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AIBU to think this is a bit crap?

(24 Posts)
tumbletumble Tue 23-Jul-13 13:00:14

I think the fact you go there often is actually in your favour. DS will soon understand that there's no point asking for one as you'll always say no. It's harder imo when it's somewhere you haven't been to before.

MrsGSR Tue 23-Jul-13 12:53:39

It's also possible that the business isn't doing so well, so they had to choose between raising admission prices or selling toys. Personally I'd rather pay less to get in and say no, rather than paying more and not having to see the toys.

redskyatnight Tue 23-Jul-13 11:24:30

Anywhere commercial you take your child is full of issues like this though.

Outside our local supermarket is one of those ride on toys that you pay £1 to have a go on. After my saying "no" enough times the DC stopped asking. Enough parents must use it to make it worth the while though.

Even if they didn't have the toys, presumably the soft play place sells drinks/sweets/cakes/other food you will only let your child have in moderation. So you are kind of saying "no" (or setting expectations for what you will buy) already. So saying no to toys is only an extension of this.

Pontouf Tue 23-Jul-13 11:19:16

Yeah, I do get that the onus is on me to say no, and I do, as I have said. I just think it is really cheeky. But maybe I'm just not seeing the bigger picture.

SaucyJack Tue 23-Jul-13 10:51:15

YABU. The sooner you learn to say no, the easier it will be all round.

zzzzz Tue 23-Jul-13 10:50:53

Well you could ask yourself what would be better for the children concerned in the long run?

Is it better to fleece parents for just a little each time and teach children they can have whatever they see that they find desirable? Or is it perhaps better for parents to learn to say no and for children to learn to accept that they can't have everything they want?

The kind of toys you talk about, my children might pine for. In some ways that can be really great. Being able to give your child that longed for truck on their birthday after saving for it can be a real pleasure. £10.99 to £35 seems about right for that sort of present.

But then we also go to toy shops "just to look", and my children love that.

pictish Tue 23-Jul-13 10:47:18

Our local soft play has a one of those machines with the balls containing nasty toys that you pick up with a claw.
We started off with the pleading and whinging.
I just stuck to no, and they don't even see the machine any more. The machine is dead to us.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 23-Jul-13 10:43:52

I wouldn't see it as a problem. It's not hard to say no to children, and you are assuming that they are automatically going to ask just because they see something for sale anyway.

I think most children already realise they are getting a treat when they go to soft play, so it's hard to imagine the room is going to end up full of small children upset because they have seen something they can't have.

I find it much more annoying in supermarkets when they have seaweeds right next to the checkout. Toys for sale in a place designed for children wouldn't bother me.

pictish Tue 23-Jul-13 10:37:57

And it's true - say no often enough and they will stop asking.

pictish Tue 23-Jul-13 10:37:03

I think you're right, obviously...but the fact is, the onus is on you as the parent to say no.
It's the same for all of us.

There are tempting things everywhere we go.

Pontouf Tue 23-Jul-13 10:34:45

Yeah I think I'll write them a letter so they know that people object.

Sirzy Tue 23-Jul-13 10:34:41

Obviously there is a good argument that a parent can just say no if their child wants a toy and they don't want/can't afford to buy one

You have answered it yourself. If you go regulary then after the first few times of being told "no" they will stop asking anyway.

Pontouf Tue 23-Jul-13 10:33:28

I wouldn't be avoiding the place because I can't say no to DS. He is a good kid and wouldn't make a fuss about being told no. I might take my business away just because I think it's a bit of a crap thing if them to do. I think the gumball machines are slightly different because of the price - £1 compared to £10-35 - it's a big difference! And in an area where most patrons won't be able to afford it. But perhaps I am being unreasonable.

Ginocchio Tue 23-Jul-13 10:32:55

YANBU to think it's a bit crap - but at the end of the day, they're running a business, and if they think they'll make some money from it, that's up to them.

