I have five wonderful, lovely adorable children. They are smart, creative, intelligent, inventive, kind, and many other wonderful attributes. They are also curious and don’t have much fear. Of anything. Now this is a both a good thing, and a bad thing.
Meet my First Grader. He is a vivacious, intelligent, extremely curious young man. He is VERY full of life, and wants to know how EVERYTHING works. About a year and half ago, we were at the San Diego Zoo. What a wonderful place! We were getting lunch for our family, and between the lunch stand and the table, he disappeared. We were able to find him, fairly quickly, he wanted to see the parrot, but we were scared.
Meet my Preschooler. Very cute, intelligent, smart, funny, and very likeable. We are at a large convention. Many, many different booths. Lots of fun things for eyes to see. We stopped to take care of the baby. She didn’t stop. Again, she wasn’t missing for very long, but long enough to send her parents into full panic mode.
Now, in both of these instances, we were being attentive. We noticed the child was missing very quickly. We were able to quickly get help to find the lost child. The thing that scares me is not being able to quickly find the child. I can’t imagine losing one of my children.
Here’s something that I’ve noticed: the more people that are around that the parents know and trust, the less vigilant they are about their children. Everyone thinks, “It’s Okay, I don’t need to watch my child, there are lots of eyes.” But, when everyone thinks that, it becomes a case where NOBODY is watching the child.
This scares me!
One of my very active children can disappear in seconds. Now, what if nobody noticed that they were missing?
That’s why, I as a parent, always try to keep safeguards.
We ALWAYS make sure that someone responsible knows that they are responsible for the younger children. Quite a few times, I am that responsible person. This means that I’m keeping an eye on the children at all times. I might be conversing with a friend, but I’m still watching and knowing exactly where and what my younger children are doing. I have followed my toddler all over the house and through the yard, letting her do her thing, but I’m still there, making sure that she is safe. When I have to do something else, I make sure and pass that responsibility to someone else. I make sure they KNOW that they are responsible for watching the children.
This takes away the group mentality of, “Someone will be watching my children.” This allows my children to still play safely.
It’s nice to be able to share the responsibility with someone else, and being with adults that we can have real conversations with is nice. But, first and foremost, I’m making sure that I am taking care of my children. I am ensuring that they are safe.