What Would You Do?

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I received the following email.

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Today was a first for me… My daughter (5) and I pulled into a local store.

The spot I wanted to pull into was empty except for a woman who had her car door open and was loading groceries with her two small children still outside the car in the empty spot. Instead of hurrying the mom and scaring the children, I drove around to a spot further away.

My daughter thought I was parking and took her car seat belt off. I parked and took her out kissing and hugging her and went on my way. To my surprise, when I got back to my car there was a note from the young mother on my windshield with a paper from your website.

It said it was a stupid ticket and that she gave it to me for not having my daughter in a car restraining seat, and went further to say if I loved her I would keep her safe.

At first I was offended that she did not say it to me rather than leave it behind on my car. If she did she would know not only do I have car seats for my kids I made my older daughter who is now 10 and 5’2” sit in a booster seat until she was 9 to be safe. PA law is 8 years old or 4′ and although my daughter surpassed those marks she still sat in the seat. I also have been part of car seat safety checks two years in a row at a local dealership in my area.

My younger daughter took her belt off today because 1) she now can and
2) because I stopped to park. I did reiterate that she should not take her belt off until the car is off.

I don’t agree with the woman who did this. She mentioned she was a nurse and that she saw kids in terrible ways. I will give her the benefit of the doubt that maybe something shook her world and she is out there living with that.

I hope your website does not advocate people to be quick to judge, to run away with a hurtful note left behind.

– Mom from Pennsylvania

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I was really moved by this mom’s email and told her that at Parental Wisdom, we really try NOT to judge, and recognize there are misunderstandings (like this one) and mistakes because parents are often doing a number of things at once.

Yes, the Stupid Ticket is one of the Free Reports on the Parental Wisdom website. But stupidity is something that people do repeatedly and not ever learn a lesson. For that reason, we also have a Safety Ticket which is a reminder of the things you already know; and presents a much kinder, gentler approach.

Back to the parent that left the note – I do understand why she didn’t talk to the parent directly. Parents could be defensive at the very least, and violent at the worst. The dilemma – what should parents do if they see a situation that raises child safety concerns?

I reached out to Robert A. Brasky of the Lake Zurich Police Department in Illinois is an expert on Traffic Safety to learn what parents can do if a child is potentially in danger. The example I used was a time I spotted a three-year-old was left alone in a running car. His response, “Call the police and give them the information. Do not approach the parents.” Safe and sound advice.

Robert also shared the alarming statistic that approximately 95% of child car seats are improperly installed. To make sure you aren’t one of them, visit www.car-seat.org to learn what you can do, and www.nhtsa.gov to find locations where your child’s carseat can be checked for proper installation.

But let’s talk about you for a moment…

How would you respond to a situation where a child could be in danger?
How would you respond to someone correcting you about your own child’s safety?

Please leave a comment and let us know.

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1 Comment »

  1. pa mom said

    Tina,
    I listend in today and it was nice of you to address the situation with your guest from the police dapartment. I want to reiterate that everyone should have their car seats checked not only for installation but recalls and age. Seats don’t last forever and many have been recalled.
    I was hurt by this woman’s note and wanted to make sure your website was not advocating judgement. I certainly understand the wanting to protect our little ones!
    I appreciate your comments to me and know you are looking out for the best interest of our children. I have seen parents “struggling” with their little ones. I have reached out to assist immediately, on the spot, I felt safe to do so and never regretted it. I would not feel comfortable leaving a note. If the parent is aggressive, I would fear they would take their anger out on the child. I prefer what your police officer said today. “call the police” if you see someone endangering the life of a child.

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