Why Don't Some Parents Watch Their Kids?

United States
July 3, 2008 3:58pm CST
Most of the time when I go out with my kid, I often see children (toddlers even) unattended or their parents are chatting on the phone or chatting up with other people and they aren't even watching their kids. Here are some of my experiences. One time 2 young mothers were chatting with each other in the city and their toddlers ran into the busy street and they almost got hit by cars! This should teach the parents a lesson to learn to watch their kids more. Another time, at the library, I was in the children's section with my son and this mother left her toddler son in there for 5 minutes more or less, unattended while she went to go do something else. Maybe she thought since I was there, I looked trustworthy enough to also watch her son. If that was her thoughts, I could've snatched her boy like a kidnapper. Another time at a different library, I saw 2 girls around 3-5 years old playing the children's area when me and my son arrived there. The little girls were left unattended for about 10 minutes since we arrived! I was wondering where the mom was. When the mom arrived to get the girls, I gave a concerned look at my face and she looked like she was depressed and didn't care. I also could have snatched her girls like a kidnapper. Another time when I was at the store, I saw a little girl being left unattended in her shopping cart while her parents were somewhere else. I wrote a note and I told her to give the note to her parents. In the note, it said "PLEASE WATCH ME. I COULD HAVE BEEN HURT OR KIDNAPPED. A STRANGER WROTE THIS FOR ME." When the girl gave the note to her parents, I saw them keeping an eye on her. Another time when I was at a buffet restaurant with me and my family, a little fat girl around 5-6 years old was running wild in the restaurant. Her parents didn't care or weren't watching her. I told the restaurant staff to tell her parents to watch their kid and they said "Ok we'll tell them" but they didn't do anything. After awhile, I asked the staff again to please tell the girl's parents and the staff said "Well we can't tell them to watch their own kid. It's not our responsibility." This infuriated me! It's the staff's job to make sure the restaurant runs smoothly and tend to the customers complaints! Another time when I was at the park with my son, a mother was chatting up with another parent and she wasn't watching her 2 kids. The next thing you knew, one of her kids (a toddler girl) was flat on her back on the ground crying. An older kid on a swing hit her while the toddler was walking by. The mother got angry and scared but it was her fault she wasn't watching her own kid and not the older kid who was swinging.
1 person likes this
13 responses
@lisado (1230)
• United States
4 Jul 08
"Another time when I was at the store, I saw a little girl being left unattended in her shopping cart while her parents were somewhere else. I wrote a note and I told her to give the note to her parents. In the note, it said "PLEASE WATCH ME. I COULD HAVE BEEN HURT OR KIDNAPPED. A STRANGER WROTE THIS FOR ME." When the girl gave the note to her parents, I saw them keeping an eye on her." OMG!! How awesome! I would have never thought to do that. I will have to remember this one. We see toddlers and young children running around our neighborhood without parents all of the time. I don't understand it, either. Especially since there have been 4 near abductions of boys around the age of 12 in neaighborhoods nearby. Luckily the boys were able to get away but from the descriptions it's the same man trying to grab one. He just hasn't "mastered" a technique yet. Unless they get lucky and catch him, though, since they know the type and color of the car, I'm sure he'll end up getting one before the summer is over. Sad to say, but there are so many parents that think it won't happen to them, or that since their child is 10 or over no one could or would take them. WRONG! Toddlers are just as bad. People drive way over the speed limit in our addition and I am surprised that, to my knowledge, no one has been hit. I've almost hit kids, myself, so I'm waiting for it to happen. A lot pf people have to park on the curb, so you never know when a child will pop out from in between them. They are playing and not paying attention, and generally the parents are no where to be seen. I was actually ragged at by a parent who's children were running down the road chasing my son's school bus (my son is special needs and goes to a different school) and hitting the back of it. The bus driver told them to stop and they wouldn't. When my son got off I stopped the boys and explained (I was very nice about it, not yelling) that they could be hurt or killed doing that. I asked where they lived and they pointed to a unit further down from mine (which I was kind of hoping they wouldn't tell me since they didn't know me - no stranger danger at all) and I said if they did it again I was going to their parents. About ten minutes later his mom came over, loaded for bear, screaming at me for saying something to her child. Well, she should have been outside with them. They're only 6-8~ish. That same mom got into a fist fight with another parent at the little park behind our units because her kids were at the park without her and they were making fun of a little girl about being "fat" and having glasses. Her mom asked them to stop, and since they wouldn't, told them they needed to go home. There are at least three other incidents with these same three boys and their mom that I know of, who knows how many I don't know about. It's sad.
• United States
4 Jul 08
I also have to say that my dad was at the store one time and he heard someone say "Oh God NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" and he turned around and looked at the parking lot, there was a little girl toddler was playing behind a car that was trying to back out, she was so small you couldn't even see her, and her parents weren't watching her! Fortunately, the car stopped on time and the girl wasn't hit. Some say that there was an angel that saved her life. I read stories about people who created miracles just by saying the word "God" before the incident occurred. but don't take my word for it :-)
• United States
4 Jul 08
Exactly some parents aren't even meant to be parents.
@Kemboi (341)
• Eldoret, Kenya
4 Jul 08
You seem to be a caring Mother. Children needs much attention, While parents are ignorance about parenting you can find a family with their Children, going to an hotel and orders the same meal e g full hen, chips and 500ml soda and they expect the child of 3-5 years to finish that meal. Some even to not say close attention on how their kids eat they have left their responsibilities to househelp. And attend to un important matters.
