“Attention all shoppers, we are NOT babysitters…”

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2011
“Attention all shoppers, we are NOT babysitters…”
4
Wed, 03-30-2011 - 7:28pm

Several years ago, when I was about 19, I worked for a big box clothing store. While there, one of the things that surprised me was the amount of unattended children we encountered on a daily basis.

A fair percentage of the mothers who came to the store (most of the customers were women) would pretty much let their children roam freely. A number of times I had women ask me, a complete stranger, if I would care for their children while they disappeared into one of the fitting rooms.

The situation got so bad that one day, our frustrated manager got on the loud speaker that was used to make announcements and said “Attention all shoppers, we are NOT babysitters. Please take care of your own children”.

Now, I want to make it clear that I am not sharing this to complain about the mothers or their children. I understand the kids running wild, they were simply trying to have fun in a store that must have been boring to them. And I’m not upset with the women, who often looked absolutely exhausted. They likely didn’t have the energy to hover over their children every minute and were probably hoping that one of the young employees would give them a quick break. I get it.

Instead, I am writing this to ask a question: what is appropriate conduct when we have our children out in public at restaurants, movies, stores, etc.? Obviously kids can’t be expected to be as quiet and still as statues, they’re kids after all! But how much is too much when it comes to the behavior of children when they’re out and about? And no matter how overwhelmed we are, is it ever okay to ask the employees at the establishments we frequent to keep an eye on our little ones? What do you think?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2006

I would never ask someone who works in a store to watch my children unless it was an emergency.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001

I would never ask someone in a store to watch my kids.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2010

I can't imagine asking someone in a store to watch my child, unless, as a previous poster said, it was an emergency.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2002

I had some very interesting experiences with staff at restaurants and shops when my ds was little.