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to think parents should supervise their bloody kids at soft play centres

(47 Posts)
wheresthelight Wed 04-Jun-14 19:09:05

Sorry I know I will get told I am bu for going to one in the first place but dd is only 9 months and the weather was too rubbish to go for a walk but...

The one local to me has a specific under 18 month section which is great as it means dd cam crawl round without me worrying about her hurting herself and as she is starting to walk it is a great place for her to practice. However today it was invaded by kids who were probably 3-4 years old, no parents in sight, who took great delight in throwing balls deliberately at the babies heads (was there with a friend and his dd), jumping about and landing millimetres from them and on one occasion landing on my dd.

I spoke to one little boy who was about 3 a couple of times and asked him nicely to be a bit more careful but then he landed on dd's leg. So I sternly told him to be careful as it was the baby area. A gentleman was there with his baby grandson and he was quite rude to me over me telling the little boy off.

Did I do wrong? I didn't shout, wasn't nasty or rude just firm.

Surely parents should supervise their kids??

HarrietSchulenberg Wed 04-Jun-14 19:11:23

YANBU, they should. Mine have been jumped on by bigger kids in the past. Mine have also sneaked into the baby area when they were way too big, and have been hauled out again pronto by their dragon-like vigilant mother.

Kt1991 Wed 04-Jun-14 19:14:28

That's one thing that really annoys me! I've never left my DS who is 3 unsupervised in places like that. Also I always think what if the child also really hurt themselves and the parents couldn't see. It can deffo get really boisterous in those places too!

WorraLiberty Wed 04-Jun-14 19:14:43


But where were the staff also?

Surely they shouldn't be allowing the older kids in there?

Lanabelle Wed 04-Jun-14 19:15:22

Why limit it to soft play? parents should supervise their kids at most things but the reality is you will get fab parents who do and disinterested parents who don't. You get them in softplay areas, in the park, in the swimming pool, in restaurants, literally everywhere. Unfortunately you don't need an aptitude test to have children so there not much that can be done.

wheresthelight Wed 04-Jun-14 19:17:10

Thanks! I am new to the whole playcentre politics so wasn't sure is I was just being pfb or not!

It just really annoyed me that there were no parents around and that the other adult clearly thought I was out of order

wheresthelight Wed 04-Jun-14 19:19:14

There were only 2 staff and I did pull the manager over amd had words but she didn't really seem interested, more paying lip service iyswim

Busymumto3dc Wed 04-Jun-14 19:20:57


I would be hunting out the parents tbh!

Busymumto3dc Wed 04-Jun-14 19:21:49

I would also, as a parent of older dc (5&6) be very cross if my own dc behaved this way and would have no issue on you pointing out that they need to be careful and not in that area!

wheresthelight Wed 04-Jun-14 19:27:40

I did look around for the parents but couldn't see who this boy was with unfortunately. But that would have been my next step I think

Busymumto3dc Wed 04-Jun-14 19:28:28

I think I might have been tempted to stand with him and loudly ask "where are this childs parents"

EatDessertFirst Wed 04-Jun-14 19:29:02

This is one thing that I am super-strict about with my DC. They have no need to be in the baby area with the tiny ones. DD (5.5) seems to react to me giving her a bit of a death glare, DS (3.5) is a bit more sly but does get hauled out in very short order. I usually try to station myself somewhere close-ish so I can react quickly.

YANBU. I would be mortified if my DC hurt a tiny tot and I wouldn't blame you for a sharp word of warning.

juneybean Wed 04-Jun-14 19:30:04

Yanbu I have no problem apprehending a child if their parents aren't going to supervise them.

In fact I told one off last week and after a brief tantrum he became my best friend!

