If you see bad parenting should you say something?

United States
March 5, 2007 12:33am CST
I work at Walmart and I see bad parenting all the time, I never know if I should say something or not. I know I'm not a mother or anything but a lot of its just common sense or just simple stupidity. Some examples: Today TWO children lost their parents. I work at the service desk and they are usually brought up there so we can find them. In both cases the child couldn't really tell us who their parents were and we had to page over and over again while hoping that their parents would figure out that their children were missing. Both times the parents didn't even know their child was missing because they were too busy with their other children. Do you think that's acceptable? Should they be reported for neglect? Then there is this girl that I work with that has a 5 month old. She isn't very smart or sane, but she seems to think her son is the smartest kid ever. She feeds him real food and gives him soda. She's done this since he was a couple months old. She expects him to be to sit up and do things on his own when he's just not old enough to do so. She scolds him for this! Do you think I should say something to her? Or let her make her own mistakes? What bad parenting do you see? When do you interfere? And what do you feel that should be reporting not including physical abuse?
3 responses
@nowment (1758)
• United States
5 Mar 07
I can understand how a child can get separated from a parent, however I don't get how a parent wouldn't immediately make sure her kids are all with her once a page of a missing child has gone out, and so would not immediately come to the desk. I was in a wal mart where a woman came up to the desk, the person behind me got annoyed that they had to wait longer in customer service by this interuption, she kept apologizing to me, I kept saying find the kid first I can wait. This woman knew exactly where she was the last time she saw her child, but sometimes it only takes a second of a turned head. One the other hand one other time I was in a store and the woman didn't even know how she dressed her 3 yr old. The 5 year old with her had to tell them what the kids COAT looked like, it wasn't even that she didn't know what clothes the kid had on she didn't knwo what her own childs coat looked like. I was stunned. As for the woman you work with she definitely needs a clear message, and wake up call, before this child suffers, it is NOT healthy for an infant that young to be drinking soda. There are a few things that can be said to her diplomatically and if she is to dim to get it, then be blunt. She may become offended but think how would you feel if you hear something happens to her baby and you didn't say anything. Sometimes it is worth offending people. Grown ups I do not mind offending if it means a child is safe. And sometimes a person needs to be a busy body and report issues they are aware of even if it means that you have the hassle of being involved. We had a neighbor where the 3 yr old was responsible for taking care of the 2 yr old. When this woman became pregnant again she said after the the baby's born I am going to kill it. Sorry when you hear something like that and see a 3 yr old outside in January with out shoes [it gets cold in NJ in Jan} and you suggest she put shoes on, and the 3 yr old answers my mommy said I didn't have to. First of all why is a 3 yr old running around outside at all by herself? Then you have no choice, you have to call the authorities. Sometimes you say something, sometimes you don't because you may not know all the facts of what happened, and sometimes you just call the authorities. Children are helpless, they can't defend themselves against careless, or neglectful parents, nor can they protect themselves against an adults blantant rampant stupidity. At those times you just have to say something.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 07
Thanks so much for your advice. It's very helpful. That last story you told is so horrible, I've never seen anything that bad thankfully and if I did I definitely would report it.
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
5 Mar 07
This is a very delicate and sticky situation. I mean all the cases you mentioned in my opinion are certainly bad parenting but to be honest I don't think the authorities would do anything about it if you did report it but then if you did report it they might at least talk to the parent and that be enough to "scare" the parent into doing better. I lost my oldest son in a Sears store one time - he was 3 years old. He couldn't have been missing 2 minutes when I realized it but I was terrified. A Sears employee found him and took him to the curtisy desk where they paged over the speaker system "We have a young man 3 or 4 years old named Nawn. His mother is lost." My son's name is Shawn but he had a bit of a Texas drawl and I knew it was me who was lost.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 07
Yeah you're right, thats what I thought. I've never actually reported anything either. But it probably wouldn't do much good.
@Giggles88 (542)
• United States
5 Mar 07
Wow I see it all the time too lol. Just the other day I overheard a father telling his son that they didn't give a S*IT about him. I think I know who you're talking about with the five month old. I tried to tell her that it wasn't smart to give him soda and she got really pissed at me for it. I feel sorry for her son. She's going to make him a very unhealthy and overweight sdult. He's going to end up hating her for it. He's teeth are probably going to be rotted away before he's even in school. I think someone, probably a doctor, should talk to her about it. Another thing that I saw at our store a couple days ago was a mom was literally pushing her kids out of the way. She made one of them even cry because he fell down and hurt himself. She did't even say anything to them. Some people just aren't sane enough or responsible enough to have kids. I wish there was something we could do about it but it's going to happen no matter what we do.
1 person likes this