Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Negligent parents

I get that not all parents are interested in being "helicopter parents" I get that many of them feel like I'm crazy because I do hover. However, there is a line between "hands off" and full on neglectful. Tonight, I observed (yet again, I see it far too often in this town) the latter at the park. TB has soccer practice at a local park. RF is helping coach so while the boys run around, I've been taking MT to the playground. While were there tonight a little boy, probably 3 or 4 came out of his house, which borders the park, and came over to the playground. The first problem is that his parents were no where to be seen. The much larger problem was that it was 55 degrees, the sun was setting so it would only get colder and the kid was wearing NO PANTS! He had on a jacket, shoes and just his underpants. While I have no issues with kids who don't want to wear clothes, there are limits to that and a time and a place for everything. On to the rest of the evening. This kid was horribly behaved! He was pushing the other kids, sliding down the slide into them, grabbing them as they came down the slide, etc. There was another little boy who was not even two and twice this kid came flying off the slide and nearly kicked him in the face. The other mom and I both told him to knock it off and both times he ran a little bit away and then came right back, only to start over again. I finally told MT that if he touched her again, she had my permission to stop him, however she felt necessary. Those of you that know MT, know she doesn't take well to being pushed around and I have to say that she showed admirable restraint in not ending his behavior right away.

Finally his dad came out of the house and sat on the park bench talking to his dog. Eventually, the boy ran off with another boy. His dad didn't seem to notice that he was gone. I could see him from where I was at and he was clear outside the park, playing IN THE STREET, in front of the houses that border the park on the other side. Several minutes passed and finally the dad noticed that the kid was gone and he gets up and says to the dog "gee i wonder where they ran off too" He looked around the rather small playground and then said to MT "did you see were the boys went?" She turned her back and ignored him. By then, practice was over and we headed out. I have no idea if he ever found him. I have to assume that at some point, the boy would have found his way home, because it seemed like he was turned loose to roam the neighborhood on a fairly regular basis.

1 comment:

Loretta said...

I just talked with my husband who is at the park with our two small kids and when I asked if our daughter--who had a slight fever last night--was wearing a jacket or any sort of long sleeved shirt (b/c the babysitter put her in a short sleeve shirt this morning for some weird reason) he said no, and it totally reminded me of this blog post.
Then when I told him that meant he had to take the kids home right away b/c it's entirely too cold for T to be out there dressed like she is, he didn't say anything. $10 that they're still at the park and will be for the foreseeable future just to spite me.
I can totally see my husband doing what you describe here with our kids. :(