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Distracted Parenting In Aisle Nine

DEAR ABBY: I raised my children to stay with me when we were in a store. They didn't touch things displayed on the shelves because the items were not theirs and we weren't going to purchase them. We didn't have cellphones when my children grew up. However, even now I never remove mine from my purse while I'm in a store.

Is there a nice way to tell other shoppers to put their phones away and pay attention to their children while shopping, and suggest that it might not be safe for their kids to run through the aisles or roll canned goods down them? I am not sure about their children's safety, but I'm positive it isn't safe for me when their children are acting this way. -- MEME IN THE WEST

DEAR MEME: No, I don't think there is. You appear to be part of a generation that had the time (or took the time) to teach these things to their kids.

I agree that children should be taught to respect the property of others and to ask before touching it. I also agree that leaving items in an aisle could be dangerous to shoppers whose attention may be fixed on the store shelves instead of the floor.

But because so many parents today seem to have "forgotten" to convey these important lessons, then caveat emptor -- but in this case, let the shopper beware.

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