Every summer at the bookstore it's the same old story. People drop off their kids and let them roam around the mall, unsupervised. I guess they either can't (or don't want to) pay for daycare and think a bookstore is an appropriate alternative. (It's not). We can't be responsible for unattended children. Mall security (or police officers, if it happens to be a weekend when they're on duty) are going to be called to handle the situation if the parents can't be located within 10 minutes or so. We're not there to babysit. As a wise woman once said, Ain't Nobody Got Time For That.
So today a little girl was wandering around the store for hours, playing with our display tablets, picking up books and then laying them down just anywhere, moving toys from the children's department, running, etc...and this behavior went on for hours with nary an adult in sight. I finally got fed up with the situation and went to talk to the child. And this is how it went.
Me: Hey, there. How old are you?
Girl: ..........Um.... twelve.....
Me: Is your mom in here with you?
Girl: Yes. (This was a lie).
Me: You need to go find her. Where is she?
Me: You can't be in here without your mom. Let's go find her.
Girl: Screw you, lady!
Being told off by a tiny 12 year old girl is a new one even for me, the veteran of six summers at the bookstore. Whew!
School can't start back fast enough.
I would have the manager call the Mall Police and make that parent come down and get her. 12 is too young to be left at a mall.ReplyDelete
I was in a bookstore a few years ago and i saw a group of 3 kids playing war and hitting the stuffed animals on each other. I asked them how nice that their Mother was buying the toys for them. They looked at me like I was crazy and said no. I also said how can the store sell broken and dirty toys. They again looked at me like I was an alien. They left them on the floor and I said is that where you found them, by that time one left and I hear a mom? call them to where she was way across the store.
Some people should not have children or pets a huge waste of oxygen.
Sorry your back at work. Hang in there.
cheers, parsnip and thehamish
Kids acting crazy and destroying merchandise? It happens every single day. Lots of times their parents are standing right there watching them and simply don't care.Delete
By how you first described her behaviour, she sounded like a 5-year-old. Certainly at 12 years, she should be more sensible and not run around, picking up books and placing them wherever she happened to be next. Instead, at that age, I would not have been surprised to find her deeply absorbed in a book, like Harry Potter or so!
What happened then?
I went off to find her parents, who weren't in the store. Eventually I found a teenage boy (who claimed to be the girl's 18 year old uncle) who was so rude and nasty that I called mall security to deal with the situation. By the time they got there, the boy and girl were gone. They probably moved on to some other store in the mall.Delete
Did you cuff her behind the ears? I would be tempted.ReplyDelete
She needed a good smack, honestly! After I got over being pissed off I found the exchange kind of funny.Delete
Who knows what that child has gone through? You were kind to her, and that will stay with her even if it didn't penetrate her crude defenses. Hers was the response of a neglected child. Sad. I hope she encounters more people like you, responsible reminders of what adults should be like.ReplyDelete
I was honestly pretty exasperated by the time I spoke to her, and it probably showed. Then I felt bad that I hadn't shown a bit more patience because as you say, she probably doesn't have the best home life.Delete
Uf. I suppose we can be relieved she only said "Screw."ReplyDelete
And that she called me "lady" !!Delete
LOL -- talk about looking on the bright side!Delete
Some interesting and diverse responses here Jennifer. Your post reminded me of my local library where children would come and spend time on computers in noisy groups; the library providing a free child care service until the parents arrived after work to collect their children.ReplyDelete
Fewer children after the library changed the rules, to the mother being present with a library membership card to make the computer booking. Apparently the library staff considered child minding was not part of their duties.
It's a tough call, Alphie. I know from a friend that our local library attracts some men on the sex offenders list, and there's nothing staff can do about it unless the men do something wrong. But it's not a place to have some children wandering around without supervision. And our store has had to call the police several times because of men exposing themselves, taking "upskirt" pictures, and worse. Definitely not a place for young kids to be alone. Which is sad and disgusting, but part of life in the modern world. The bookstore being attached to a mall brings in all kinds of crazy as well as children and teenagers.Delete
You tried to deal with the situation in the best way possible. From the girls response, I would imagine there could be something going on in that child's life that is not good.ReplyDelete
I agree. And I do feel bad for the girl. No way she's having a nice childhood when she responds to adults showing concern that way.Delete
Oh my god. That's unbelievable.ReplyDelete
I could tell you stories about teenagers in our store that would curl your hair.Delete
The worst is when young children come to us crying because they can't find their moms. Often the mother is so busy getting her Starbucks in our café (or even sneaking off into the mall to do some shopping) that she doesn't have a clue her child is distressed. And it's usually a mom, I'm sad to say.
It's flabbergasting to learn that there are such rubbish parents in Florence. Thank heavens most parents are not like that or you would be running a kindergarten - like a modern day Mary Poppins.ReplyDelete
Rubbish parents are legion in this town.Delete
That's horrible. Just horrible. I never dumped my kids on other people.ReplyDelete
We've found kids as young as 8 hanging out unattended and when asked where their parents are they say..."At work.." Seriously.Delete
And the problem is, that they think it's OK to talk to someone like that. Whatever happened to the world!ReplyDelete
Parents not doing their job and taking responsibility for raising their kids, that's what happened.Delete
Wow! Another child being raised to become a fine, respectful citizen.ReplyDelete
This reminds me of what we have to contend with in the library at school. If younger kids (not high-schoolers) are in there unsupervised during class time, we have to figure out where they're supposed to be and then get them there!
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nice article great post comment information thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete