Written by Evi Idoghor
I came across an article on bellanaija.com that discussed consent, but this time it was about asking babies for permission to change their dirty diapers. This was not the author's idea; rather, it was brought to the forefront on national television by a parent coach who argued that parents needed to start teaching their children about consent at a young age. What does that look like in the case of a baby or an infant? A talk show host asked the parent coach. “By asking them, ‘Can I change your diaper?’ This demonstrates to the baby that you value them as a human being and that their body belongs to them.”
So the coach was asked again, “How do you get a viable response from an infant?” She explained that a person could tell by the child's body energy. If the child tenses up, it could mean that he or she isn't ready to be changed. So, you wait a little longer and try again.
To Ask For Consent or Not To Ask For Consent
When my niece sees new diapers and wipes, she runs. It is a never-ending task to change her. She's 15 months old, I fail to see how asking/getting her consent would work multiple times during a day; exhausting, if you ask me.
The popular culture we are now exposed to is fascinating. It aims to strip people of their God-given rights, identity, authority, and responsibilities. It also seeks to leave people, particularly children, to their devices, under the guise of awareness, compassion and consent. This culture despises all forms of rules, boundaries, and discipline. Everything is allowed! Well, until you have a voice that is counter-cultural, then it seeks to push you into the background, where no one pays any attention to what you have to say.
A child is simply that: a child. A baby does not rule the parent; the parent is the one who has authority over their child and has the right to exercise that authority. Because children (babies) lack the mental capacity to distinguish between what is right and wrong, a responsible parent does what is best for their child. Children, in their exploratory phase, try everything. As a result, someone must be present to guide them. That is why parents/guardians use words and phrases like no, stop that, say thank you, say sorry, and all the other things they use to build up their children.
Let me pose a question from a Christian standpoint—Does God seek your permission before allowing certain things to come your way? Certainly not! Because He knows what good discipline and overcoming life's challenges can do for a person. It strengthens their character and makes them better. I understand talking to children about their bodies and boundaries so they can recognize when someone crosses that boundary and alert their parent. But that's a different conversation; it has nothing to do with asking if you as a parent have the permission to change your baby who can't walk, speak, or think for themselves. If that's the case, parents have to ask if their babies want to eat, sleep, or put on clothes (we all know how that goes). If children begin to take on leadership roles in the home, that home will fall apart in no time.
This line of reasoning demonstrates to me that what the current culture desires is a life without restraint, as they cherish their ignorance, self-righteousness, and sin more than they are willing to embrace true wisdom. So they spew whatever feels good to them, and persuade others to do the same. And if others don't, it's because they aren't educated, compassionate, smart, or woke enough. If society as a whole does not wake up, such mindsets, ideologies, and sets of beliefs will only lead to self-destruction.
What do you think? Should parents ask their babies for consent before changing their diaper? Is this proposed method of upbringing teaching them anything about consent in the long run? Leave your comments below. Also, do not forget to like, share and subscribe to join our community.
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