Nowadays, it seems like fewer parents are taking on the responsibility of supervising their children, which leaves other parents, like me, stuck watching other people's children when it shouldn't even have to be the case. I'm all for keeping an eye out on the neighborhood kids while they play and lending a hand from time to time because that's what good neighbors do. But when parents, complete stranger, refuse to keep an eye on their children, putting their children's safety at risk, it just makes me plain mad.
For example, the street my children's bus stop was on is fairly busy and there are about 20 kids at the stop. There were a few young kids, ranging in age from 5-8, whose parents don't walk them home or to the bus stop in the morning. In my opinion, these kids are far to young to be walking 4-5 streets by themselves, especially on a street with plenty of traffic. This kids played in the road and, on more than one occasion, cars had to slam on their breaks to avoid hitting a kid.
As a parent, I feel like the responsibility had been pushed on me to keep track of these kids as they walked home when it shouldn't have been the case. I ended up walking slowly behind all the kids to ensure they get on the right street safely to get home. They aren't my kids and I'm not their babysitter! Sure, I could have just ignored it and walked on home without a second thought, but what if one of them were hit by a car?
And, it doesn't end there. We go to the park and parents see "oh, there are other people here. Lets go sit in the car." Well, once again we are stuck at the park longer than we would like keeping an eye on these young children because their parents are no where to be found.
I really don't get it. Someone please explain to me how you can't supervise your own children? How can you just assume other parents will keep an eye on your kids? If someone came up to me and asked, "hey, can you watch my kid play for a bit while yours do?" No problem. But the lack of consideration for other parents is my problem. I'm not your babysitter and I shouldn't have to feel forced to watch over kids that aren't mine, kids I don't even know.
So, bottom line people, your kids are your responsibility. If you have to step away for a bit or aren't able to watch them, ask another parent. Don't just assume someone else is going to keep your kids out of harms way because if there isn't another parent around who is willing to watch your kids even though they don't want, think about what the consequences could be for your child.