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To take my kids to soft play if I want to?

(52 Posts)
MummyDoIt Tue 26-Jul-11 09:57:36

This isn't a thread about whether they are good places or not. I know they are a bit of a 'Marmite' issue among parents!

However, my SIL, whose children are now grown up, informed me that people shouldn't use them because they should be playing with their children instead. Basically, she was implying that only bad and lazy parents use them as a way of avoiding being with their children.

To me, they are an absolute godsend. I'm a single parent, widowed, and have no family living close by so I never, ever get a break from my DCs. Much as I love them dearly, a few hours at a soft play area provides a very welcome break for me. They are old enough now that I don't have to watch them constantly so I can relax with the paper and a cup of coffee. Of course they are not ignored. I check on them frequently, they come back to me periodically and a good time is had by all.

AIBU to resent being criticised for this, particularly by someone who had a husband to share childcare, had family on tap for extra help and has no idea how hard it is to raise children single-handedly?

BertieBotts Tue 26-Jul-11 09:59:21

She is being ridiculous.

squeakytoy Tue 26-Jul-11 10:01:25

What a bizarre comment...

So what are parks for, that have swings and slides?

LavenderBrown Tue 26-Jul-11 10:01:28


pozzled Tue 26-Jul-11 10:02:00

YANBU. The odd afternoon at a soft play centre hardly amounts to child abuse. Otherwise the places would be full of social workers collecting names and addresses.

Much better than putting the DCs in front of a TV or computer game, at least at soft play they are getting some exercise. Oh and children need a break from their parents occasionally, just as much as the other way round.

pictish Tue 26-Jul-11 10:02:01

Oh ignore her.

GandTiceandaslice Tue 26-Jul-11 10:02:19

I take my toddler. He loves it. I have to play with him when I'm there are some of the equiptment is too high for him to get on. So this also means I "have" to go down the slides! grin

My older 2 can go off by themselves should I go out of school time.

Your SiL is a knobber!

knitty Tue 26-Jul-11 10:05:22

YANBU. It's not as if you are looking them in the cupboard under the stairs is it? They have fun and you get to relax, what is wrong with that?
Your SIL has no right to criticise you like that, I have a 10 month old and a husband to share the work with and I bow down to all single parents. I imagine it is bloody hard work!
Next time she has a go at you, perhaps you can suggest she might like to help out with the kids and provide some entertainment for them while you have a break?

Nefret Tue 26-Jul-11 10:05:35

That really is an odd thing to say. At least you are doing something with your children and not just sticking them in front of the tv for hours on end.

I can understand how you would need a little time to relax and I'm sure your children love it there, I know mine do if ever I take them.

I think she is being unreasonable in what she says and I'm sure her kids would have loved it too if only they had been given a chance to go shock

SarahBumBarer Tue 26-Jul-11 10:06:04

Eh?!? We go to soft play because I love it! They did not have such things when I was a child and I would look pretty odd playing on the equipment by myself. Lots of the parents actually get up and into the soft play areas with their kids and the kids seem to love that. Plus I do get 2 10 minutes for a quiet coffee too smile

Tell her to "push" off. just because she is so quick to see the lazy option does not mean everyone else does so!

halcyondays Tue 26-Jul-11 10:08:08

Most children love soft play, it gives them a chance to burn off some energy, parent may get to sit on comfy sofa with coffee and magazine in comparative peace, if they're lucky. Win-win situation. I don't spend every second of the day playing with them when we're at home either. Children don't need to have parents hovering over them constantly.

What a silly thing for her to say.

VeronicaCake Tue 26-Jul-11 10:08:13

She is being daft. You could just as easily say it is the parents who don't take their kids to soft play and hover over them doing fucking messy play (me bitter much? Nah) who harm their kids by not letting them explore independently. Both are equally bollocks.

NestaFiesta Tue 26-Jul-11 10:08:46

Kids love to go off and explore and be independent from a very early age. Soft play is a great way of letting them do this safely whilst learning to play alongside others.

Your SILs's kids are grown up so that suggests softplay wasn't around so much then and she doesn't really know what they are like these days. You don't need to be one to one with your kids 24/7 in order to be a good mother. They need variety.

Lazy parenting indeed!! Tuh!

rainbowtoenails Tue 26-Jul-11 10:08:58

Yanbu, she is daft. Sp is great exercise and develops social skills. Do her dcs have consoles? THEY are bad for kids.

jugglingwiththreeshoes Tue 26-Jul-11 10:09:40

I've spent hours at our local soft-play centres with the DCs over the years, reading my favourite books with a nice coffee, while they go and be adventurous and nearly always make some friends for the afternoon too.

My DCs are growing up to be fab .. if I do say so myself. blush

I wish all parents could make use of them for a well earned break once in a while ( I'm sure they are a bit pricey for hard up parents who probably need them the most )

Perhaps Social Services could give out free vouchers to vulnerable families for something to do on a rainy or stressful day ?

worraliberty Tue 26-Jul-11 10:11:47

She's mad confused

It doesn't have to be an 'either/or' situation does it? Even if people took their kids there every single day, doesn't mean they don't play with them when they're not at soft play.

MummyDoIt Tue 26-Jul-11 10:22:22

They didn't have soft play when her kids were growing up so I don't think she really understands the benefits. She was particularly critical of working mothers who use them at weekends. She actually said that mums sitting having a coffee together were neglecting their children!

She's one of those people who believes that her way is right and that, if she didn't do it, then it's wrong. I have to bite my tongue quite a lot when I'm around her!

TheSecondComing Tue 26-Jul-11 10:26:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cleverything Tue 26-Jul-11 10:26:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ephiny Tue 26-Jul-11 10:32:25

YANBU - you don't have to be playing/interacting with your children 24/7 to be a good mother. In fact both you and they would probably get pretty fed up if you did try to do so!

Surely it's a good thing for children to play on their own or with other kids sometimes? confused. I've never heard that called neglect before - I though it was a normal part of childhood?

WriterofDreams Tue 26-Jul-11 10:37:43

Her comment makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Does she really think children want to be with adults all the time? That they don't absolutely love being given free rein to behave like utter mentalists without being told to tidy up or be quiet? Soft play is like a child's dream heaven, plus it gives them exercise and social interaction with other children. I really don't see her point at all. I don't think it's a good idea for children to be stuck at home with their parents all day, it's not good for the children and it's definitely not good for the parents! Do you think she was trying to get at you?

superjobee Tue 26-Jul-11 10:38:06

i never went to soft play when i was little <neglected emoticon wink> but have taken DD a few times over her years and we usually jump on everything in sight grin she meets new little ppl who are her friends for the day, she plays with little toddlers and helps them, she plays with older kids who think she's adorable we have cookies and slush puppies basically a great time had by all your SIL is being a bint maybe invite her along one time i'll bet thats what she's after grin

WriterofDreams Tue 26-Jul-11 10:40:19

Ah I see from your later post that she's just a bit of an all-round know it all bitch. Best to disregard everything she says (unless it's a compliment of course).

OpinionatedPlusSprogs Tue 26-Jul-11 10:43:39

YANBU. It's good exercise and Mums need a rest. It's not good for kids to have an adult play with them all the time. The need to learn to be independent. I sit and drink tea/read while they run off at the local park and on beaches too.shock

greycircles Tue 26-Jul-11 10:45:30

Children love going to softplay. Taking them there for the afternoon is a treat. SIL is very wrong!

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