or, worse, she just left hers in a messy nappy until it was ready to consent."

A third individual added, "For sanity’s sake - if a baby’s nappy needs changing, you change it. You are the adult and in charge of the baby; the baby isn’t in charge of you, although it feels like it sometimes."

Adding to the array of unconventional parenting advice, a parenting columnist at the Omaha World-Herald suggested in October that parents should refrain from high-fiving their kids. John Rosemond argued that parents who engage in high-fives may find that their children are less likely to respect them as they grow older.

Rosemond expressed his stance by stating, "I will not slap the upraised palm of a person who is not my peer, and a peer is someone over age 21, emancipated, employed, and paying their own way." He added, "The child who is allowed to high-five an adult has tacit permission to talk to said adult as if they are peers. The high-five is not compatible with respect," he concluded.

It seems parenting, as revealed by various perspectives, involves navigating through unexpected layers of advice and approaches.

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