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Negligent Parent — Parenting
My question is about neglectful parenting.
What would you have said to a negligent parent who without asking left his six-year-old with you while you were having a beach day with your children. I was reading in my beach chair next to my three kids who were happily playing by the water’s edge dribbling sand castles when a father and daughter appeared out of nowhere and joined in the play. After about ten minutes the father said he would be right back and left the child with us. Without him ever having said that he was going to the restroom or to find some drinking water, I looked up from my book and trustingly said, “OK.”
To my consternation the father disappeared! I began to worry that this man whom, I might add, I had never seen before, had been run over in the parking lot or drowned in the ocean. I didn’t even know his name and we never got to speak about anyone we knew in common.
After two hours I ran into him at the bar where I was getting cold water for all the kids. He didn’t apologize.
Should you find yourself in a possible neglectful parenting situation again, quickly pipe up and say, "The tide's coming in and we're about to move on shortly, so don't be long." Don't be apologetic, but you can ask his name by introducing yourself first and asking him where you can find him if he's not back in twenty minutes. Create a boundary by setting a time limit to his absence.