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  5. Where is the line between "mothers choice" and "childs rights"?

Where is the line between "mothers choice" and "childs rights"? Lock Rss

At what point do we say that a parents choice is out weighed by the childs rights?
For example, most people would disagree with me feeding McDonalds to my 8 month old baby, 3 meals a day, yet if I breastfeed full term, I face criticism, even though my decision is in the childs best interests.
It might be my choice to belt my children daily, just in case they have misbehaved, but most people would disagree with my choice.
So where do we draw the line?



At what point do we say that a parents choice is out weighed by the childs rights?
For example, most people would disagree with me feeding McDonald's to my 8 month old baby, 3 meals a day, yet if I breastfeed full term, I face criticism, even though my decision is in the childs best interests.
It might be my choice to belt my children daily, just in case they have misbehaved, but most people would disagree with my choice.
So where do we draw the line?


id disagree, i think more people would have a problem with you feeding your 8 month McDonald's 3 meals a day over breastfeeding full term, and i think you would go to jail if you belted your kids so that really isn't your choice. But i know what you mean, you CAN'T belt your kids like your example but you CAN feed your child McDonald's to your child 3 meals a day, and to me both is child abuse and yet only one is counted. But the thing is, once you start specifically saying anything that causes harm to a child is abuse you could just about argue that some if not most things we do/let our children do could cause harm to them, and who is to make these decisions? you? me? my parenting is probably alot different to yours and yet im sure both our children will grow up fine. I think as long as the child is being feed, clothed, housed, loved and not being sexually, physically (beaten), mentaly abused parents are free to do what they want.


At what point do we say that a parents choice is out weighed by the childs rights?
For example, most people would disagree with me feeding McDonalds to my 8 month old baby, 3 meals a day, yet if I breastfeed full term, I face criticism, even though my decision is in the childs best interests.
It might be my choice to belt my children daily, just in case they have misbehaved, but most people would disagree with my choice.
So where do we draw the line?


Everyone has different 'lines' so to speak so really its too hard to say what is a parents choice and which is abuse or childs rights. Some mothers think that mcdonalds is perfectly fine and others dont. Some mothers thing BF is the only way to go, and others think the formula is the way to go. Everyone has differnt opinions and therefore it is impossible to make a change because we live in a democracy, not a dictatorship.

At what point do we say that a parents choice is out weighed by the childs rights?
For example, most people would disagree with me feeding McDonalds to my 8 month old baby, 3 meals a day, yet if I breastfeed full term, I face criticism, even though my decision is in the childs best interests.
It might be my choice to belt my children daily, just in case they have misbehaved, but most people would disagree with my choice.
So where do we draw the line?


The simple fact is that the choice is with the parents and not the child be it best for the child or not.

Ive seen some crazy debates on forums. A smacking thread, a cloth nappy thread, a c-section therad and bottlefeeding threads get amazingly heated between the fors and the againsts.

I have also seen and experienced people ask with the approach of my child turning 1yo when Im going to quit breastfeeding. It seems from my observations that our society dosnt support woman who want to breastfeed over 12months. Yet alot of people would be non fussed about the same child having chips from Maccas. So I do get the point your trying to make.

Our society in my opinion is so furiously protective of the right to choose that 'whats right' dosnt come into it. On all those debatable subjects both sides will defend that they are right.

You could argue that a child wouldnt choose to go to child care?. Yet many children go sometimtes at 6 weeks. So the parents are possibly making a choice for the child thats not in the childs best interest.

At the end of the day I think we need to support each other and our choices. I may not choose the same things as you but I respect that is what you choose.

I support delayed vax, extended breastfeeding (shouldnt be called extended but anyway), planned c-section, disposable nappy, non child care, non smacking parenting. It dosnt mean that is how it has always worked in my family. I havnt been able to achieve all of my preferred choices for one reason or another. Im not a traditionalist or completely alternative. However I also respect parents that make other choices.

