Dads participation

Caitlin - posted on 03/22/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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We recently had our second child. Today, we both had to be in town for errands, so I took the new baby (because i'm breastfeeding) and he took our 16 month old daughter and went to do his errands. An hour later, we meet back up to head home and he tells me that a security guard came up to him to find out what was going on because he was changing her dirty diaper in the men's bathroom. Apparently a student (his errand was at school - university) reported a man MOLESTING a small child in the washroom. The security guard almost called the cops on him, asking him how he could prove it was really his child and that he wasn't hurting her. Really?

So I guess this would be my question: Do you feel that the current paranoia over sexual predators is actually DISCOURAGING fathers from taking a more active role in parenting?

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Shelley - posted on 03/26/2010

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It's a horrible feeling isn't it when my daughter was 18 months i took her shopping with my mum and dad. My mum and i went into a shop and dad stayed outside with my daughter when a pair of shorts at the next store took his eye he went in to try them on with my daughter when he went in the store manager came over and asked him what he was doing in the change room with a little girl. It is awful that we live in fear that something will happen to our children and we live in fear that someone will be wrongly accused.

Dana - posted on 03/25/2010

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That's insane. How horrible it would make someone feel. I know if that happened to me I'd wonder every time I was in public if people were thinking that again. Things have just gone too far.

Linda - posted on 03/25/2010

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It's very discouraging to hear this. I agree with Lisamarie that seeing dad's out with their kids is a special thing. Those are the REAL men. A real man would be proud to play barbies or a tea party with his daughter. Too many dad's are absent from their kids' lives and now we want to knock the ones who do give a damn?

Before my husband & I got together, he would take his infant son out by himself quite often. He was very discouraged that more often than not there would be no changing tables in the men's room. More than once he's changed a baby butt on a restaurant table, much to management's dismay. That was over 10 years ago. I think some things have changed on that front.... I see many more Family restrooms now, etc. I think that society is starting to realize there are more stay at home dad's now. Hopefully that was just an isolated incident. I'd hate to think that's what dad's have to go through everywhere.

Sharon - posted on 03/23/2010

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Caitlin - THAT IS NUTS.



I do not believe that is the norm. My husband never experienced anything like that. Nor anyone I know.

Jess - posted on 03/23/2010

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You know what is more sad than your poor husband been accussed of something so horrible. The fact that someone else thought they witnessed it and didn't stick around long enough to find out or even question him. I mean if you honestly thought someone was molesting a child wouldn't you confront them, try and protect the child and get them out of there ? I appaulled the man for telling a security gaurd about his concerns, but why not stick around 5 seconds longer to actually find out what is happening. Changing a nappy is a lot different to molesting a child. Even a childless uni student should be able to tell the difference if they take the time !

Mary - posted on 03/23/2010

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Oh, this makes me so sad! Our daughter is 16 months old, and my husband has been exceptionally hands-on from day one. He absolutely adores his baby girl, and my odd work schedule means that he has had to do a little bit of everything with her, from baths to diaper changes to grocery shopping from 14 weeks on. On those days where I am sleeping, he often plans little outings for them...story time at the library, visiting the animals at the humane society, walks in the park, or even lunch out at a local restaurant. Obviously, there are going to be times when she needs to be changed, and he's on his own with her. I cannot imagine how the above scenario would anger and upset him...but what is more worrisome is how it would impact his decision to do all of those things he currently does with her. I would be afraid that it would make him a little more hesitant about going out independently with her for fear of a repeat scenario.

While I applaud people for being observant of what is going on around them, I wish they could be a little more discerning about what they are actually witnessing. Molly sometimes cranks a bit about being changed (it bugs her to have her fun disrupted for ANY reason, but the diaper bit really infuriates her!). However, to anybody really watching them it would be obvious that he was merely doing that routine chore of toddlerhood...but perhaps male college students really are that clueless about parenthood, and all it entails.

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That is really sad. The assumption that all men are child molesting perverts is paranoia gone crazy.
When my partner and I first got together he would happily take my eldest off to the park while I finished up with the shopping. It never even remotely crossed my mind that anyone would question what he was doing with a child at the park who was no relation to him. He's a very hands on Dad with our youngest. Whenever we're out, it's his boy!

I don't think most Dads are going to let the media dictate to them how to be a father. It does however have a knock on effect to what they are like in situations with other peoples children, such as teaching.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/23/2010

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I think it does make dad's more paranoid. That is terrible and my hubby has not experienced this before but we always complain because everywhere we go it's "mother and baby", mother and baby changing rooms, mother and baby parking spaces, surely it should be PARENT and baby???
I agree most sexual abusers are men and more than likely people you know. (mine was an uncle) but I it's ridiculous that it's got to the stage where daddies can't even take their children out.
Actually, it ALWAYS makes my heart melt when I see a daddy taking his child/ren out for the day because it's so rare now, I think it's sweet! :)

Johnny - posted on 03/23/2010

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Awareness of the risks of sexual predators, both strangers and acquaintances, is very important. But I fear that this awareness has metastasized in complete paranoia. There are no more perverts around now than there ever were before, it is just that in the past, it was not something that was ever spoken about. The risks are exactly the same today as they were in our parent's generation, but the media has turned knowledge into fear through their reporting methods. It is so sad when a father can't change his own kids diapers without being afraid of being accused of molestation. My husband was worried about sharing a bath with our daughter, even if I was in the room. My dad who is my daughter's caregiver when I work is a bit worried about changing her diapers in public (I won't be telling him this story!) The idea that all men are "potential sex criminals" is so toxic for our society. I hope we get some common sense soon.

Sarah - posted on 03/23/2010

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That's awful! I definitely think that paranoia about sexual predators has gone WAY too far.
I've heard that fewer and fewer men are taking on teaching roles because of fears of being accused.
I was watching a current affairs programme where they were discussing this topic. Lot's of the men were saying that years ago if they had seen a child fall over in the playground while picking up their kids, they would have picked the child up, found it's parents etc etc. Nowadays though, they wouldn't get involved at all for fear of the repercussions.

I think it's really sad that so many people are SO paranoid all the time.
You're example of a father changing his own daughters nappy is just insane!!
I know we all have to be wary of the weirdos out there, but seriously, not EVERY man is out to hurt a child!!

Jocelyn - posted on 03/22/2010

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Wow your poor hubby! If things like that keep happening of course it's going to make all the hubbies become shut-ins! People are just too paranoid for their own good sometimes.

Charlie - posted on 03/22/2010

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OMG that is crazy , i feel so bad for your husband what a horrible accusation .

Yes i think Paranoia is discouraging fathers from taking an active role not to mention the lack of male teachers available or more to the point being hired for young children , it really is sad !

Jess - posted on 03/22/2010

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I think it does discourage fathers. I know when we first brought our daughter home my partner flat out refused to put nappy rash cream on her. He was worried about what other people would think because she is a girl. He honestly thought people would think he was being inappropriate with her. It made me really sad that this is what fathers have to deal with.



7 months on and he is fine with nappy rash cream, but he had to see the effect of nappy rash before he got over his fear.

JL - posted on 03/22/2010

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That is just stupid...talk about over reacting but I guess male university students are probably not accustomed to having men change their kids diapers in the restrooms. My husband has never run into a problem or issue like that.

Sara - posted on 03/22/2010

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That's horrible!



My husband has not had experiences like that, but I would think that if a man did it would discourage him from wanting to take a child anywhere by himself. OMG.

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