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Man leaves kids unsupervised at cookout, says 'it's not my job.' Parents 'freak out'.

Man leaves kids unsupervised at cookout, says 'it's not my job.' Parents 'freak out'.


A baffled young man came to Reddit for advice after a bizarre confrontation at a supposedly friendly event. You decide who the jerk is.

'AITA (Am I the A-hole) for not watching kids at a cookout and leaving them unsupervised?'

ifonlyyoudstop writes:

I (27m) was at a backyard cookout with some friends and coworkers. So the ages were late 20s to early 40s. It was a family friendly event so people brought their kids.

They were playing in the yard while most of the adults hung out on the backyard deck. And like always, the parents saw other adults in the area and decided to just walk away and go inside. I don't know why this is a thing a lot of parents tend to do.

And he writes a lil open letter to parents...

Parents, why do you just walk away at outings and expect other people to watch your kids? I don't get it. I could see if it is your immediate family but even then I would warn someone that I was not going to be watching for the safety of my kids.

Okay, back to the story.

It was near the end of the night so some people were gone. It was also getting dark and colder so people were inside. The kids were still running around the playing outside I decided to go home. I went inside and said goodbye to the host.

Then I got in my car out front and was on my phone for a minute and someone angrily walked up and asked me why I left the backyard. They said I was back there and they were counting on me to watch the kids. Note that this was never said to me.

He recants the events again.

They just went inside and said nothing. I was on the deck and at no point in the night was I ever paying attention to the kids. Nothing dangerous happened to the kids. The parent just saw me walking to my car and freaked out. I told her it's not my job to watch your kids but I probably would have stuck around IF I was asked.

I was just sitting on the deck drinking beer and minding my own business. I had already been going back and forth from outside to socialize the whole night like everyone else. Not sure why I was the one singled out.

There were times when another person happened to be outside and I was inside. Did they assume we were taking shifts? I don't get the mentality of parents but maybe I'm the a-hole here. Also want to note that the backyard is NOT fenced off. The backyard was one of those open ones that opens into the forest.

Then he finally says what he's thinking out loud...

She brought that up a lot, and I just retorted with 'even more reason to stay with your kids.'

Whoa! Was that too harsh? Or did someone put OP in a high-stakes position without their knowledge or consent?

Reddit had a lot to say on the matter (surprise surprise).

buck_godot comments:

NTA (Not the a-hole) - As a parent, I never assume anyone is watching my child unless I specifically ask them. Also, it's not fair to dump your kid on someone without at least checking in, even with parent friends, but especially with my single or childless friends, it's not their job unless they want to do it (then I'm all too happy to get a little down time.)

Finally, if the parent had time to walk out and yell at you for their failure as a parent, then obviously their kid was fine, so they're the jerk here, not you.

SpecialistAfter511 says:

NTA! That parent has some nerve! You are not psychic!! They are out of line.

busyshrew agrees:

Ugggghhhhh I hate this behaviour from parents. That's how kids drown in pools at family gatherings with adults standing right there. Everyone assumes someone else is watching. Lazy entitled parenting! You are not the magical babysitting fairy OP. And you are 100% NTA.

My_Poor_Nerves adds:

Outside of babysitting, specifically, I just don't understand this scenario at all: 'I'm mad that you're not doing the thing I didn't ask (or imply in any other way that I wanted) you to do!'

But snowboard7621 has a liiiiiittle sympathy for the parents:

NTA, but you could have popped your head inside to say goodbye and that no adults were outside in case someone wanted to watch the kids. That’s just common courtesy.

OP responds:

Wasn't looking at or paying attention to the kids at all. It's a big open backyard that leads to the forest and I was on the deck by the house.

TwoLeggedMermaid feels OP's pain:

There have been so many instances where I’ll be the only person in a pool or hot tub at a hotel or my apartment and a parent with their kid(s) comes down, kid(s) hop in, and the parent just immediately disconnects when they see I’m in there. They’ll hop in the opposite pool / hot tub, or lay out on a lounge chair facing the opposite direction with headphones in, fall asleep, etc.

Some even leave the pool area entirely. I get out and leave every time. I don’t know these people and I can’t relax and enjoy my time anymore since now I’m on “make sure a kid doesn’t drown duty” so I just leave. Like none of this is my job, these aren’t my kids, I don’t know you, and you didn’t ask.

Sorry for ranting, it’s just shocking how much it happens. And I always tell myself “you don’t have to leave just because someone isn’t watching their kid(s)!” but if something were to actually happen to a kid while I was there I couldn’t live with myself…

So, there it is!

OP clearly did nothing wrong, except having a face that says 'I can watch your kids, no need to ask!' That's one theory, anyway.

Sources: Reddit
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