Personally, I'd expect that the number of tantrums & meltdowns that they'd have to endure from overtired post-softplay children would outweigh the benefit (although my own kids are now well adjusted to the fact that Daddy's a meanie who won't buy them any plastic tat...)

glenthebattleostrich Tue 23-Jul-13 10:30:26

A soft play we go to sells handbags, handmade jewellery, scarves and other lovely treats for parents. At Christmas they stock gorgeous stocking fillers and yummy treats.

Another has lots of toys and rides all over the place.

Guess which one we go to most?

Vote with your feet OP, just make sure you tell them why you won't be visiting very often.

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Tue 23-Jul-13 10:29:59

It is up to You as a parent to say 'no' if you cant afford/don't want to buy. hmm

Hercy Tue 23-Jul-13 10:27:45

You would rather go elsewhere (presumably inconveniencing yourself) or reduce the number of times you go to that soft play rather than just saying no and teaching your son he can't have everything he wants?

CitrusSunshine Tue 23-Jul-13 10:27:29

Yes it is a bit annoying but surely children's toys being placed in your eyeline at a location where there are likely to be lots of children is a standard business tactic to make more money and not that unusual? (can't remember ever going to a museum/ gallery/ zoo/ play centre etc without being given the "option" to spend more money!)

PointzMeanPrizes Tue 23-Jul-13 10:26:31

I think they are all doing similar things. The one we go to fairly regularly has brought in those awful gumball machines with the plastic balls that open up and have a toy inside, and another stand of gumball machines with Minstrels and Nerds in them. The toy ones are £1 each and the sweets ones are 50p each.

The annoying thing is that when I meet a friend there she always lets her girl have one, but I have 2 DC with me and so it would cost me double so I always say no. If they have one once, they will always want one when we go. I tell them that mummy spent her pennies on the ticket to get in so we aren't buying a toy. They are used to it now, but they get understandably jealous when a friend gets a treat each time.

Wish these places wouldn't do it, but they must make some money on it so I guess it is to be expected.

Hercy Tue 23-Jul-13 10:25:47

It's down to you as a parent to say if you can't afford it/don't want it, it's down to the business to market/advertise their stock as effectively as possible.

Pontouf Tue 23-Jul-13 10:23:29

I do realise that. However I'm not sure it's even a great business move. It may well mean that I take my business elsewhere and just go to soft play in the days when I have the car and can drive to the soft play a bit further away.

hesterton Tue 23-Jul-13 10:22:07

I think you are really. It's a business, so if no one ever buys the toys they will stop having them. But in the meantime, we all have to get used to not being allowed to own every lovely thing in our eyeline.

cricketballs Tue 23-Jul-13 10:20:33

its a business not a social project

Pontouf Tue 23-Jul-13 10:18:10

I have a pretty active 2.8 year old DS who loves our local soft play place. It is a reasonably well run place with a good cafe that serves generous portions for reasonable prices. It is the only soft play venue within walking distance of our house and we tend to go once or twice a fortnight.

However, we went yesterday for the first time in a month to find that they have a huge display of toys for sale next to the cafe just where people queue up. They were mainly plastic vehicle toys, cars, trucks, diggers, ambulances etc. The cheapest toy was £9.99 and the most expensive ones, which were at the bottom of the display, right at a small child's eyeline were around £35.

Now this place is located in an area with a pretty low income, lots of young parents on low wages and some on benefits. AIBU to think this is quite a cynical move on their part, putting these toys in the eyeline of young children who are going to be in the area for a couple of hours? Obviously there is a good argument that a parent can just say no if their child wants a toy and they don't want/can't afford to buy one, but I just think it is an unneeded hassle for parents. I wouldn't take my child to a toy shop every week only to tell him he can't have anything each time. I want to be able to just go, pay the entrance fee for my child and me, maybe get a drink and a snack if I'm feeling flush and then go without having to avoid these toys?


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