This is not a savory subject, so I’ll be blunt: this is an example of poor parenting, and this is, too. I do not say this to diminish the horror of this, or to minimize the enormous evil that the perpetrators of these two crimes are guilty of. But coverage of these two incidents was far too lax on the behavior of the parents, and went so far as to inherently approve of their poor decision-making.
The BBC is having a field day right now attacking the Portuguese police, blaming them for not having turned up the child by now. No one on the BBC that I’ve seen has said one word of criticism about the parents, but have instead paraded friends, relatives, and acquaintances through the studio to talk about what wonderful, loving, caring people they are.
But let us be clear: you DO NOT leave three children under the age of 3 alone. I don’t care if you are “only a few hundred meters” away, or that you claim you can see the entrance, that you check every 30 minutes, or whatever other excuse you choose to furnish.
Ditto the second piece linked above, where a 7 and 10-year-old were left alone at a street party at 1 AM while mom and dad went into a bar to get a drink. There’s a whole lot wrong with that sentence.
There are bad people in the world who are looking for victims. As a parent, it’s your job to protect your children from those people. Whether it’s on a crowded street at 1 AM or in a quiet villa so you can catch dinner just out of sight, leaving them alone at a young age is a recipe for disaster.