Artnextdoor's Blog

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Irresponsibility

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Having for months and months been infuriated by a mother of four children, some of whom attend my sons’ school, I finally confronted her today, so why don’t I feel better?  Why am I worried about it now?

Let me begin at the beginning, well the middle really.  On Friday DH and I took our youngest son to school, yes we did go in the car.  After parking in Sainsbury’s car park, we set out to school which is just over a busy dual carriage way, we do have two very good, helpful crossing wardens, Sonia and Tony.  As we left the car park we were barged past by two very young children, the little girl has yet to start school, her brother is a little older as he appears to be in reception.  As we approached the crossing there was no sign of their mother, fortunately Sonia was already in the road stopping the traffic so the danger for these children was limited but Tony wasn’t ready having just allowed the traffic his side of the road to carry on.  The little boy hurtled across to Tony’s side of the crossing with no intention of stopping, Tony’s quick reaction with his lollipop saved the driver of an Audi from running over the child – the mother is behind us still at this point in conversation with her older daughter not paying attention to what her youngest are doing.  The boy was still teetering on the edge of the curb with the lollipop holding him back – the cars had stopped at this point, thank goodness, as poor Tony was fighting to keep the child from running into the road whilst trying to do his job – we all safely crossed.  The mother still behind us, still in conversation with her daughter was oblivious.  We still have to cross two more roads and a car park access way before we get to school, the little boy dashes across the first road which is a service road so thankfully is not too busy but in the morning just before school it can be.  Then we come to the car park access way, which in the mornings is very busy with parents dropping children off and delivery lorries arriving etc – does the boy stop? Does the mother react to her children running across this access way?  Does she hell!  She is still chatting away to the older girl, off in her own little world.  We then come to cross over the road to get to the school entrance, sometimes she tries to gather the children together to get them across relatively safely, I have not seen her hold the younger children’s hands for a long, long time at this crossing point – it should not be busy here but as a lot of parents are lazy they drive down the residential close, turn around and dump their children out at the school gates, so sometimes it is difficult to see what is coming or what is happening at the crossing.  This woman’s children often just run out.

Fridays incident really upset me and was the final straw, I ‘phoned the school fully realising that there was/ is nothing they can do but telling someone I was going to speak to this woman when I had an opportunity did help a bit.  Having seen a child being hit my a car myself it is not something I want to witness again.

I also spoke to both crossing wardens who agreed that these children where not supervised properly leaving them to do the mothers job regularly.

Another incident that bothered me happened last summer, the smallest child, a girl was lagging behind at the main road.  Her mother again deep in conversation with the eldest child had crossed one part of the dual carriage way, was on the second crossing whilst her youngest was still only just starting to cross the first part.  I let this go at the time perhaps I should have done something then.

There are many more incidents just like these.  If one of these children does, unfortunately cause or is involved in an accident the mother will never blame herself, will never accept responsibility for her lack of control or her neglect.

I did see the head teacher on the crossings yesterday morning but he has passed the buck on to the crossing wardens.  I know it is not within the remit of the school to have any say on what happens outside school but what else can I do.

So this morning on my way to do some shopping I happened to walk into her, so asked her if she was responsible for the children with her.  Then I asked her why she let them run wild in the car park and why she allowed her son to nearly get run over – which she denied, telling me to ask the crossing wardens, they knew nothing happened –  difficult when she wasn’t in a position to witness the event on Friday.  She stamped her foot saying that she wasn’t listening to me and for the children to not listen either.  Obviously she didn’t want to listen because she knew I was right about her irresponsibility.  So why don’t I feel better?  Could I have done more, said more?  Should I have another attempt at making her accept her role or just leave it and then not be surprised when I hear of one of her children being hurt in an accident?

Maybe I should offer to help to get the children to school safely instead of criticizing or would that get thrown in my face?

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