As the mother of three children ranging in age from 20 months to 9-years-old, I am extremely vigilant when it pertains to my children’s behavior, what they are doing, and who they are doing it with. If we are out in public, for instance at the local park or town pool, I always have one eye on them and will be quick to step in should a situation arise with my children that requires my parental involvement. For instance, just last week at our town pool, while I was over in the kiddie pool with my 20 month old, an older child (probably around 3) came over to her and proceeded to knock the toy she was holding out of her hand. I watched her pick it up only to have him do it again. That’s when I felt compelled to direct her away from this child as I firmly said to him, “Please do not knock toys out from her hands.” Yet, why did I need to say anything at all? Where was his mother or father and why weren’t they in tune to their son’s actions? I asked the latter because I didn’t see anyone who looked particularly interested in what was transpiring.
I have noticed lately that while a small group of parents are maintaining vigilance to their children, not all parents seem to share this same sentiment when it comes to keeping an eye on their child’s/children’s behavior and gently intervening if so warranted. The attitude of “kids will be kids” or they “are only playing” doesn’t hold much weight if one child is in tears as the result of another’s actions or words. Social outings in public places offer outlets for children to play and adults to converse; however conversation should never compromise supervision and a general awareness of what your child is doing.