@Balozi (244)
• Kenya
5 Jul 08
Parhaps in the first place, such a person ought not to have had a child. Most children are born without planned conception even in this age when pple can do family planning.Because of that some parents think their children are some sort of grown up small men and women. Yah, a 500ml soda, a ffull chicken and some fries to poison the child completely. Mes the children and answer to God later that is what I will say.
• United States
4 Jul 08
I work at Wal-Mart and I see it all the time.i'm not sure if people are just sick of their kids or if they really don't care.
• United States
4 Jul 08
I used to work at Walmart as a cashier. It was crazy!
@SusanLee (1920)
• United States
3 Jul 08
You are 22-years-old and already so wise. Writing that note and giving it to the little girl to give to her parents was brilliant. Made them realise their child was being watched when they weren't even aware of it. That is some smart thinking. Makes me want to write up a bunch of notes and keep them in my purse just for that purpose. Your great!!!
• United States
4 Jul 08
It's great to know that my post has inspired you to do the same about the notes. I will use post it notes next time, so I can just stick the note on the child's chest. If the parent ends up seeing me doing that, I will debate them and say that I was not the one who left the child unattended and tell them to read the note on the child's chest. However, age has nothing to do with being wise. It has to do with having experience.
@beeeckie (803)
• United States
3 Jul 08
Oh, man! I should've said in my initial response -- I used to work at a semi-fancy toy store. Educational toys and whatnot. Anyway, you would be amazed (or not) how many parents saw it as a babysitter. Sometimes before we knew it, the kids would be abandoned in the store for an hour while the parents *shopped* in other stores. There was even a sign on the door that stated "All children must be accompanied by an adult at all times" but it's as if it was invisible to some people. One time I got ahold of a mother, as she was walking in, who did this on a regular basis and told her if she left her children alone there that day, I would call the police for child abandonment. She never showed up again. Her kids would break stuff, too, and her trick was to "wait" outside the store and flag them out. It was horrible.
• United States
3 Jul 08
Yeah I've noticed that kind of stuff happening when I take my kid to toy stores too. That's great that you stood up and told the mother to watch her own kids or else there would be serious repercussions.
• United States
3 Jul 08
I'm not trying to be mean, but I think that it's bad parenting. Parents need to learn that children need constant supervision. Just looking away for five minutes, can result in horrible things. I wish more parents were careful with their children...
• United States
3 Jul 08
There's also a movie based on a true story about a boy was abducted at the store while he was with his mom. The mom told him to stay where he was while she went to go do something real quick and when the mom came back he was missing. I don't remember how long it took till they found the missing boy when he was found he was already deceased. This shows that kids can be kidnapped for a split second.
@munhozmib (3858)
• Sao Paulo, Brazil
4 Jul 08
Hello, coolchic101! Yes, there are some parents who are really unaware of the problems nowadays. They just won't care about their childrens. My aunt is like that. And guess what? Her children were not planned. She didn't want to have babies. Perhaps this is why those kids are left there, they were not planned at all. Their mothers are not prepared to take the responsability. No matter what, those mothers should learn how to raise their own children, for God's sake! How can someone not care about their own son/daughter? Respectfully, Munhozmib.
• United States
4 Jul 08
i like what you did with the note, someone else wouldnt have been that nice though. but some parents are just irresponsible and then when the kids come up missing they want to holla well i was watching her or him and deep down inside they really werent.
• India
4 Jul 08
Well, as for me .. one day i found a little girl playing with a footbal in my front yard. Now i am pretty certain i dont have any young siblings, so i asked who she was. She giggled and said she came from across the street from a house nearby as she was bored. (The girl was barely 4 crossing a road at 6 PM, when vehicles usually care less about whos on road in front of them). So i picked her up and took her to the house she told me .. i walked in, as the door was open and no one replied when i had called out. I saw a young woman sprawled, sleeping on her bed. Woke her up by calling out 'Hey miss' .. a couple of times and held her baby right in front of her face. She was embarresed .. and apologised a lot, i asked her to apologise to her little girl who could have been hurt, or got into trouble had i not seen her. (apparently they were new and 3 days without sleep and tired from moving stuff had made her fall asleep,she did say however she made sure the girl was asleep before lied down ... i jus said, thats not an excuse, at least lock your door.) So yeh, some people do need lessons in parenting, but i dont wanna judge as i am pretty young to advice parents about how to manage their kids :P , but id still say these incidents sicken me so I try to help where i can... Good Day.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
4 Jul 08
Unattended children is a big pet peeve of mine. A couple of months ago when at Pizza Hut this family was there with their small child. The child was walking around the restaurant banging on everyone's table as they ate. The parents did nothing, weren't even paying attention. So here we sat trying to eat and every few minutes this kid would come over and pound on our table. One other time I was in a store shopping and a child was laying down in the aisle so I couldn't pass. I said excuse me to the mom, she just glances at me and ignores me. I then asked politely if she would move her child, she again ignores me. Finally I was pissed! I said loudly - Lady move your child or I will mow them over with my shopping cart. LOL She moved the child and on I went.
• Philippines
4 Jul 08
some parents are to busy and they don't have anytime for their siblings. Maybe others has trust to their sons and daughters about things that they must do.
@subha12 (18453)
• India
4 Jul 08
i think there is no probable reasons. those parents are very lenient about the kids. so they just ignore. i also see sometimes like this. the parents are engrossed into themselves.
@beeeckie (803)
• United States
3 Jul 08
It is truly amazing to see the lack of watchfulness in some people toward their children. For every good parent you see keeping a close eye especially in crowded spots, there's a bunch of others who don't seem remotely worried about leaving their kid in the cart in some nearly abandoned grocery aisle. It's depressing. I hate seeing a kid alone, one should never have to look at a child and have the first thought be "Where are this kid's parents/guardians?"