Recently my husband, our children and I have moved into a new apartment. We live right by the play ground. I am finding this to be more a bad thing than a good thing. When I take my kids outside to play all is well until other young kids (about 3 to7 yrs old) will come out to play unsupervised! Meaning they have no parents with them, not even an older sibling. Normally I wouldn’t have an issue with it but there are a couple of kids that are mean and very mouthy. I have ended up having to take my kids inside. My son will not come outside if this one young boy is out there because the boy picks on my son. My children are thought not to fight back at this age and to come tell me if they have a problem. It breaks my heart that my son doesn’t want to have fun. The point here is that I am not the community baby sitter and I want your views on how I should handle the lack of supervision by these children’s parents? I would feel horrid if something had happened to one of these kids and I wasn’t out there to help; but I cannot care for my children and the other 6 kids being unsupervised. I should also mention that it clearly states in our lease the kids under the age of 12 are to be supervised on the community grounds at all times.
Dear Mad Momma,
You are absolutely right to not want to be the neighborhood baby sitter. Being a mother of three small children, I get it! It is not like these parents are coming to you and asking you if you mind keeping an eye on their kids and if so you should be charging them. Not all parents are as devoted as others or as mindful of the things that could happen when a child is left unattended. The fact that you keep an eye on all the children playing is a great thing, but I can see where it would get frustrating. Why not head to the manager’s office and explain your issue. Let them know that you find it unfair to you and inappropriate for these young children to be free of adult supervision, especially if it is breaking of their parents lease, but I would use that fact as a last resort if management is acting like they don’t care. As for your son, I would track down this young boys parents and personally explain to them that their son being unsupervised is causing a problem with your son. Let his parents know that he acts out and is mean to the other kids (be sure not single out your son or they might think you’re one of those crazy over protective types, ha-ha) but none the less ask them to talk to their son about being nicer when he is playing on the play ground. It doesn’t hurt to talk to the other parents but I am gathering from you email here that it is not something you’re interested in. If you do not want to wait for management to take care of the situation get other parents involved whom do supervise their kids and support your cause. Those parents might feel the same way you do, and you all can talk to managment about getting the unsupervised children issue resolved. It’s all about team work with this one!
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