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Soft play situation - who is in the right?

(568 Posts)
GlummyMcGlummerson Sat 24-Oct-20 23:19:21

Two mums meet at soft play with their 8yo girls - MumA & ChildA, and MumB & ChildB.

The slot is 2.5 hours, and after 2 hours ChildA comes to the adults crying because ChildB isn't playing with her anymore. ChildB approaches the table and MumA says "ChildA is upset because she says you won't play with her." ChildB responds "Yes I just want to play on my own for a bit". MumA says it's not nice to ditch your friend. MumB says that ChildB often gets tired of company and likes to do her own thing sometimes, and she's been taught to speak up if she ever feels like having alone time.

ChildA spends the rest of the session crying while ChildB goes to play on her own. ChildA says to her at the end that she isn't a good friend, which upsets ChildB.

Who was in the right, and should either mum have done anything differently?

OP’s posts: |
HironsBirons Sat 24-Oct-20 23:24:42

Mum B is in the right. No child should be forced to play with another, I don’t think. Obviously it’s nice to be nice and it shouldn’t be done nastily, but I don’t see a problem with child B wanting to play alone! Child A needs to toughen up

BornOnThe4thJuly Sat 24-Oct-20 23:26:47

HironsBirons

Mum B is in the right. No child should be forced to play with another, I don’t think. Obviously it’s nice to be nice and it shouldn’t be done nastily, but I don’t see a problem with child B wanting to play alone! Child A needs to toughen up

Agreed, Mum A shouldn’t have tried to make child B feel bad about wanting some space.

emilyfrost Sat 24-Oct-20 23:28:54

MumB is right, and MumA was very selfish and rather cruel to try and make ChildB feel bad for standing up for herself.

Tinty Sat 24-Oct-20 23:29:17

Well if you are Mum A you will obviously wants us to say Child B was wrong and mean. If you are Mum B, you want us to say Child A was wrong and Chold B should be allowed to ditch her friend.

So i will say this, 2.5 hours is probably too long for a soft play session and both parents should have resolved the situation by leaving when the children started falling out.

Child A, needs to learn that if your friend does not want to play for a bit, then she should find other friends for a while or entertain herself and child B should learn that if you go somewhere with someone you should stay with them, and play and it’s not nice to upset your friend.

Hazelnutlatteplease Sat 24-Oct-20 23:29:55

Did the kids come to play with each other or the parents come to talk?

2.5 hours is a long time in soft play hell

balzamico Sat 24-Oct-20 23:33:56

Also,isn't 8 pretty old for soft play. 2.5
Hours is a very long time and also 8 is a bit old to come to the adults crying that b won't play?

NoSquirrels Sat 24-Oct-20 23:34:40

Child A, needs to learn that if your friend does not want to play for a bit, then she should find other friends for a while or entertain herself and child B should learn that if you go somewhere with someone you should stay with them, and play and it’s not nice to upset your friend.

This is it in a nutshell.

Child A’s mum didn’t defuse the drama and should have done (not teaching resilience) and Child B’s mum should have known 2.5 hours was over their less sociable child’s limit. Child B also needs to distinguish between large group situations (fine to absent yourself a bit) and 1-1 play dates (rude to ignore friend).

GlummyMcGlummerson Sat 24-Oct-20 23:34:48

both parents should have resolved the situation by leaving when the children started falling out

There were younger children there too, doesn't seem fair to stop their fun just because their siblings fell out

Well if you are Mum A you will obviously wants us to say Child B was wrong and mean. If you are Mum B, you want us to say Child A was wrong and Chold B should be allowed to ditch her friend.

Which is why I posted it in the style I did.

So i will say this, 2.5 hours is probably too long for a soft play session

Not for my kids they'd be there all day given half the chance

Did the kids come to play with each other or the parents come to talk?

Both

OP’s posts: |
BrimFullOfAsher Sat 24-Oct-20 23:36:04

B is in the right obviously. A's principles set a worrying precedent on how her child views consent and freedom of choice.

Evidenced by her daughters comments to Child B at the end.

BackforGood Sat 24-Oct-20 23:36:27

2.5 hours is probably too long for a soft play session and both parents should have resolved the situation by leaving when the children started falling out.

This ^

Both parents were in the wrong.

