Thursday, September 25, 2008
When should you speak up?
I didn't say a word. I smiled at the mother and tried to calm myself and think through my reaction. I was basically putting my parenting choices onto this mother who's situation and knowledge is different than mine, as all mothers are different. But I wanted so badly to educate her about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup and how a child that young shouldn't have caffeine. But then I thought, who am I to educate or scold this woman? Not her friend or mother or counselor or anyone with the authority or position to offer this unsolicited advice.
But where is the line when it is ok and even necessary to step in and offer an alternative to a parent? I have confronted a parent hitting her child in a public place, and was treated to a loud and nasty rebuttal. But I thought the risk was worth it. I did not, however, contact the authorities to report abuse. But when it comes to nutrition, discipline, etc. when should we stand up and say, "there's another way"? I don't know. But I hope I know it when I see it.