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Siblings of wrong age not allowed at library session

(18 Posts)
stella1w Sat 27-Oct-12 21:27:37

My local library is hosting a free half term session for over fours. I understand that they need to make sure the participants are old enough. I wd like dd, 4, to go. However they say they will not let her take part if i turn up with her 15 mnth brother. It will be taking place in a public part of the library and obviously dd wd go sit nr storytelller and i wd hang back with other parents and keep little one on lap and make sure he does not disrupt session but this is not good enough. This seems bonkers to me but aibu?

Gumby Sat 27-Oct-12 21:29:36

Why did you tell them your plans? I'd just have turned up as long as younger child is sitting on your lap & not ruining the story

WorraLiberty Sat 27-Oct-12 21:31:15

Well it sounds bonkers to you because you're the type of parent who would keep your toddler on your lap and make sure he doesn't disrupt the session.

However, there are plenty of parents who wouldn't or couldn't manage to do that...therefore I expect they have to put the rule in place.

Salmotrutta Sat 27-Oct-12 21:32:29

I suspect they have learned the hard way and had several parents at once turning up with young toddlers in tow - maybe one toddler is OK but if there are several present it could easily become disruptive.
So the best way they see is to have a "blanket ban" perhaps?

SavoyCabbage Sat 27-Oct-12 21:35:01

They can't stop the toddler being in the library though surely. There will be lots of people there with younger children. confused I am perplexed. I wouldn't have mentioned the little one as it seems like such a non-issue.

The last library thing I went to was in a separate room.

2rebecca Sat 27-Oct-12 21:38:53

If it's for over 4s it's for over 4s. I presume it's free. Yes you could go with the baby and leave your daughter and wander round the public area of the library. If you want to hang around the over 4 area though you have to find a babysitter for the baby. Maybe find another parent of similar age kids, one of you stays with the school age kids and the other one babysits.

PickledFanjoCat Sat 27-Oct-12 21:40:05

I couldn't control my toddler. He would tear up a library. sad

Therefore I can see their point to be honest.

stella1w Sat 27-Oct-12 21:48:39

All good points. It will take place in a v large open plan part of the libary where they usually have storytime... So kids on rug listening and parents sitting further back. This is how it happens for all sessions eg. The over 2.5s. If they are concerned about behaviour, then why not have a non-disrupt rule, ie. Your family will be asked to leave if sib gets disruptive, rather than your family will be asked to leave if you arrive with a sleeping (prob due t time) or otherwise quiet sib in tow. I know its tough running these events but excluding kids with younger sibs seems heavyhanded and unfair to me. Not sure how they can enforce this given it is in a public area.

Sirzy Sat 27-Oct-12 21:51:31

Do you have to stay with her?

the problem is if they have the policy as you suggest that means someone needs to police it and use their time to ask people to leave, deal with those who get angry etc etc.

Unfortunatly if the session if for over 4s then its for over 4s.

WorraLiberty Sat 27-Oct-12 21:51:40

Because then they'll have to have a security guard or a brave librarian with the time on their hands to stand and argue with the offended family they're throwing out.

fuzzpig Sat 27-Oct-12 21:52:09

YANBU. I work in a library and we wouldn't do that. We get plenty of 'too old'/'too young' siblings coming along to both regular and special sessions.

lindsell Sat 27-Oct-12 21:52:15

Yanbu - almost every activity I go to with ds1 (3.5) the parents are all there with younger siblings in tow (me included), some activities where the younger ones can participate make a reduced charge for the siblings, others you just keep the younger one occupied. Ds1 goes to tennis - the rule there is that younger siblings must stay with parents and not run about/pick up balls etc - fair enough.

Certainly for a free session in a public library I wouldn't expect such a restriction. How on earth are most parents expected to attend such things if younger siblings are not permitted?

From the other way around when I used to go to baby rhyme sessions in the library with ds1 (for up to 2yo) older siblings (3-4 yos) were often there and sometimes I was concerned about them rampaging near my pfb but accepted it as a natural part of such sessions.

foreverondiet Sat 27-Oct-12 21:54:14

Find another friend in same situation, one stays with toddlers other goes to the session.

YABU, sometimes there are things you can't do with your older child due to younger siblings. I wouldn't go (unless I could find a friend in same situation, ideally one with a double buggy!)

RubyCreakingGates Sat 27-Oct-12 21:58:22

I run library sessions for targetted age groups and I always say that siblings of all ages are welcome if

a) There is not a limit on numbers due to H&S
b) Your non-age appropriate child does not disrupt the session.

I make it clear that if siblings don't behave then you will be asked to leave the session.

Floggingmolly Sat 27-Oct-12 22:01:50

Would he really sit quietly on your lap and not disrupt the session? None of mine would have.

stella1w Sat 27-Oct-12 22:06:27

Good one ruby. Yes, ds wd not disrupt.. Honestly. I totally get why they want 4 and ups to have good experience.

Sirzy Sat 27-Oct-12 22:11:24

But if they bend the rules for one they have to for everyone and one parents definition of well behaved is different to others. You also can't account for them having a bad day which all toddlers have.

ImaginateMum Sat 27-Oct-12 22:16:55

My children are much older than yours and still sometimes one or other misses out on things because their sibling is the wrong age. Sometimes I can find a friend to do a swap with, sometimes DH and I can divide and conquer, sometimes we just don't go.

I always stick to the age guidance as I've been to too many things ruined by too-old or too-young siblings, and I get that they need to set consistent rules.

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