We can only really do what we personally think is best for our own children.
Firstly, I'm sorry to hear that you have been criticised for breastfeeding your 8 month old. As a mother who basically exclusively formula fed her child from birth, I know how it feels to be criticised or judged for the decisions you make for yourself and your child.

Children's rights are, in fact, protected by law. But for a law to work, it has to be practical to enforce it. To use your example of McDonald's, I don't think there is enough manpower in this world to police what people feed their children. Many home cooked meals are at least as unhealthy or even more so than a Happy Meal. Personally I'd rather see the resources used to address real abuse and neglect.

People have different viewpoints and priorities - who's going to be judge and jury on what would be the acceptable way to raise a child, considering the enormous amount of strong opinions on an equally large range of subjects?

The information, guidelines, recommendations are out there, on almost any subject on childcare.

There really is no way to accommodate the passions of every fanatic on every single subject. Perhaps we should try to find the positives in the choices others make, instead of losing sleep over the fact that someone else took it upon herself to feed her child a Happy Meal.


id disagree, i think more people would have a problem with you feeding your 8 month McDonald's 3 meals a day over breastfeeding full term, and i think you would go to jail if you belted your kids so that really isn't your choice. But i know what you mean, you CAN'T belt your kids like your example but you CAN feed your child McDonald's to your child 3 meals a day, and to me both is child abuse and yet only one is counted. But the thing is, once you start specifically saying anything that causes harm to a child is abuse you could just about argue that some if not most things we do/let our children do could cause harm to them, and who is to make these decisions? you? me? my parenting is probably alot different to yours and yet im sure both our children will grow up fine. I think as long as the child is being feed, clothed, housed, loved and not being sexually, physically (beaten), mentaly abused parents are free to do what they want.


totally agree.

and i would really like to know who criticised you for bf full time.

and a childs rights is open to interpretation around every corner.

eta JoshMummy - spot on again!
IMO children have the 'right' to be fed, clothed, loved, have a roof over their heads, free from abuse and neglect, and access to healthcare;someone else might think that children have a 'right to be bf for as long as possible, carried around all day, not be fed 'junk' food and have one parent not go out to work until they leave home. I certainly wouldn't choose to do things that I know some other mothers do, but as a couple of PP's have mentioned who gets to be judge, jury and 'executioner' in deciding what is 'best'?

Parents will hopefully be looking at ALL the recommendations out there in regards to child rearing and then do what is best for THEM. The world is changing all the time, the guidelines are changing all the time and IMO all you can do is look at the information that is available at the time and base decisions on that.


Thanks for the replies everyone.
The main person who has criticised me BFing DD is my older sister. she thinks "once they walk and talk its just wrong"
Unfortunately for DD she is very advanced and already attempting to talk (can say mama dada yay weeeeeee 'mai' (chinese for "dont want') ) and trying to walk, so apparently now my milk is poison sad
She has criticised my decision to self wean DD when she is ready (i say up to the age of 7-8 just to shock her) saying that she will be traumatised (my sis was bf to 22 months, and thinks she is traumatised by that)
Yet she spoon feeds her 4.5yos and noone ever says anything to her?

I guess my main problem is the fact that everyone has different opinions on what constitutes abuse. I think deliberately doing something which is not in the childs best interest is abuse, BUT having a treat like McDonalds once a fortnight or soft drink occasionally also arent the best thing for the child yet not exactly harmful IYKWIM?


This is a tough one and I don't really think that there is a clear cut answer. What some people view as being acceptable with their children other people won't. There are people who feed their children McDonald's 3 times a day and see nothing wrong with it. I personally don't agree with it because it's not healthy. But in the same token at least they are getting fed.

In my line of work (Child Protection) I know what constitutes abuse and what doesn't. And you would be surprised how many people will say "I know a mother who doesn't give her 7 year old child vegetables, that's abuse" or "I heard a father raise his voice at his daughter, that's abuse" etc. Sometimes I think that people throw the word abuse around a little too freely. Often what peope think is abuse, is just a differing way to raise a child.

If the worst that you're doing is BF your 8 month old daughter, you're doing alright in my book.
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