Does your best friend get frustrated when you pull over to double-check the car seat harness? Does your significant other call you OCD (Obsessive Car Seat Disorder)? Grandma think you’re overprotective because, well, you survived, didn’t you?
That probably means you’re being safe. And, that’s music to my ears.
Whenever I get called paranoid, anal or overprotective, I have only one thing to say — THANK YOU. I will never compromise when it comes to my kids’ safety. Period. So, as the holidays approach, let’s get you armed and ready with whatever Aunt Paula and Grandpa Chad throw your way about all the safe things you’re doing with your kiddo and their car seat.
- “We base our decisions on science and today’s safety standards, and we expect that you do the same when the kids are in your care.”
- “We will no longer discuss our decisions about [extended rear-facing, 5-point harness/booster, traveling with the car seat on a plane, age permitted to sit in the front seat, etc.]”
- “When our child is 2 years old, we will discuss appropriate food options in the car. Due to choking risk, no food is permitted in the car until further notice.”
- “We love it when you spend time with our child. To transport him, we must feel confident that he is as safe as possible by today’s safety standards.”
- “Prior to driving with our child, we will require you to visit a child passenger safety technician recommended by us.”
Some of these may be hard to say, especially to parents we’ve learned (from a very young age) to honor and respect. Or friends who haven’t chosen to go the “seek expert advice from a child passenger safety technician route” because they feel like they’re doing “enough.” But respect does not mean sacrificing safety; it does mean accepting boundaries even when they don’t make sense to you.
God forbid something terrible happens and you didn’t say these things. Remember, car seat safety is based on science, not preference — goodness forbid something were to happen, you will be so thankful you prioritized your child’s safety over your loved ones best (yet often terribly uninformed, misguided or judgy) ways of thinking. You do you mama and OWN IT!