Protecting Our Little First Graders

June 8, 2015

Something awful happened after Drew’s birthday party on Friday. A child left without any supervision. The birthday party was after school in the gym where two hired people and approximately ten adults were present. Since this child was used to the path home, he left and rode his bike unsupervised.

Those parents entrusted me with their most valued possession and I did not supervise him appropriately. And now after this blog, I may never be trusted with anyone’s child again. I have been absolutely sick over this.   I’m using this experience as a learning opportunity.

For one, there is even less oversight when school is dismissed at the end of the day. These children are struggling to find their independence. They, much like me too, don’t understand how dangerous this outside world is. If this scenario taught me nothing more, talk to your children about protocol when leaving school, parties or play dates. Have a plan B if your child is not comfortable or wants to leave ahead of time.

Second of all, we take play dates and orchestrate parties all the time. I never thought twice about the fact that my almost seven year old’s party did not have parents there. I felt anxious in rounding up the kids at the end of the day, but I probably relaxed a little too much once the party was going on. Clearly, I should have been monitoring the doors more closely. The enormity of being responsible for other people’s children is so much larger than I think about on a regular basis.

Lastly, (as my grandma would say) you do not get second chances. I’m so very grateful that that child is safe and sound. I’m horrified that under my watch, he was put in such a dangerous position. I don’t understand exactly what happened but I’m happy that the moral of this story is to be more vigilant at birthday parties, talk openly about plans for pickup and be more cautious when you are supervising others’ children. I can’t even imagine how heartsick I would be if the story ended another way.



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