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Daycare Owner Called Out For Correcting Parent Who Didn’t Put Her Kid In Car Seat Properly

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We’ve all made a mistake in our lives that was incredibly embarrassing, perhaps even embarrassing enough that we wanted to avoid the people involved for the rest of time.

But most of us can say that those embarrassing moments weren’t potentially dangerous.

One mother couldn’t say that on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor enchanted21, an owner of a daycare, found herself needing to point out to one of the daycare moms that the way she was buckling her child into their car seat was dangerously wrong.

After seeing the mom’s reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have said anything.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for correcting a daycare parent?”

The OP had a system in place at her daycare for car seats.

“I (29 [Female]) have owned a daycare since I was 20. My husband and I unfortunately cannot have children but want to adopt in the future. I have 3 employees who all have children as well.”

“I have a daycare parent who is a first time parent and her daughter I’ll call B is 7 months old.”

“I always put B in her car seat before her mom picks up because that’s just what we do, get all the kiddos ready for pick up to keep pick ups running smoothly.”

“My other employee I will call A usually takes all the kiddos out of their car seats if they have them, so I have never noticed/seen B strapped in.”

The OP finally got to see how B was strapped in upon arrival.

“One morning I was the only one opening because A took vacation time, so I get B out of her car seat and noticed the part that should click over her chest was on her stomach and her straps were pretty loose.”

“I mentioned this to her mom at drop off and she brushed it off and said she is always is a rush and she’s lucky she even puts the straps on B.”

“I cringed inwardly but didn’t say anything because B isn’t my child and I figured it was just a one off thing.”

The OP brought this concern up a second time.

“A couple weeks went by, and I got so behind on getting everyone ready for pick up, B’s mom came in and strapped her in.”

“Again, her chest plate was by her belly and the straps were loose.”

“So I very politely said that I think her chest plate should go up by her chest and her straps should be a little tighter.”

“I was met with a glare and, ‘How would you know? You don’t have children.'”

“I was a little shell shocked and without thinking said, ‘Just because I don’t have children doesn’t mean I don’t know how to safely put a child in their car seat.'”

“Well, that didn’t go over well. She now only has B’s dad do pick-ups, and weirdly enough, he apologized for his wife’s comment.”

The OP’s daycare staff didn’t agree with her concerns.

“My 3 employees all think I shouldn’t have said what I did, since B isn’t my child and I technically don’t have children.”

“My response was that even though I don’t doesn’t mean I don’t love all the daycare kids and know what is safe and what isn’t. If that were the case I shouldn’t be able to own a daycare.”

“So AITA here?

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some were incredibly thankful the OP spoke up.

“NTA.”

“Imagine this scenario: you say nothing. Parents pick up the kid, strap her in wrong. An accident happens on the way home. The kid is gravely injured.”

“You would be devastated.”

“Now make it worse: parents sue you because she was in her car seat when we picked her up! She was not properly buckled!”

“Now how do you feel about speaking up?”OkapiEli

“NTA – you were being responsible and doing your job. If her husband is apologizing to you I think they know that parent was in the wrong too. If she’s too embarrassed to come to pick up her kids that’s her issue. You did good.”Hail-Persephone

“NTA.”

“I once had a woman come up to me in a car park telling me (she had noticed me struggling to strap the car seat in) I had done it wrong and offered to fix/show me. I’m grateful she did, because if there was an accident, my daughter could have been seriously hurt. (I don’t drive, so I was only in my grandparents’ car.)”

“You were doing the same. The chest plate/straps are meant to be in certain places for a reason.”HunterDangerous1366

Others agreed and were concerned by the staff’s opinion.

“NTA – You were right to protect the child by correcting her mother. If I were you, I’d be concerned that your staff never said anything although they knew she was doing it incorrectly. How many other health & safety issues have they glossed over because it wasn’t their child?”cmnsense_superpower

“NTA because you are a childcare professional and that child is in your care. Which means that the parents are paying for your expertise and your advice. It would be irresponsible for you NOT to mention such a glaring safety infraction to a parent who might not realize how dangerous it is.”

“It doesn’t matter that you don’t have children of your own and it doesn’t matter that B is not your child. Your employees are wrong, wrong, wrong.”

“As a childcare professional, you and your employees are mandated reporters if you suspect child abuse or neglect. This situation was not one where you call CPS or the police, but the principle is exactly the same: you see something, you say something to the parents.”Mirianda666

“NTA. First of all, the police help people adjust car seats and I’m sure they are not all parents. YOU have made your living taking care of children and you don’t stop caring for them when they get in a car seat. Imagine if that family got in a car accident and you DIDN’T tell them about the car seat. You would have really struggled with guilt.”

“The mom was out of line. She should have thanked you for caring about her child’s safety. You absolutely did the right thing and your employees are quite wrong on this issue.”IllustriousPomelo152

Some were really frustrated the OP was devalued because of her infertility.

“NTA. I am an elementary school teacher and have been told my opinion on a child doesn’t really matter because I also don’t have kids. Never mind that I am required to have training in childhood development while parents are not, and have gotten to know, observe, and understand dozens more children than most of the parents.”

“What they mean is, ‘You are not allowed to have an opinion on my child when I disagree with that opinion.'”

“Don’t take it personally and keep watching out for the safety of the kids in your care. You’ve told her what she’s doing wrong and unfortunately, the rest is on her to understand and follow. Just keep strapping B in correctly and hope mom does a little research of her own to figure out how dangerous her way can be.”PurpleProboscis

“NTA. The mom is the a**hole, you strap her child in their car seat every afternoon. You also professionally care for children. Not sure why she would be putting her child in your care if she didn’t think you knew what you were doing?”

“Likely she’s just being defensive, today’s society fosters a lot of mom guilt. She probably just didn’t like being called out and overreacted.”nicecream542

“If you want, look into becoming a car seat safety tech (not remembering the actual term for it). Then you can show certification that yes, you know exactly what you are talking about, you are an actual expert in the field.”

“Not to mention, not having kids means nothing.”

“It was my kiddo’s daycare that mentioned to us that he wasn’t holding weight on his legs at the typical age to do it (when you held him under his arms with feet on the floor or your legs he wouldn’t do any of the work to “support” himself). Luckily, it resolved with no intervention needed but I don’t think the pediatrician would have even identified it – and we certainly didn’t know!”

“The early 20’s no kids caretakers were experts just because of the dozens of kids in that age range they have cared for.”

“NTA. Car seat safety is not to be taken lightly. I work in car accident insurance claims. Bad things can happen from improperly used car seats. Very bad things.”

“(And I know you are trying to be helpful for pickup times, but you may want to discontinue putting kids in their seats. Even though the responsibility is on the parents to ensure they are properly secured, you don’t want any chance of liability coming back on you or your business if anything was to happen.)”CheetahPatronus16

Though the daycare was divided, the subReddit absolutely was not. The sub believed on something as important as a child’s safety concerns, sharing information was far more important than being polite. At least now the daycare owner can say that she keeps her parent clients informed, even if the truth isn’t something they want to hear.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.