By A. Hosack & P. Berman, K. Hecht
Claire hadn’t slept well all week. She was worried about Kevin, but she hadn’t called ChildLine. How could she? She had no idea where he lived or what his last name was. This Saturday, if Kevin showed up at the park, she had to find a way to get this information from him. the night before she took Davy to the park next week. She packed the snack with particular care. She would watch what he ate. Davy always ate all the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches but, if he wasn’t hungry, he would skip the fruit. Today, she also added carrot sticks. Surely, if he wolfed down fruit and vegetables, she was justified in fearing he wasn’t getting enough to eat.
When they got to the park. Kevin was already sitting under the tree. He jumped up when he saw them
coming and ran to Davy. “I hoped you would come! My mommy packed a snack for me to share with you today!” Both boys ran towards the tree and sat down. There were three cartons of chocolate milk and three snack cakes sitting on napkins. “Your mommy sent great snacks,” Davy said in excitement, “please thank her for us! “I want to thank her too,” Claire said. “I’d really like to thank her for sending her nice boy to play with my Davy. I also want to shake her hand and give her some of our snack today, so we aren’t strangers to each other anymore.” The smile that had begun, when Claire had called him a “nice boy” was wiped off Kevin’s face, when Claire said she wanted to actually meet his mommy. He looked down and said, “she had to go run errands, but maybe when she comes back,” Kevin said.
Do you think that Kevin’s mommy is really running errands?
If she is, would you be worried that she sent snacks but isn’t worried about meeting Claire?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, if Kevin’s mommy is leaving him alone at the park, this would be neglect, and specifically it would be considered, “inappropriate supervision.” Kevin’s mommy would be trusting Kevin to monitor his own safety at the park. The fact that Kevin was so quick to take food from a stranger, demonstrates how impossible it is for children to be able to make this type of decision for themselves.
To read descriptions that would help you identify different forms of abuse and neglect, go to: