Parents, do NOT let other people guilt you into being “their” kind of parent. I had a neighbor once whose son was in his playroom and dropped his glass of milk. When he tried to pick it up, he cut his palm. This precious mother was so guilt-ridden over what other parents would think of her for leaving her son alone IN HIS PLAYROOM, that she was considering plastic surgery for the little scar that would be on his palm. For most little boys, scars are warrior trophies, anyway. “Oh, this scar? It’s nothing. You should see the other fella.” Right?
My mother always said I watched my kids too close, yet my daughter got spooked by a Smurf at Carowinds, and before I realized what was happening she was gone and nowhere to be seen. I was very close to screaming for her when one of the other adults with us found her (she got away that fast, from ALL of us). Then there was the time she nearly got on the wrong train in DC while the rest of the family piled into the one on the other side of the track–and then piled off really fast when we realized she was missing. You understand what I am saying? This happens.
My grandson got away from me one time after an event. He took off running toward the direction of our car, I chased after him, and literally fell out a door, giving him greater distance between us. When I found him, he was standing beside our car, waiting for me. At three years old, he was a fast kid. It happens.
I bet you there is not one parent who doesn’t have a story to tell of the time their kid managed to slip past their line of vision. The folks who revile you for that–also known as people who don’t have kids–likely also revile parents who put their kids on a safety restraint so they can keep up with them. You cannot please people. Be your own responsible self and raise your kid without guilt of what “others” will think.
Be vigilant, take what measures you must to feel that your child is as safe as possible; but remember, kids are impulsive, and before you can even turn your head in their direction, they can disappear.
Also, if you are considering parenthood, just had a new baby, etc., consider these things:
1) There is no such thing as a perfect parent.
2) Making dumb comments such as, “my kid will never do that” are dumb; and you could very likely end up eating bitter words, mixed with salty tears.
3) Kids have their own personalities. Until you are a parent, you don’t know what kind of parent you’ll be, and you CERTAINLY don’t know what kind of kid your kid will be.