Mommy Dearest,

My mom and I were out at a restaurant the other night when a group of women presumably in their twenties were seated at the table next to us. A young child was also with them standing in a high chair!

During most of our dinner, my mom who is a kindergarten teacher was near hysterics imagining the babe falling out and cracking her head or breaking her neck. Trying to mind her p's and q's, my mom was finally fed up and approached the gaggle of girls. She simply told them how unsafe it was for the tot to be standing up and begged for them to be more cautious.

Not a mother myself, I have a hard time knowing when to cross the line. When do you think it's appropriate to say something?

—Freaked Out Diner

To see Mommy Dearest's response,


Dear Freaked Out Diner,

I am sorry you and your mother had to endure a dinner that caused more angst than enjoyment. You should both rest easy knowing you did the right thing. If a tot's safety is at risk, I say cross the line. Always look out for the babe's best interest.

Sometimes it can be harrowing to advise a mother on how to raise her child, but in certain instances, mothers need gentle reminders of what not to do. In your case, it sounds like the mom was either unaware of the dangers involved with her child standing in a high chair or possibly too self–involved to realize it.

If you are going to approach a parent about his or her child's safety, consider how you would want someone to speak to you. Chances are you will get a better reception if you talk in a friendly, kind and offertory tone rather than preaching to the mum.

I hope this helps you with your parenting counsel should you come across a similar situation in the future. Until then, happy dining!

—Mommy Dearest

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