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Parent insisting a male does not take her child to the toilet/change n


Poohshouse
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Ok, so as above the parent does not want the male Nursery Nurse to change their child. There are no concerns from the parents other than he is male.

 

My plan is to refuse and give them the option of withdrawing, surely to agree would be sex discrimination and also I disagree with the moral view point too.

 

Any advice?

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Ok, this is a difficult one. I have just looked up what my rights are as a female patient in hospital...can I insist on a female nurse, for instance? I found a nice piece, writtien by a male nurse, who argues that it IS the patient's right to say what they would like and not to adhere to it, especially where intimate care is concerned, can cause possible psychological problems, even though you have dealt with their physical needs. ( he cites the need to catheterise a Muslim lady). He finishes by saying that although it can be a pain in the backside to stick to patient's requirements....and might delay their treatment until a female is found, ultimately it is down to the patient to decide what they want.

 

In your case, the parent's wishes should be regarded, I think. I presume you have other, female staff who can deal with the child's needs? Or do you feel the need to 'stand your ground' on this?? I know that your male NN will have all his clearances in place and that you will want to support him, but there is a need to balance this against the parent's needs ( you don't know if they have had their own issues with assaults etc in the past......and they might not wish to tell you if they had). But if the parent feels that they want a female to deal with toilets etc, then do you have sound reasons to impose your own feelings about it on them? Your m

ale NN must have thought about this possible issue during his training.......and how does HE feel about it? I guess no-one is suggesting he is a paedophile, they are simply doing what they believe is best for their child?? You do need to talk to the parents about your policies and procedures, explain that staff are fully cleared ( though this in itself is no guarantee that staff are 'safe') and ask what their concerns are. Show them your toilets/changing areas and demonstrate that children are offered a safe and dignified area to be cleaned up in the evnt of accidents. Explain that no mobiles are used in work etc......................and if nonoe of that helps to allay their fears, then consider where you go from there.

 

One thing I would add................I am no shrinking violet. I have had surgeons view every part of my body that it is possible to view...and then some. BUT ( and I'm not even sure I can explain this even to myself), I was asked to go to the hospital photographer for 'before' photographs of my breasts, prior to my cancer ops. I phoned to make the appointment and was told I could come anytime. So, I asked when the femaie photographer would be in? No female photographer at my hospital. I asked what happens in the event of a woman whose religion prevents a man other than her husband seeing them naked needs such photographs.....and was told that in that case, bring a chaperone, it's usually ok. I declined the appointment. That was my right and although I stand by it, I'm not sure why and the photographer was clearly annoyed with me.

I wonder if we spend toomuch time considering everyone's 'rights' nowadays??m Is it really too much trouble for a female to change this child as and when needed? Consider the child............and consider what you DON'T yet know about the parent......or the child's history.

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Agree with all that Narnia, had same debate all night in my head....but also have concerns that if the only basis for refusal is gender (all I can go on is what they say), then that is discrimination. Also what if parent tells others, how long before the no smoke without fire gossips get involved?

 

Spoke to an EYFS advisor at the council, who was as stumped as me.

 

What happens if the child was at school, would the male teacher not be allowed to help in the loo, with PE etc?

 

Head is spinning........is it too early for wine!

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Agree with all that Narnia, had same debate all night in my head....but also have concerns that if the only basis for refusal is gender (all I can go on is what they say), then that is discrimination. Also what if parent tells others, how long before the no smoke without fire gossips get involved?

 

Spoke to an EYFS advisor at the council, who was as stumped as me.

 

What happens if the child was at school, would the male teacher not be allowed to help in the loo, with PE etc?

 

Head is spinning........is it too early for wine!

Yes, it's a difficult situation. But of course, if people were going to gossip, wouldn't they do that anyway?? ..........'well, I HAD to take my child away, because they INSISTED the male worker had to change my child, even though it was against my wishes'?

It's a nightmare, but tere must be a sensible resolution to it. How does the NN feel about it?

