Kevin's parents don't intentionally abandon him, but they're forgetful enough to completely lose track of him on the day of their flight to France. This gives Kevin's mom a major case of guilt—she's worried that she's a terrible parent. But Kevin, not realizing that he's been inadvertently abandoned (he thinks he made his family disappear by wishing), enjoys the experience—at first.
Soon, he wants to see his parents again, valuing their protection and love. Kevin's mom makes up for the miscount, which led to Kevin's abandonment (and wasn't her fault, by the way) by strenuously journeying back to him and doing everything she possibly can to reunite.
Questions About Abandonment
Who's at fault in Kevin's abandonment? Explain.
How does the way Kevin reacts to being abandoned change over time?
How does Kevin's mother feel about accidentally abandoning Kevin and what does she do in response?
What does Gus Polinski say about leaving a kid somewhere alone and what do his thoughts on the subject imply?
Chew on This
Kevin's abandonment isn't anybody's fault. It's caused by numerous factors—a miscount of the kids, a nosy neighbor boy, accidental sleeping-in—and not by the active neglect of his parents and other family members. They shouldn't be blamed.
Kevin's family should definitely be blamed for abandoning him. Who goes to a foreign country without carefully checking to make sure that all of their kids are in the car first? By casually outsourcing the head-count to Kevin's sister, Kevin's parents were more neglectful than they should've been.