As aggrevating as it is to deal with unruly children, neglect by a parent is far worse.
The worst case of neglect I have seen in our years of cruising was a 5 year old little girl that was wandering the ship ALONE at midnight EVERY NIGHT.
The first night she came into karaoke and happen to sit next to me. I asked her how old she was and she said 5. She was cute as a button (and VERY well behaved). I would see her walking all around the ship until after midnight...by herself.
The next night, she came into karaoke and came and sat by me. I asked her where her Mom was and she said in the casino. I asked who else she was there with...and she said nobody. For 7 days, I never saw a parent or adult with that child.
Several times I asked a Security guard about it and he said there was no rule about young children wandering around alone. And he was right.
The parent was breaking no "rule" according to the ship.
There were several of us karaoke "nuts" *(yes we are karaoke addicts) who "adopted" her and kept a watchful eye on her at night. We would see her up on Lido getting pizza after karaoke shut down as late as 1AM.
I did tell her that she should not ever go on any cabin floor by herself.
But Mom was in the casino....and of course children are not allowed in the casino.....so she just wandered around alone.
That is proof positive that just because someone CAN have a child...it does not mean they SHOULD.