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I just contacted UNICEF ( Rights of the child)...............this is what they say:

 

 

This is more of a legal question which Unicef do not have the expertise to answer, I believe in the law the parent's request for their child should be respected first and foremost but for further legal advice on this please get in touch with CORAMhttp://www.childrenslegalcentre.com/index.php?page=contact_us

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Have to say we had a very similar situation at our provision in the past. I fully agree with Narnia that parents wishes need to be respected if you can. My male colleague who had been designated the child was not at all offended by the parents request. For him it was more important that the parents were happy. So perhaps looking to see if there was anyway another member of the staff could care for this child might be more appropriate at this time.

Trying not to make this bigger than it need be might be the best option.:)

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For me I would not go with parents wishes based on gender alone, I had it in past not with changing side as he was a student on long term placement but type of play etc he engaged in. For me it was an issue that we promote non stereotypical views and provide an inclusive setting for all and this includes the people working within it.

Yes it can open a full can of worms and generalisation of similar situations which can be hard to deal with, my answer to my parent is that he is under the same job description, polices and procedures as all others are and he will carry out his duties as all others would.

Trying to get more males into early years is hard especially when they are faced with possible discrimination, for me and it's a complete personal view I want to promote males not retract their roles to make them different from women.

 

I think you may need lots of wine in which ever way you turn with this so good luck and bottoms up x

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Without a deep conversation with the parents concerned it is very difficult to know why they have strong views on this subject.

It may well be from difficult experiences they may have had in the past, that has made them so fearful.

It could also be from a lack of understanding and by sharing your practice you are able to show that each and every practitioner is a professional irrespective of gender.

I am interested to know what the male NN feels about it.

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This is the most difficult time to be dealing with this due to the new Promoting British Values which of course stereotypes are discouraged at your setting! Just because this staff member is male doesn't make him anymore of a threat to any child or at least it shouldn't.

 

At the same time a parents wishes should be considered also because after all it is their child and they might have reasons for this demand. In my opinion a detailed lengthy discussion should take place if it's directly child related.

 

Yes it's extremely difficult this one and such a shame.

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For me I would not go with parents wishes based on gender alone,

I have to agree. We have a male NN and I definitely wouldn't agree to a parents wishes just because he's male - I agree with others though, a conversation needs to take place about why?

We have also had parents who have asked us not to let their male children play with dolls and buggies etc. - it is really important that we challenge these stereotypes.

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With respect, there is a great deal of difference between what toys children play with and very close, intimate care. I've been thinking about this one and i still feel it boils down to parental preference and in cases like this, that should be the end of it.. I keep thinking about my mum, who died when she was 53.....if she'd had a male nurse taking care of her intimate needs, she'd have been mortified. From my point o view, I would have defended her right to a female nurse to my last breath. i'd have felt very uncomfortable with a system that tells me a male has more rights to see my body and tend to it, than i have to say no.

Edited by narnia
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I think personal choice should be allowed. In my humble opinion we have just become too focused on 'ethics' 'political correctness ' and now we are being forced to promote 'British Values' ..... which lets face it, we all have been doing before it became 'current'!

 

As a parent, I expect to make choices for my child. As a manager, I promote equality, yet honour parental wishes. Some parents views are narrow... but hopefully in time, we can expand them.

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But if any parent said I don't want someone wearing a veil to change my child would that be acceptable? Or I don't want a black person/white person changing my child?

 

If we don't challenge negative stereotypical views how on earth do we change them???

 

I've had parents who have freely given me permission to "beat their child" - and told me to do so. Did I follow their wishes because they were a parent? Of course I didn't.

 

:ph34r:

Cx

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But if any parent said I don't want someone wearing a veil to change my child would that be acceptable? Or I don't want a black person/white person changing my child?

 

If we don't challenge negative stereotypical views how on earth do we change them???

 

I've had parents who have freely given me permission to "beat their child" - and told me to do so. Did I follow their wishes because they were a parent? Of course I didn't.

 

:ph34r:

Cx

True, very true !!! How many times I've been told over the years if they bite, just bite them back! Politely I explain Nope that's not going to happen, same with this politely explain nope it's not going to happen.

British values have been around for many years in schools, and for me the introduction to being assessed by them has made very little difference to both the way I think and work - no displays in sight about it as we do it all the time.

