I'm all for trying to make your kid independent, but I witnessed something last weekend at my local Target that set my mom "radar" off big time!!
We were putting away our cart after checking out and were heading for the main set of doors to leave. The kids and I watched as a mom and dad headed to the customer service area leaving their son (who looked to be not quite two years old) by himself near the shopping carts.
He started pushing the carts around, banging into people and all the other carts. Not once in about one full minute did the parents look back to see what he was doing.
There was an older woman standing around, like us, looking at him and I think she was thinking the same thing, why don't the parents come get him and let him wait with them in the customer service area??
I was telling Lauren we needed to do something. It was VERY busy right there near the carts, people coming in and out of the doors very quickly. It would have been easy for someone to snatch the little guy up and take him right out of the store.
That is one of my biggest fears with Dominic, is that he will get separated from us and not be able to tell somebody his name. We have worked really hard with him and he now knows his first name, last name and phone number :) Before he was as verbal as he is now, the thought of him getting lost in a store really freaked me out!!
Since there was a clerk standing there by the cart area, I told her, "I think that little boy belongs to those parents over there" and pointed towards the mom and dad. She led the little boy over to the parents and asked them if the little boy belonged to them. It would have been easy for the kids and I to walk out of the store and assume the little boy would know where his parents were or that someone else would do something. If he was older, I might have done that, but he was so little.
It made me think back to when I lived back in Maryland and there were little kids sitting in a car all by themselves in a parking lot near a store. I actually went up to the car and asked them where their parents were. It was kind of a hot day and the windows were rolled down, but they looked pretty young to be sitting by themselves in the car, especially on a hot day. I waited in my car until a parent came, got in the car and left. I wanted to make sure they were okay :)
Even before I had kids of my own, if I saw something that didn't seem quite right going on with a child, it would really bother me. Maybe it has something to do with being the oldest of my siblings. I've had that maternal "instinct" from a very young age.
I found my experience at the Target to be very disturbing and I'm glad that I stepped in and did something! What would you have done if you saw the little boy by himself??? Would you have taken a few moments to make sure he was okay??
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