"Ask a child's for permission before changing their nappies": a psychologist's opinion raises a bitter discussion - WTVideo.com
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"Ask a child's for permission before changing their nappies": a psychologist's opinion raises a bitter discussion

October 13, 2020 • By Alison Forde

Raising and educating children is not a simple thing, the difficulties that every parent has to face day to day are numerous and it is certainly not easy to always be able to carry on with serenity with all the things there are to do. Children, then, can experience as impositions or "abuses" even things that for mothers and fathers are completely normal, perhaps mandatory. It is precisely from this that some conflicts can arise, both in infancy and at a more advanced age.

The opinion of  academic Deanne Carson,on child rearing methods with the little ones, has sparked a real "hoo ha" on the internet, and beyond. What did the expert suggest? According to her, parents should ask their little ones for permission before changing their nappies, so that they can create a "culture of consent" about relationships with the body from an early age.


According to Carson, before the change, mothers or fathers should address their babies with phrases like "I'm going to change you now, okay?" and then make it clear, with body their language, that it is as if they were waiting for their consent, for their response. Although this answer will not come, due to the inability of children to communicate with speech, according to the psychologist this process can prove useful for children in learning to be aware of what happens with their body.

A useful process, according to Carson, also for all those dramatic cases of child abuse, in which teaching children to be conscious of their ownership of their own body would be a way to make them safer and more aware of what is happening.

The expert's statements, as often happens in cases of such strong arguments, have sparked a real furore in the media. Her statement had a big impact, and there was no shortage of people who responded with irony and, in some cases, even with harsh condemnation of was said. However, many have often rightly pointed out that changing a child's dirty nappy is, above all, a matter of cleanliness and hygiene, and no parent should hesitate to do so.

The criticisms have been so numerous that Carson has had to temporarily disable her social media accounts after the statements she made. However, she later decided she would respond to user comments. "Some people have chosen to ridicule me, also for my appearance - she said - but the work we do to create consensus in children with children, teachers and parents is the best practice in preventing abuse".

We do not doubt that the principle of this suggestion is surely justified and important; however, one wonders whether, in the practice of the daily management of a child, these methods are seriously applicable or whether, in some ways, they could even result in greater stress for mothers and fathers.


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