Over the last 15 years I have been in childcare I have confronted many stereotypical views, seen mass changes in the way we work and think, I would without a doubt feel all this change and striving for equality between sexes especially between blue & pink toys is for not much if I went with parental wishes on this one.

If all other parents found out too and asked the same surly this staff member would have no nappies to change at all and where would you stop in conceding to parent requests of this nature, possibly when he files a discrimation case? I would if I was him.

For myself yes I get offered a female representive while having examinations, but I can not ever remember a Dr / nurse attending to any of my sons needs while young and in hospital having the same question put to me, in my absence they would have been seen by various professionals both male and female and at no point was I asked for a preference to this.

 

It's such a controversial topic but a very interesting and important one that needs further highlighting to help put issues at bay either way to ensure more males join early years and not schools as well as helping us managers/owners etc getting it right x

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ok just asked my hubby what he thought about this.....his reply

 

1 you cant it's discrimination

2 you are opening up yourself to further issues

3 the member of staff could sue you for discrimination

4 if the parent objects that much then she can go elsewhere....there are lots of settings who do not have men working in them....you need to support your staff.

sometimes interesting to hear from someone not involved in this industry....as a man he was a bit offended TBH! ;)

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ok just asked my hubby what he thought about this.....his reply

 

1 you cant it's discrimination

2 you are opening up yourself to further issues

3 the member of staff could sue you for discrimination

4 if the parent objects that much then she can go elsewhere....there are lots of settings who do not have men working in them....you need to support your staff.

sometimes interesting to hear from someone not involved in this industry....as a man he was a bit offended TBH! ;)

Indeed.

Cx

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Of course you wouldn't 'beat a child' ............that's abuse............

 

I asked my husband too and his response was simple:

WHy would you insist on changing a child if the parent has asked you not to? Why would my rights overrule theirs?

 

I suspect that the time for me to retire is rapidly approaching....

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With respect, there is a great deal of difference between what toys children play with and very close, intimate care.

I wasn't suggesting that the two are comparable, I was simply giving an example of where there are certain stereotypes relating to the role of men in caring for children - and it was a relevant example because the parents concerned did not want their boy child to play with dolls as they considered it is not a mans role to provide any care for children - and I still maintain that we need to challenge these stereotypes. I have seen many mothers here who are exhausted after a birth from still having to do all the housework and care for the other children and who need some help and support but don't get it from male partners.

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WHy would you insist on changing a child if the parent has asked you not to? Why would my rights overrule theirs?

 

I suspect that the time for me to retire is rapidly approaching....

 

Well obviously time for me to go too narnia! :D

 

I can only say that I would have to make sure that the male NN understood what had been requested. I would fully explore the reasons for their request with the parent involved and would hope to provide them with some degree of reassurance- but and it's a big but if the parent was 'insistent' then yes I would respect their feelings on the matter........think it's called 'working in partnership with Parents'!

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I think this is such a difficult area, but I would be standing my ground on this...Parent partnership does not mean letting the parent have entirely their own way in all issues ( EG. not going out to play, because they don't see the value in it, giving the child sweet drinks at nursery etc etc). Clearly I would discuss the matter with the parents, and explain why I do not feel that is a reasonable request, and educate them as to why our intimate care procedures are safe and how we follow best practice, irrespective of whether the care is delivered by a male or female member of staff. I think sometimes we as settings have to be clear about what our expectations and procedures are, and then if the parent is not happy, they are free to take their custom elsewhere.

 

Clearly this is a debate with strong views both for an against the parental wishes. I simply think its perfectly valid for us to "agree to disagree", as practioners on a discussion forum like this, and with parents who might like to access our services.

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I agree - there's no point in the forum if we can't give honest opinions and that is the value of it - it helps to see things from others point of view.

 

Also, I wonder what would happen if we had a larger number of male staff and all the parents objected to them changing their children - I still agree that a discussion should be held with the parent but I can't help feeling that giving in to a parent just because it's their preference would be setting a precedent that could come back to haunt us. I do feel that working in partnership with parents is important but I think we have an equal responsibility to help educate parents and we all know that men becoming involved with the care of children presents positive role models and can help change societal view in the long run.

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