DEAR ABBY: My daughter and son-in-law have a 2-year-old and a 3-month-old. They live in a home with steep front stairs and two garages underneath. It's on a corner lot with an unfenced yard in a neighborhood with moderate traffic.
My husband and I are very worried. They allow their 2-year-old to be alone outside. When we express our concern, they laugh it off and say they only permit it for about five minutes, and if he wants to come back in the house, he can climb the steps and ring the doorbell.
We have warned them that in the blink of an eye, some pervert could pick the child up and they would never see him again -- that he could run into the intersection or get seriously hurt on the steps. Other than this lack of judgment, they are good, loving parents. Are Grandma and Grandpa overly protective? -- SCARED AND CONCERNED IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR SCARED AND CONCERNED: Not at all. Now, let me get this straight. Your daughter and son-in-law leave their 2-year-old unsupervised in an unfenced yard, and if he wants them, he should climb the stairs and ring the doorbell? What you describe is child endangerment, and if they don't come to their senses immediately, they should be reported.
Your daughter and son-in-law could benefit from parenting classes so they can understand the various stages of child development. Their expectations of their 2-year-old are unrealistic, and the result could be something they'll regret for a lifetime. Please act now.