What Would You Have Done?

@Michele21 (3095)
United States
April 12, 2007 4:28pm CST
I was outside playing with my kids this afternoon, my daughter is six and my son is two. This little girl a few years older than my daughter walks into our backyard and says, "Can you watch me until my dad gets home?" (We don't live in the greatest neighborhood and there are alot of "questionable" people walking around all the time) So I said, "I guess for a little while" and asked here where she lived and stuff. I asked her when her dad usually gets home and she said "I don't know". She pointed out her house down the street and I feel really bad for her because it is a dump, I am not trying to judge, just letting ya'll know the information. So we play outside for a little while and my kids aren't into playing with her so they are kinda just standing around, and eventually I tell the little girl we are going to go inside so she will need to go wait at her house but I can get her a snack. So I go in the house and get her a juice pouch and some snacks, she said thanks and was nice, but that was weird....her just walking into our yard and asking me to watch her. What would you have done or said?? Because I an thinking since I fed her she might start coming over every day after school... I am not trying to be rude in any way so please don't take offense or tell me I was rude...I just want to know what others would have done...Thanks!!
9 people like this
27 responses
@aprilgrl (4460)
• United States
12 Apr 07
I have been in that situation before. Just hope that she doesn't come over every day and I know that you don't want to be rude. I have send some kids home but some won't leave and I asked why and they will say they are not home (the parents) they didn't ask me to baby sit or anything I think you should meet the parents and make sure everything is ok.
3 people like this
@cyntrow (8527)
• United States
12 Apr 07
I'm with fluffyfrog, I might would have to have called social services. I understand that parents have to work and cannot afford daycare sometimes, but the child is wandering the streets. That is dangerous. It's best sometimes to err on the side of safety. I would feel bad if loving parents have their kid taken from them, but the child needs to be safe. What if it had been a predator that she had walked up to? I don't see it as rude. It's just uncomfortable.
2 people like this
@cynddvs (2950)
• United States
12 Apr 07
I would have probably done the same thing. If this continues to happen when you see her dad home I would go over there and try to as politely as possible ask him why he is leaving his young daughter at home alone. And if you all don't live in the best neighborhood if she is at home along she should not be running around the neighborhood. This almost sounds borderline like something you could be calling CPS over. Of course I don't know what's going on, but just from what you've described things don't sound good. I would be very concerned.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Apr 07
I think you did the right thing, considering how her house looked. It may be immaculate inside, though, and we all know that appearances can be deceiving. But for her dad to not be home when she's off of school is a bad thing, and maybe you should call child protection services, just to be on the safe side. If he's neglecting her in that way, then maybe there's other ways as well. It's too bad that she didn't happen to say anything about her mom, or that the question wasn't asked. I know that one thing that's always recommended to me is to call the police in a situation like that. It was something that I was told over and over again growing up. I was left alone many times as a child, due to my dad wanting to be at the bar, and it's sad but happens all too often. Do what you think is best, and though being nice is one thing, if she's not getting what she needs at home, then maybe its time for her to get it some where else.
@wachit14 (3601)
• United States
12 Apr 07
I think you did the right thing by giving her the attention she so desperately needs. You are right to think that it may become a habit, in which case you could call Child Services and report this. If her parents are leaving her alone on a regular basis, they are clearly negligent and should be held accountable. Heaven only knows what could have happened to her had to gone to the wrong house or were hit by a car. You have a kind heart and you did the right thing.
@maddysmommy (16243)
• United States
12 Apr 07
Wow I'm not sure what I would of done. I would of been skeptical especially if I didn't know her, or none of your kids knew of her.... but then again, if you said No, then what would the child had done? awww thats a tough situation to be in and I think you handled it ok. I'm not sure if I would of waited until later, and then taken her back to her home and talked to her father? not sure if thats a good idea either? you know he might think your meddling in their business...anyways, I dont know how parents can just leave their kids alone even if she was only 6/7/9/10 years of age??
@nelltx (277)
• United States
12 Apr 07
Wow, I think the first thing I would have asked her is of anyone was at home & if so, did they know where she was. If this child is being left alone long enough for her to wander the neighborhood & go anywhere, something needs to be done. If you can, and you feel comfortable doing it, try & contact the parents & talk to them about the situation. It is a really unsafe situation. If this happens again, I would tell the little girl that she can't come over again until you talk to one of her parents. This may be a case where CPS needs to step in. I would try to get some more information first before going that route. Good luck to you & yours.
@mansha (6301)
• India
13 Apr 07
My heart went out ot the poor little girl. How can parents leave her. may be he is single dad raising the kid alone. I have my son'e friend his mother is never home she is working so comes back around 2.30 p.m in the afternoon while kid is at home at twelvew thirty. then she goes of to Yoga classes to keep herself fit at four around the same time her twelve year old daughter comes home. The kid is out on the streets playing from twelve thirty and goes back in for that gap or so and again he is sysling around after four thirty. she is never home before eight thirty. Her hubby is posted in field area and she is either busy with her schol or yoga classes or clubs and all. The kid often comes to my home and he is often hungry. SHe had once asked me to look after her as he had off and she had to go to school so I agreed , she sent his breakfast with him and it was simpl bread and tomato sauce. she says he eats that only daily. I was so appalled. I gave him breakfast I had prepared and he had it so happily. I understand that you do not have time to fuss around with kids but come on how can you not see he is not getting proper nourishment. Its nto as if her hubby is not earning or something. she just is working to pass time. Now that I call neglect. In your case I might have gone to the kids house and asked her father if he wants me to take care of the child properly but first find out about him from other neighbours. I think girl is too cute to come out and ask for help from you. May be you should encourage your kids to make friends with her. she might be missing a lovely family and liked you. But as I do not live in your neighbourhodd I could be wrong in my suiggestion.
