Judging other peoples' parenting skills: did I go too far? Would this cross the line?

  1. I guess I need to start with a little bit of background here before I get into what happened today.

    I have a cousin, Nicole (3 yo, will be 4 soon), that is over our house often because her parents both work in the hours when she is out of kindergarten. She and I have developed a very strong bond and we are very close. She sometimes even calls me up on the weekends and asks me to come and play with her because her mom is busy doing something else or because she's bored. :shame: Anyway, we do lots of things together and I make it a point to play special games with her, take her to the swimming pool, take her to the zoo, etc because I know that her parents don't have the time to do that with her. It actually got to a point a few months ago that she started calling ME mommy and didn't want to go home with her mother when she came to pick her up.

    Anyway. Since she is over a lot, I decided to take it upon myself to buy a booster seat for her (She meets the height/age/weight requirements) so that she could ride with me in my car and so that we wouldn't have to always put her carseat into my car and so forth.

    Today was a beautiful day, so my mom and I went for a walk in the wine hills with my godmother, her husband, my aunt (Nicole's mom), and Nicole. Somehow we got on to the topic of carseats and my mom said that it's about time that Anja (my aunt) bought Nicole a new one since she is over 20kgs and her head is going over the top of her carseat. Anja argued that new carseats are too expensive (80 EUR) and that the one that she has is fine for now. Now...me being the passionate person I am, I told Anja that it's unsafe for her to drive with Nicole in that carseat (she's not buckled in 95% of the time!!!) because if she has an accident when she is buckled in, the straps may not be able to hold her and she will be fined if the police find out, even if she is not the cause of the accident, and since she doesn't even buckle her in most of the time that she's going to end up getting even more hurt in case of an accident.

    Well...Anja didn't like this at all. She pretty much told me that it was none of my business and that I should worry about how I'm going to take care of my own baby. (This is a whole other arguement!!!! :cursing:) This p#ssed me off to no end and I told her that she needs to quit saving money on ridiculous things like carseats and spending money on shoes and going out, and quit comprimising the saftey of her daughter and that if she wasn't going to buy a carseat for Nicole soon that I was going to do it myself.

    ...and I'm serious about this. It's not safe for Nicole to be in that carseat. Her head sticks out to around her neck above the back of the seat, so in case of an accident her head will snap back and she could be sersiously hurt. If Anja is going to be as irresponsible as she is being, I am willing to give out the 80 EUR so that I know Nicole will be safe. The buckling in is a whole other issue, since Anja says it's a waste of time since they don't drive far (less than 5 minutes)...But still, you can have an accident driving out of your driveway!

    Did I cross the line by telling her that she needs to get her act together and priorites straight? Would I be going too far to buy her a carseat??

    I don't know what to do. My mom is on my side and believes that I said the right thing and would help me pay for a new carseat.

    If it helps, this is the kind that I have for her in my car. Not the exact one, but the type of booster I have:


    And this is the type that I would be willing to buy since when she falls asleep in the car she kind of flops to the side and this would be better for her posture for longer drives:

  2. You are a nice aunt....:girlsigh: :girlsigh:
  3. I just want her to be safe! In a way, I feel like I sometimes take on the "mother" role with Nicole...and I really don't mean to, but if her safety is being compromised I feel like I need to do something! Know what I mean?
  4. Don't feel bad. you were right to be upset. you're a kind loving aunt :heart: and keep doing what you do :smile:
  5. No, you did not cross the line. Accidents happen and if your aunt wants to prioritize shoes and going out in front of her own child's safety then I'd go as far as say she's not a good parent. When people chose to have kids, they know the responsibilities and sacrifices that goes along with it, and one of them is to put the child's needs in front of ones own.
  6. You are COMPLETELY in the right. You love this little girl and it shows.

    You will be a wonderful mother... and a very responsible one for that matter.
  7. Amen!
  8. :crybaby:Thank you. Seriously, that made me cry. I have always wanted to be a mom, and am so happy that I will be, even though it didn't happen at a too-great time. I'm pretty passionate about things like child safety, smoking, drinking etc...and sometimes I think it works against me. Sure, I let Nicole take "risks" sometimes (like taking her to the swimming pool and letting her go in without her swim arm thingies in the shallow end where she can still stand so she can feel what it's like to be in the water without them), but you can't take a risk with a carseat...

    Ugh...I just get so upset thinking about this. Sometimes I wish I could just take Anja and shake her and pop some sense into her dense head :cursing:
  9. i don't think you went to far...and if she don't buy her a seat soon, i'd buy her one if i were you! because what ppl don't understand is that once kids pass the weight limit for a car seat, the straps couldn't hold her weight in if she was in a wreck! and as for her not buckling up that is insane!! i don't mean to sound harsh..but she not care enough about her daughter to make sure she is SAFE!!

    sorry if i offended you...but things like that get me really riled up! i just don't understand how ppl have kids and don't take the time to make sure they are looked after...
  10. You didn't cross the line at all. You're worried about the welfare of your niece.

    She's just upset because she's defensive of someone 'horning in on her business' but if she had gotten the car seat herself, you wouldn't have a problem. Since she wouldn't do it herself, you're willing to do it.
  11. No no, I'm not offended at all...I agree with everything you said! I think that she does care about Nicole, but she just can't be bothered her...know what I mean? I understand that when she's home she also needs to catch up on household things, but she should also be playing with her kid and making sure that she's safe - even if it is only on short trips!
  12. Exactly! She's not abusive to Nicole and I know that she does love her...I just wish she would get it through her head that it's not safe! I did the conversion, and Nicole weighs 44 lbs and her seat only supports up to 38 lbs. Granted, it's a 6 lbs difference which isn't that big...but being over the weight limit is being over the weight limit - no matter how big the difference is
  13. In the US you have to have the second type of car seat until a child is at least 40lb. At least, this is the law in CT.

    The first type of booster seat is considered not safe enough for such a young child by laws in my state. The second type is used normally before the child weighs more than 50 kg or so, and until they are around 5 years of age. My son does not use his car seat now, as he is 4'4" and weighs 62lb, but he has smaller classmates who use a booster seat (like your fist picture) - this seat is usually used by kids aged 5-7.

    It is very nice of you to buy a car seat for yor cousin. You were in no way going too far. Leave a child in a car seat unbuckled? Your aunt must be a very silly woman! Even in a 5 min drive there can be any type of accident - your aunt may think she is a safe driver, but what if someone rear ends her or something? If a person has kids, their number one priority is being responsible for them AT ALL TIMES!

    Letting children take 'little' risks is a part of life. Teaching a kid to stand in the water, to cross the road properly etc are part of being a parent or a responsible relative. The carseat question is totally not part of that. That is a situation where something might occur that is even out of the adult's control, more or less.

    Considering all that, your reaction seems to be relatively mild compared to what mine would have been!
  14. In no way did you cross the line! Your affection and concern for Nicole should be appreciated. Hopefully, your Aunt will think about this little indifference and realize that you are right and the safety of her child is a priority.
  15. You had the right to tell her!!

    She was wrong for trying to argue with you...80 EUR is not a lot comparing to the safety of your children.

    I am glad that you bought one for her though!

    She will sooner or later come to her senses eventually..

    Way to go for Lamia!!!

    Don't feel bad. You did NOTHING wrong.

    That does sorta suck though when your kids would call someone else mommy or daddy.

    I would feel so ashamed..