Saying Good-bye is not just to be polite

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
Last night my husband and I went out to dinner with another couple after our daughters had a game. We also took a few other girls from the team to dinner with us. Dinner was over and the adults were talking, so we let the girls go outside and walk around the shopping center close to the restaurant. When they returned, I noticed one of the girls was not there. I asked where she was, and my daughter said that her parents picked her up a while ago. I think it is rude that the parents did not tell me that they were picking up their daughter. I think at the very least the daughter should have gone back to the restaurant to let us know she had a ride, and thank us for taking her to dinner. I want to say something to the parents, but do not know how to say it. Thank you!

Dear Anonymous,
If you would like to say something to the parents, I would do it in a way that highlights your concern for the child. I would text or call one of the parents and say something like, “I am sure Sally is okay since I did not hear from you, but I am just making sure. She left the group without letting an adult know. Since she was my responsibility, I started thinking about what if it really was not you that she got in the car with. Or was she upset about something, which made her leave in a rush?” The parent should get the hint that from a safety perspective, leaving without telling you is not acceptable. And from a manner’s perspective, the child should have thanked you for dinner, and told you that she was leaving with her parents. Hopefully this will cause the parents to handle similar situations in the right way in the future.