1 person likes this
• Canada
13 Apr 07
I think I would have done the same to be honest. A questionable neighborhood isn't the best area for a child to be wandering around on her own. I guess you have to hope that she doesn't start coming over every day. If she does, I would want to have a talk with her parents to see why she's being left on her own outside while her parents aren't home. I don't see that it would hurt to offer her a snack if she does come over though. At least you know she's being fed a little at least. Just be firm and tell her no if you have to. If she is nice like you said she seems to be, she will understand.
@Razzles (391)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I would have probably told the girl that it would be all right, but I would have to speak to her parents first. Maybe the girl would have provided you with the number so you could speak to her parents. With every thing that is going on in the world, it is best to be safe than sorry. The parents may have told the girl to come straight home from school and would be upset if they found out otherwise. It is good that you did not allow the child into the house. You could have been charged for all kinds of things.
• United States
13 Apr 07
it seems to me that this child is both emotionally and socially deprived. she obviously has noone to turn to, not to say that you are that person.it's really the resposibility of the girl's parent or parents. maybe dfcs needs to be contacted.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Apr 07
I would say contact the childs parents. Talk to them. And if it KEEPS happening you might need to call like child services or something. Cause leaving a kid alone (how old was she??) isnt good parenting. Get a babysitter for crying out loud! :((
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Apr 07
I feel sorry for the girl, what a shame to have to ask people to watch her cause her father can't do it himself. I had this happen when my children were young, there were some people that lived across the street, they had six children and they would just run wild in the street, I would feel sooo sorry for them and would always try to help out but my children never wanted to play with them, they were dirty and had no manners so I know what you are saying. It is a shame that you had to go through this but think of the good you do for this girl, heavens knows if she has a mother figure in her home to help her that it might do her good if she came over to your house more and saw what a real family is like. If only we could do nice things to our children everyday just think of the outcome of the adult they will turn into. Good Luck
1 person likes this
@Nardz13 (5059)
• New Zealand
13 Apr 07
Yeah I would have done the same thing too, had I been in that situation. But I would have been upset and annoyed with the irresponsible parents, for firstly letting a little (girl) at that, out of my sight and stray away from the house. I prolly would've kept her at our house and fed her as well. And waited until the parents came home, I would have taken her home, and spoke to the parents and offered to baby sit at a reasonable price. If not and it happened again, then I would've told them, I would have to call the child protection agency, concerned for her safety... :)
1 person likes this
@Joslyn77 (374)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I don't think you are rude. I would have done the around the samething. I would have asked her if she can get inside her home and advise her to go home and lock the door and wait till her dad got home. How old is the girl exactly? I would have let her come inside if she wanted to and kept a look out for her dad and so he knew that his child was wondering around by herself. Maybe they need help with her because they have no one else to help. I would ask if there is something I could do to help? That's just the way I am. We should be looking out for our neighbors. That is just my thoughts.
• India
13 Apr 07
hi as u siad that the girl was a few yrs bigger than u daughter she wouild be aroung nine or ten. i hope u should be not so rude to her. u should have watched her till the evening and take her to her house by u in th evening bye dude
@arkentos (213)
• India
13 Apr 07
you have not done anything wrong.but you should not be thinking like this actually .you helped that girl and that should make you feel good.if she turns up again then the problem is.I fshe never then why to mitigate the effect of your kind by saying that i have made a mistake.
1 person likes this
@ravinskye (8245)
• United States
13 Apr 07
i probably would have done the same thing. you probably should have a talk with her father about her being home alone by herself.
1 person likes this
@Thoroughrob (11771)
• United States
12 Apr 07
I probably would have done the same thing. Hopefully she won't keep coming back. I would probably assume that she doesn't have a good family life and is looking for someone to like and give her a little attention.
1 person likes this
@jchampany (1131)
• United States
12 Apr 07
I don't think you were rude. I think I would have probably done the same thing as you. It is weird when things like that happen and your heart breaks for the child but don't really know what to think. It's a sticky situation to get into. Like you said, she may end up coming around all the time. I know that some might think it sounds rude but some of us can't afford to feed another child all the time. Another thought that comes to my mind is that it could have been a scam. If you say your neighborhood isn't the greatest. I am not saying the girl is doing it on purpose on her own. Her father or mother could be using her. Maybe they wanted her to check out your house or try to make friends so they could take advantage of you in some way. Some parents, although it seems harsh, use their kids in so many weird ways. I would keep my distance. But also keep an eye on that house, see if she is really being left at home alone alot. Maybe not being treated very well. Then you can step in, anonymously of course, and maybe call child protective services.