​Mom Arrested for Treating LEGO Store Like Free Babysitting Service

legos left unattendedA 44-year-old mom named Patricia Juarez is making headlines today after allegedly leaving her 7-year-old son unattended in a Legoland store in Roosevelt Fields Mall in East Garden City, New York, for 80 minutes while she shopped in other stores, according to authorities. The manager of the store reportedly noticed that the boy was by himself and called the mall's security office. In turn, the mall security called 911, and officers ended up arresting the mother upon her return to the store. She's now facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Yow.

Sound like overkill? Yeah, I'd say so! A warning or admonishment from the cops would have sufficed. What this mom did is far from abusive. Neglectful? Well, that's up for debate ... Maybe this 7-year-old is mature enough to be left to play alone. But aside from all of that, leaving your kid unattended like this mom did could really be seen as direspectful and presumptuous.


Sure, it takes a village, you should be able to trust others in your community to help look out for your kid, yada yada. That's true, but there's a difference between occasionally leaning on your community to help you parent and blatantly taking advantage, assuming that if you drop your kid off in a public place -- be it the Lego Store or a library or a public pool -- other adults are going to take responsibility for your child. Uh, no!

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Ultimately, if your kid is old enough to need supervision, a parent should be present, or they can make arrangements for a family member or babysitter to supervise the kid. Or even enroll them in a class at the library or day camp, so that they're formally under another adult's care.

However moms want to handle the care and supervision, not to mention independent play, of their kid should be up to them. It's not up to authorities to tell anyone how to parent (until certain, obviously abusive lines are crossed, of course). But using common sense is another thing. And it's something this mom clearly could have stood to consider before leaving her son alone.

How do you feel about what this mom did?


Image via iStock.com/DundStock

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