1. Let me clarify, a lot of us may *think* the a-hole reactions. We may play what we would do or already do differently in our HEADS, but to say or type that out loud? To proclaim, “THANK GOD *I* don’t do xyz as a parent, like they did, so that would never happen to MY baby,” is seriously asshole-ish and insensitive.

  2. Amen, And for the record, EVEN IF YOU MEAN WELL, using the tragedy as a “teaching moment” is also assholey. Use some other moment for your agenda and go hug your kids instead.

  3. Agreed, you can think it but… you become the a-hole when you forget you apply your filter. No one wants to hear that crap when their child was/is/has been hurt over something that you think you could have prevented from happening to your child.

  4. Apparently, I’m sort of an asshole, because I understand the sentiment, but yes, I do think some moments should be “teaching moments.”

    If you let your toddler ride in the front seat of your car with no car seat and no seat belt, and then you have a wreck, and something awful happens to your toddler, I see ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with people saying (a) it is horrible and tragic and that they are sending their thoughts and prayers AND (b) that this tragedy should be used to educate other parents about proper safety and what should have been done.

    Now, to clarify, I think that the appropriate response to the grieving parent is the first response and the first response only. But I don’t think it is inappropriate to express both responses (together, not one without the other) to other people, on Twitter, and so on.

    So I guess my diagram would be more complicated. Or I’m an asshole. And yes, I would be an asshole parent, so I’m not someone who can’t relate because I’ve never had one of my own …

    • You people are trying to complicate my oversimplified, possibly slightly incorrect diagram! πŸ˜‰

      To put this in context, this was spurred by the reactions of *some* to that horrific accident last week where a baby died after falling in it’s infant car seat from the top of a grocery cart. Terrible accident. Does it say in the car seat manual not to do that? Yes. Is this common knowledge? No. I can definitely see why a new mother would think this is okay, since so many still do it, and even grocery store employees will encourage it. It’s a teaching moment, but the way to respond appropriately was NOT, “Thank God I ALWAYS wear MY babies in stores. That could have been prevented if that stupid mother (yes, many called her “stupid”) read her car seat manual and WORE her baby.”

      • Ah. Sorry to complicate. πŸ™‚

        I figured that this was what you were referring to. For the record, I posted a link to the news story on my Facebook page and remarked about how awful it was. I have true compassion and empathy for that mother.

        On the other hand, a friend and I did talk back and forth on her Facebook page about how the news story didn’t say whether the baby was strapped in or not, my reasoning being NOT that it was less of a tragedy that the mother didn’t know the seat should not be put up there and NOT that it would be any more/less tragic depending on whether she had kept the baby strapped in, but because (a) it’s another “teaching moment” about keeping your baby strapped in even if the seat is in a “secure place” and (b) I’d think there would be serious concerns about the safety of that seat if the baby was, in fact, strapped in.

        Anyway, I had not read any comments on the story and likely would have responded the same way you did if I had seen anyone call the mother “stupid.” Because really … holy crap. Who says that? I happened to already know not to put a car seat up there (I used to put our seat down in the cart and just couldn’t ever do a big shopping trip when the baby was with me), but it could just as easily have been me to make a mistake that ended up harming my child.

        • Exactly, Erin. I also shared it on my Facebook blog page and it very much wad a teaching moment, but everyone had compassion and empathy for the mother. I saw it shared on other pages and on Twitter, and that’s where I saw the judgmental, never-would-happen-to-me responses that inspired this.

    • So many parents don’t know this. It’s sad and scary and could happen to many of us. When we know better we do better. Even the seats that seem to latch onto the cart are not made for that and not safe. I only recently learned that.

  5. It’s especially bad when people feel the need to act like it’s good that something bad has happened. Like remarking “Jeeze, I wish I could be pulled around in a wagon all day. I’d trade places with him, he’s a lucky kid” about our 3 year old with a broken femur in a spica cast. He’s three, he can’t walk or run or stand or play outside or swim. He can barely crawl. This isn’t fun, buddy, it’s really, really sad.

  6. I agree with you completely. My first (& only) Twitter fight was with a women who was tweeting about she is unable to feel sorry for people who have lost a child. Her theory was that no one should feel sorry for them because they were being irresponsible parent. I was very angry when I read her tweets. I wish I could remember who she was because I’d tweet her your post.

  7. I don’t know if my post about this ventures into the “asshole” territory, but if it does then so be it.

    I don’t put blame on the mom for what happened. Like you said, many people don’t realize the dangers of putting the baby in the cart like that. For crying out loud, some manufacturers put hooks on the base to make it fit better. It makes perfect sense to assume that if it’s designed to fit then it must be safe.

    I do, however, think this can be a time where this unfortunate tragedy can remind (or inform) people that it is not safe to put the baby in the front of the cart. If this mother had known the danger I’m sure she wouldn’t have done what she did. Unfortunately she did and now she will be going through a grieving process I can’t even begin to imagine.

    I do agree with you though, for anyone to call her names or say “well she should have…” is an asshole. Like I said before, if she’d known what was going to happen she surely would not have done it.

  8. I experienced this a while back on Twitter in regard to an awful story about a mother, suffering from severe PPD dropped her special needs child off the top of a parking structure. My reaction was how awful it was and hoping the family would find some sort of peace at some point in this tragedy. I got a response from someone stating that the mother deserved all the pain that she was going to go through because she probably never wanted a special needs kid and killed it for that reason. I can’t believe some people can say such hurtful things.

  9. I try to not say “that would never happen to me” because I’m so afraid it would then happen to me.

    And, I had no idea that it was so dangerous to do that anyway. (They’re practically made to fit!)
    So it COULD’VE been me. πŸ™

  10. Perhaps calling anyone an asshole (well deserving or not) sets a bad example for your kids? My 3yr old already picked up the curse word I used the other day while driving in a near collision. Here instead, might be a better idea. β€œThe best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it”
    ? D.L. Moody

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