Dear Urban Diplomat: Should I let my negligent neighbour supervise my son?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My six-year-old went to Cherry Beach with his best friend and his best friend’s mom. She let the boys go swimming, even though there was a sign warning of risk of infection, and now my kid has swimmer’s ear. When I brought it up, she said the flags are just suggestions, and that “a little infection will put hair on his chest.” I was shocked. I no longer feel comfortable letting her supervise my son, but the boys are joined at the hip. What should I do?
—Adult Supervision Required, Distillery District
Your parenting philosophies are clearly oceans apart, and you could argue ideology until your kids are finished university. Instead, bring the facts. At the next play date, gently but matter-of-factly let her know that those warnings are not a kinda-sorta suggestion. They indicate a high level of bacteria in the water, which can lead to a whole slew of nasty after-effects, including diarrhea and, yes, swimmer’s ear. If she doesn’t get the point, you can pull up the Toronto Public Health website on your phone for a handy, if smug, visual aid. Introduce a simple rule for future play dates: if the health authorities say no, so do you. If she balks, well, you’ll just have to start hosting the play dates yourself.
Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at firstname.lastname@example.org