Notgoingonholiday Sat 24-Oct-20 23:36:41

Agree it's a long time for soft play, and would have been much better to leave at that point. You can't force kids to keep playing together nicely, they were probably knackered. And to save child A further upset, leaving would have been the obvious solution.

GlummyMcGlummerson Sat 24-Oct-20 23:36:49

Child A, needs to learn that if your friend does not want to play for a bit, then she should find other friends for a while or entertain herself and child B should learn that if you go somewhere with someone you should stay with them, and play and it’s not nice to upset your friend

That's kind of contradictory? A child should have the right to play alone but they should also not leave their friend? It can't be both!

OP’s posts: |
Bid876 Sat 24-Oct-20 23:36:54

Mum B should have pulled Mum A up on speaking to her child like that. As a regular Mum B mine just go off and play with who ever, I’d encourage them to include their friend who we arranged to meet, but if they just wanted some time to them self’s then I wouldn’t force it. If I was child As mum, as I’ve also been at times also I’d just say go find someone else to play with or even go join them until they were happy.

NoSquirrels Sat 24-Oct-20 23:37:58

GlummyMcGlummerson

*Child A, needs to learn that if your friend does not want to play for a bit, then she should find other friends for a while or entertain herself and child B should learn that if you go somewhere with someone you should stay with them, and play and it’s not nice to upset your friend*

That's kind of contradictory? A child should have the right to play alone but they should also not leave their friend? It can't be both!

Both children need to learn to be flexible is what this means.

Picktionary Sat 24-Oct-20 23:38:49

Autonomy is great but I would be teaching my child to suck it up and play with others for an hour as it is good manners. If the child wants to be alone, stsyat home. Hate all this servitude to a spoilt child. I have a friend whose kid is like this.

Whatthebloodyell Sat 24-Oct-20 23:39:33

I think I am more in the side of child and mum B. Fair enough if child A was feeling a bit upset as they are only 8, but that is mum As problem to sort out not the other 8 year old child. Child B had played with child A for 2 hours, having a bit of a break does not make Them a mean child.

I would have gone home if I was mum A. I wouldn’t have stayed for another half an hour with a crying child!

Whatthebloodyell Sat 24-Oct-20 23:41:24

Hate all this servitude to a spoilt child. It’s child A Who sounds like the spoilt child to me though!

Picktionary Sat 24-Oct-20 23:41:26

I take my comment above back as this occurred after TWO hours. Also MumA should parent her own child, not others'.
Apologies for not reading throughly.

peachgreen Sat 24-Oct-20 23:42:26

Hmm. As an adult, I would consider it rude if a friend ditched me part way through an engagement because she wanted to be alone (a sentiment I sympathise with as an introvert!) so I would personally want to teach my daughter that if you have made a social engagement, providing you feel safe and your companion isn't being unkind you should make the effort to socialise and get your alone time at another time. So I'm with Mum A, although I wouldn't have addressed it with the other child and would have instead encouraged my child to play with others or alone. I would have thought it was rude though.

CntoPnto Sat 24-Oct-20 23:42:35

Mum A should have told her child to give her friend some space.

When mine were that age, I'd have just said: "Oh for goodness' sake, stop moaning and go and play with someone else, then", if any of mine had done the Child A thing in that situation.

I'd have had Words with a Child B if they'd specifically invited a friend to play at our house, and then refused to play with them - but that's a very different situation.

CntoPnto Sat 24-Oct-20 23:44:23

I missed the bit about Child A crying endlessly. I'd have given that kind of behaviour very, very short shrift.

Freddiefox Sat 24-Oct-20 23:46:12

I think whilst it’s fine for child B to want to play on her own, is child A just meant to wait around until child B is ready to play with her again.

Child B’s mum should have seen this as a cue to end the play date. Two hours was too long for child B who is less social.

Surely If two children are in a play date there would be an assumption that they play together. So I can see why child’s A mum may be a bit put out.

GinAtMerlottes Sat 24-Oct-20 23:46:36

For the sake of 30 mins (probably 20 when factoring in corralling younger child, getting shoes on etc) if I were Mum B I would have told my child to play nicely with Child A until it was time to go. Then she can have alone time at home.

GoodbyePorpoiseSpit Sat 24-Oct-20 23:49:29

Team B here. Child A needs some resilience.

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