Sometimes you can’t leave your child alone, even if it’s just for a minute.
That’s what one mom may have learned last week after bringing her child shopping. The tot allegedly ended up destroying over C$1,600 worth of Sephora makeup.
According to Nelson, she had witnessed the mom and her child leaving the store just after the incident, which left employees angry.
The photo garnered a lot of feedback, getting over 27,500 shares and 21,000 comments as of Wednesday afternoon.
“Can’t be that hard to teach your children to respect things that aren’t theirs,” Jordan love, a Facebook user commented. “Or actually watch them when in public.”
“I have been on both sides of this situation, as a mom and as a sales person,” Heather Himmelspach wrote on Facebook. “I’m afraid many parents these days let their kids run al through the store doing anything they want as long as they (the parent) gets finish what they are there for… When your children are too small to know better it is YOUR job to mind them. When they are big enough, they need to understand how to behave appropriately in public.”
And parenting experts Gail Bell and Julie Freedman-Smith of Parenting Power agree that this event was due to a lack of parental supervision.
It’s also a parent’s responsibility to keep a child safe, as well as caring for them and watching their children even when they’re at home, Freedman-Smith adds.
And until children are ready to behave in certain situations, Freedman-Smith says, kids should not be left on their own.
(This is excluding children with developmental issues, Freedman-Smith adds.)
READ MORE: BLOG: What to do when your toddler hits
This means having age-appropriate expectations. For example, if a child is a toddler, expect them to do things a toddler would do – not what an older child would do.
“Start small with spending a short amount of time in stores, have success and then come back,” Freedman-Smith advises. “But you wouldn’t expect to take a one-year-old into a store and expect them to manage themselves.”
Parents also need to lay out the expectations before entering a public place. If the child is known to have busy hands, make sure you’re keeping a watchful eye on them and holding their hands, Bell and Freedman-Smith say.
Lay out rules you expect the child to follow. Tell them when they’re allowed to walk without holding your hand, when they need to be in the stroller, etc. And let them know that if they don’t follow the rules that you’ll be leaving the store – and follow through.
If an incident does happen, both Bell and Freedman say it’s important not get angry. First, remove the child from the situation then come back to the store to deal with the damage once the child is looked after.
As the parent, take full responsibility, Freedman-Smith says, and offer to pay for whatever was damaged.
Lastly, if the child is older, have the child apologize to the store.
And if that’s the case, it may be best to leave the child at home.