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Parenting expert weighs in on childcare chain’s controversial parenting advice

3AW Mornings
Baby having nappy changed

An Australian childcare chain has urged parents to ask their children for consent before changing their nappies.

The Herald Sun reports Only About Children issued the advice to parents in a newsletter, which also included suggestions that parents wait for toddlers to finish playing before changing their nappies, and avoid wiping a child’s face without warning.

Parenting expert and father-of-six, Justin Coulson, says the idea is “well-intentioned” but asking infants for consent before changing their nappies is taking it too far.

“This is a really well-intentioned idea that really great, involved parents probably do … in a roundabout way anyway,” he told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.

“I’m not going to defend this decontextualised statement. I can’t imagine myself, as a dad of six kids, or as a parenting expert, advising parents to say to their six-month-old ‘Would it be okay if I change your nappy now?’ I mean, that’s absurd.”

But Mr Coulson says there are other ways parents can introduce their children to the ideas of consent and choice.

“If I’m with one of my kids I’ll say to them ‘Hey, do you want me to pick you up and carry you across the road or do you want to walk beside me?’,” he said.

“I would say that if I’m with my child and we’re playing …. and I say ‘Ooh, your nappy stinks. How about we spend some time making you smell better now? Let’s go and change your nappy.’.

“It’s about clear communication.

“What these people are trying to do is create a sense that we talk about what’s going to happen before it happens.”

Press PLAY below to hear more from Mr Coulson on consent, choice and parenting

3AW Mornings