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Halifax's #WaveDad Shows Parents Need to Take Responsibility

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Culture & Entertainment

Halifax's #WaveDad Shows Parents Need to Take Responsibility

Last Sunday, a three-year-old boy fell off a popular sculpture on Halifax's waterfront. In response, his father began petitioning the city to add a railing to the top of the sculpture to keep kids from falling off the other side. The 3 1/2-metre blue wave is a piece of public art by Donna Hiebert. It has two clear signs warning people not to climb on the sculpture. “It’s really kind of simple — it’s a sculpture, it’s not a piece of playground equipment,” Hiebert told The Chronicle Herald in response to the incident. #WaveDad, as he's become known, had only 29 signatures on his petition yesterday, but far more Twitter critique about his inability to properly parent. One Tweet read: I think we should work on banning everything without rounded corners. For the safety of the children of course. There has even been a petition started in opposition to his. While safety is no joking matter, I have to say, I echo this Twitter sentiment. How can you blame the city for letting your child, a three year old no less, climb up something that explicitly warns against climbing on? It's like blaming the city for letting your kid walk on roads that cars drive on when they get hit by a car. The city said not to expect any railings around the wave anytime soon. Not surprising. But what I think we do need to rail against is such poor parenting and the blame game. Parents have to take responsibility to ensure their children's safety. The reality is, kids fall. And it's rarely someone else's fault when it happens. And even less often will a railing of some sort prevent such falls. So how do we minimize the risk? For starters, let's not let kids climb up on things they're not supposed to. That starts with actually watching what they do. My daughter is perpetually trying to climb up onto the kitchen counter. Do I let her? No. She also wants to ride our dog. Do I let her? No. Does she try to do it anyways? Yes. That's when the parenting comes in. Sounds tricky, I know. When my daughter inevitably falls, despite all our efforts, then she has to learn the way of hard knocks. So long as she's not seriously injured, I'm okay with her getting bumps and scrapes because sometimes that happens in life. And once she learns that, she can learn to be more careful, avoid the actions that result in the bumps and scrapes, or just get up and keep on, keeping on.  
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Halifax's #WaveDad Shows Parents Need to Take Responsibility

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