I’ve recently decided that I’m not your typical mother. Unlike my neighbors I don’t think it’s a good idea to let my preteen or toddler ride their scooters in the middle of the road. I’m obviously too over protective because every kid in the neighbor was playing in the middle of the road today. Some kids were so short I doubt any cars backing out of their parking spaces could see them, but where’s the harm in that? Seeing as how so many parents were cool with this today the logical conclusion is that I too should let both my preteen and toddler play in the middle of the road, unsupervised.
I wish this were the only case of bad parenting around here but it’s not. There are two unrelated toddlers that are frequently left outside with no adult supervision. I’ve never met their parents but these kids frequently ask if they can come home with me or Diablo. Unfortunately for these two kids we aren’t in the market for any more children, otherwise we would easily be able to extend our family.
We reported one set of parents to the department of children services but we couldn’t report the other as we have no idea who this little girl belongs to. Forgetting about the most obvious problems with leaving toddlers outside unsupervised, (predators anyone?) how easily could a major injury occur and the toddler not be able to make it back for help?
We are only a hop skip and a jump from a major interstate and several major roads. It wouldn’t take a great deal of time for a kidnapper to get a head start. My heartaches every time I see these children left alone outside to fend for themselves. They are missing out on some of the most appropriate age appropriate life lessons, stranger danger and road safety.
I remember when Miablo was learning how to swim and I had to speak to my therapist about it because I was having such extreme anxiety over a potential drowning that I was afraid to let her go long enough to see if she could swim. (Which she could) I always stayed in arm’s reach and my eyes were glued to her every move. When I looked around all the other parents were too busy on their cell phones or sun bathing to watch their children in water.
It seems as though there are more bad parents around than good. One time at the park we were feeding the ducks by the edge of the lake and we look over and this “Mom” had left her two year old by herself. We look around and her mother was nowhere to be seen. The little girl was edging herself closer and closer to the rocks and the water. I was forced to approach her and ask her to walk back to safety. This little girl was terrified to be alone and that a stranger was talking to her (Good for her) I asked her where her Mommy was and she pointed her out. This Mother had now made eye contact with me and sees me with her daughter. You would think that would instigate a run back to her daughter but it did not. She didn’t return for several more minutes only to leave her by the rocks again as if she expected me to watch her daughter. I was sad to leave the park that day.
Not long ago at the mall a group of Mom’s were talking at the indoor park. They were paying no attention to their children, who for the most part were behaving. At one point in time one of the Mother’s looks around and says, “Where’s Ashley?” Her face is filled with panic as she looks around and can’t see her daughter anywhere. Not even being emotionally attached to the situation I felt her panic, it seemed as though time was speeding by so fast as her panic and fear set in. Luckily her daughter popped out of the one blind spot in this park. The Mother was immediately relieved and expressed no concerned over what could have just happened. She went on as if she had done no harm and I’m sure it won’t be the last time she loses her daughter.
I struggle every day not to hoover and smoother my children with my over protectiveness but for the life of me I can’t understand how some parents treat their children as if they are disposable. On a polar scale I’m slightly more protective than I imagine most Moms are but when I look around I’m truly surprised by how many children are without parental supervision. Don’t get me wrong I see good examples of parenting but it’s not hard to find these disposable children. I caution every parent to make sure they are not treating their children like they are disposable. Perhaps you’ve instilled your children with the perfect set of discipline that doesn’t require your constant supervision but that doesn’t mean that your children are immune from unforeseen threats.
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