So, I took my kids to the library the other day. As we’re sitting there in the library and we’re gathered in this one corner spot, with cushions all around. My kids race back and forth between the shelves and get one book after another as they stack them up real high.
As we sit down and start skimmering through the pages, and I’m reading it to them, and they have them all in different languages. I’m glancing around at the setting of this library.
They have a few computers around for the people to use with their Library card usage, and as the kids are playing their games on it. They’re limited to 30 minutes each. But, guess what?
The same kids are still sitting there playing the games, and making a HUGE mess in the library. And no supervision of them. Their parents or legal guardians are nowhere to be found.
As the librarian points out, “Parents have errands to do, and drop off their kids. ” Despite it’s not their job, it’s suddenly expected of them to watch after these kids, clean up after their mess one after another because parents are too cheap and too lazy to hire a sitter. I’m being honest here, and honestly why would anyone just leave their kids to fend for themselves for a few hours while they go out somewhere without them?
Then again, I found this to be true at other places such as the Mall. I remember when I was working during the “Seasonal” time in a luggage store. I’m out doing the Sidewalk sale, and these children approached me asking me for spare change because they needed money to get a bus ride home, PLUS they were hungry, and thirsty and didn’t have any money.
I asked them how they got here, and where were their parents? They shrugged and said at home, maybe or out somewhere. They don’t know. But, they’ve been here for hours and their parents dropped them off and took off.
I can totally understand if these kids were like 12, and 14, and up. But, no. These were 3 kids, that happen to fall into the ages of 4, 6, and 8. These are still way too young to be out alone by themselves, and way too young to be out in the mall begging the people as if they’re poor for FOOD, and something to drink, and a bus ride home.!
But, of course these are not the only places. You’ll find kids wandering by themselves in the grocery stores, restaurants usually the fast-food kind such as McD’s and such. Chuck E Cheese is a huge one, and Kidsports is another. You’ll find that the parents have places to go, and little space and time. They’ll drop off the kids at these places and some will be smart and give the kids some food to go along for the ride. Some will give money. Others will say, fend for yourself, this will teach you about how to be independent, and that sense of looking after yourself alone as your training.
That’s crazy you know.
But, unfortunately it’s what is happening right now.
What is the proper age?