Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. My child hasn’t even been born yet and I know that. There are a million and one things that I don’t know about raising a child, and I’m guessing that most first time parents feel the same way. I have plenty of experience with children, from newborn on up, but clearly there’s a big difference between spending a couple of days with a kid and spending 24 hours of everyday with one.
That being said, I’d like to use this blog to go over some common sense parenting tips I’ve managed to pick up from my time in retail, of all places. Again, my daughter is still in utero, and I don’t have any experience with shopping with children by myself, but I feel like these are pretty self explanatory. I’m not making these up–everything listed here has happened to myself or someone I work with.
- It is not appropriate (or smart) to let your child run around a busy department store unsupervised while you shop (I can’t tell you how many times we’ve found a wandering kid and no parent, or a woman comes to us because she’s lost her child, but she found the perfect dress!)
- It is not appropriate (or smart again) to leave your child sitting on a chair at the entrance of a busy mall while you try on clothes in another part of the store. You may as well cover your kid with honey and place them in a bear cage.
- Another incredibly inappropriate idea: letting your baby/toddler/small child crawl around on the floor of a busy store where literally hundreds of people walk around on a daily basis. Even more inappropriate? Letting your baby/toddler/small child suck on its dirty little fingers after crawling around on said floor. Um, can anyone say swine flu?
- It is an amazingly bad idea to ask a complete stranger to watch your child while you try on clothes. By complete stranger, I don’t mean someone who works in the store; that would be stupid, but not as stupid as asking someone who you’ve NEVER SEEN BEFORE to do it. Kidnappers don’t generally wear signs advertising their sinister intentions.
- Another bad one: letting your child sit and crawl around on the counter, 5 feet off the ground, unsupervised. The people who work in these stores are not trained in child safety and CPR–don’t test their skills.
- One final bad idea: hangers, discarded napkins, sensors, pennies/quarters/dimes/pesos, used gift cards, old pretzel bites dropped by some other messy kid. What do all these items have in common? Don’t know? Let me tell you: these are all items that are really, really, REALLY bad things to let your kids put in their mouth. Or even pick up, for that matter.
I hope this post is helpful to someone out there. I don’t proclaim to be any kind of parenting expert; on the contrary, I’m not even technically a parent yet. But I am smart (Asian baby), and I do have a modicum of common sense, and I can tell you, I wouldn’t let my dog do any of the things I listed above. And I think that’s a pretty good gauge: if it’s not good enough for your dog, it’s probably not good enough for your kid.