Anybody who’s worked with kids knows that it’s a unique sector to work in.
After all, you’re being trusted for extended periods of time with the safety and well-being of people’s most cherished—and dependent—loved ones.
Often, that’s made awkward by parents who struggle to let go of control. But what about the parents who give it up way too easily?
They’re certainly out there, and one Redditor recently encountered one. Known as BlowMonday on the site, they explained the situation in a post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP) touched on the key factors with the post’s title.
“AITA for calling the police because the family I tutor for keep leaving me with the kid?”
OP began with a run-down of their standard approach.
“I am an after school tutor. Homework help and co-curricular support mostly, test prep sometimes.”
“I am pretty adamant and clear that you cannot leave the house while I’m working with your child because I am not childcare and I cannot be made responsible if something like a medical episode happens. I also don’t want there to be the appearance of impropriety.”
“I don’t need them in the room or anything, just in the house.”
But of course, people push the envelope.
“Even still, parents occasionally try and use me as an excuse to run a child free errand or run to the office or whatever else they do. Usually after the first warning it stops, and there’s also a financial penalty.”
“Recently I had a family where the mom evidently left during our session. This was the first time that it had happened.”
“Eventually I needed to leave for my next appointment.”
“I texted and called her, but no response. I was not comfortable leaving the child (8) alone without an adult present.”
For OP, enough was enough.
“After 15 minutes of waiting and becoming late for the next child, I got nervous and called the police non-emergency line to ask what I should do next. They said they’d send someone over.”
“The police arrived and said they’d wait with her.”
“Of course, I have many angry calls and a negative review from this mother now, saying I’ve created a huge problem for her and the police think she’s some kind of bad mother now and a social services agent asked her all kinds of questions and how dare I, etc…”
“She claims she didn’t realize the session was only thirty minutes and thought it would be ok to quickly leave around the corner because I would still be there when she returned.”
But following the incident, OP was left wondering how to feel.
“I was comfortable with the decision at first, but she seemed genuinely shaken up by her interactions with the social agent or officer she spoke to (unclear which from her message).
“And a friend of mine says this was an uncalled for escalation that could have actually placed the child in more jeopardy than my leaving after the appointment (or that I should have waited for the mom to return and spoken with her first as a warning.)”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors threw full support behind OP.
Many left no doubt that OP did the right thing.
“NTA NTA NTA NTA NTA NTA.”
“You did exactly what you should have: you tried to reach her, you couldn’t, so you called the non-emergency police line.”
“You handled it perfectly, the kid was safe, and hopefully mom learned a valuable lesson in NOT ABANDONING HER 8 YEAR OLD CHILD WITH A (somewhat) STRANGER.”
“She’s only mad because now police know she plays fast and loose with her kid’s safety.” — aSeaPersonByNight
“‘a friend of mine says this was an uncalled for escalation that could have actually placed the child in more jeopardy than my leaving after the appointment’.”
“Agreed, the parent should not have escalated things by leaving you alone with a kid and being uncontactable to the point that you had to call the cops.”
“What were you supposed to do, just leave the 8 year old on their own? For all you knew the mom had just gotten in a horrific accident and was unconscious or something.”
“Someone needed to be contacted and if she didn’t leave you an emergency contact other than herself, you had no choice. NTA” — funklab
Others took direct aim at the mother in this story.
“NTA. The police think she is a bad mother because she is a bad mother. She broke your agreed upon rules, left her kid with someone who is not a child care provider unsupervised, and was unreachable.”
“She is shook because the professionals who deem if that was a bad move on her part agree it was a bad move.” — LowBattery
“‘police think she’s some kind of bad mother’.”
“Gee, I wonder what kind of mother leaves their child with someone who has been adamant about not being left alone in a childcare position. NTA” — RonitSarangi
“NTA Come on, if she genuinely thought it was no big deal, she would have told you what she was doing! She didn’t, she snuck out because she knew it was deceitful, dangerous, and wrong.”
“She’s a terrible parent; she deserves to be under suspicion. She needed to learn a lesson.”
“Protecting her from the consequences of endangering her kid is not your responsibility.”
“You not only did the right thing, you did the only logical thing.” — Clarisse1984
A couple people were in exactly the position to assess OP’s decision.
“NTA. Fellow tutor here, they are paying you to assist their child in a certain subject/subjects, and nothing more. Tutors are not babysitters, and should not be assumed to be.”
“You did the responsible thing here, and it isn’t your fault the mom thought she could get away with something you CLEARLY explained you wouldn’t tolerate.” — Snickers1218
“From my social worker perspective: good job. Excellent, 10/10 professionalism on your part.”
“I hope that mother is shaken up enough to not try and take advantage of anyone else.”
“Definitely NTA.” — SlugSensei
Looks like OP can rest assured that they know what to do if that situation ever arises again in the future.