CruCru Wed 04-Jun-14 19:34:54

YANBU. I once made myself very unpopular by being the soft play "enforcer" who told off the kids in school uniform for running through the baby area. Quite a few parents said But it means siblings can't play together. Ugh. I won't mind if the older children were calm and gentle.

wheresthelight Wed 04-Jun-14 19:36:35

God o was expecting to be told i was the wicked witch so thank you for reassuring me!! My friend agreed that I hadn't done anything wrong but he is more used to these places as he has younger siblings who are regulars

I have to admit ibwas a bit sharp with the man who told me off. He said I had upset the child (he was looking sheepish but wasn't crying or visibly upset) and I shouldn't have told him off. I did tell him I hadn't told him off just to be more careful and he wouldn't be upset if he hadn't been in the area he shouldn't have been in in the first place

lanbro Wed 04-Jun-14 19:40:58

YANBU same thing happened to me today although the parent was watching but just said "child, you shouldn't really be in there...", no enforcement, no taking the child out so I hauled my 9mo out with a death stare to the stupid woman!

lanbro Wed 04-Jun-14 19:44:11

Also, I would regularly say to any child misbehaving, in a nice way, to calm down. Told some boys racing around a shop the other day, no parents in sight, "it's a not a playground, boys". Someone should show kids the right way to behave if the parents can't be bothered to, imho anyway!

wheresthelight Wed 04-Jun-14 21:38:10

I think the other man was expecting me to slink off like a naughty child after he reprimanded me, I got the impression he wasn't used to being defied by a woman!

I know play centre are a great place for kids to let off steam but some parents need to wake upland remember that they are still meant to supervise them!

He was bloody lucky he didn't hurt my dd or I really would have hunted down the parents and given them what for!!!

Ilovexmastime Wed 04-Jun-14 22:13:28

I was ready to come on this thread and say that yabu, having read the thread title, as I generally let my kids run around unsupervised in a softplay area, while I get on with some work on my laptop. However, as the poster above said, I am super strict about them not going in the baby area. I sit close to it and if they look like they're heading into it, I swiftly intercept. So, yanbu in this case.

wheresthelight Wed 04-Jun-14 22:21:26

lovemax I don't think there is anything wrong with them running riot on their own age appropriate equipment and do understand that the point is that they give kids a safe place to play whilst parents work/chat/have a hot cuppa but it's the blatant ignoring them and allowing them to run riot in the baby area that got to me

I clearly go to a crap one as even the toddlers who were probably 18 months to 2 years were unsupervised.

It just amazed me that even seeing that we had 2 fairly young babies in there the parents still didn't think to drag their kids out of it

fairylightsintheloft Wed 04-Jun-14 22:37:09

YANBU and thing is, actually, it isn't ok (in my opinion) to be doing something like work which will absorb you to the extent that you won't know what you kid is doing. GPs had our two DCs yesterday (4 and 3) and took them to SP. They got picked on and pushed and pulled around by two slightly older kids for a moment or two till GPs went over. Older kids stopped and buggered off. GPs said the parents never once looked up from their phones etc. We have only just started to even buy ourselves drinks at SP because the kids wanted us playing with them. Now DD is old enough to negotiate the equipment they are happy without us for a while but we always just chat / skim mags etc while we keeping a close eye on them. Never let them near the toddler bit now, though they'd both quite like to still play in it. OP YANBU to tell other kids off, but do be aware that you may get an irate parent on your back (mostly because they're embarrassed by their failure to watch what the hell is going on).

emsyj Wed 04-Jun-14 22:42:39

I went to soft play today and reported a load of large kids who were charging around the baby area to a member of staff who immediately (thank goodness) came over and booted them all out. It is a huge soft play (the largest in the country I think) and the area for over-3's is plenty big enough that they don't need to be in the baby area at all.

YANBU, but having once got into an altercation with a woman at soft play who took umbrage at me telling her (approx 13 yo) DS off I never approach the children directly, I always get a member of staff to do it.

wheresthelight Wed 04-Jun-14 22:46:16

fairy I think it's ok of your kids are older so 9/10 upwards as long as you are keeping half an eye on them. But to ignore toddlers is just plain idiotic imo

As for irate parents, unfortunately I am a bit of a gobby cow and they are likely to get a few hone truths!

lbsjob87 Wed 04-Jun-14 22:48:43

YANBU, and I avoid those places where possible because of the amount of times that other people's kids have pissed me off.
The worst was when my DD was about 18months old, playing in a play house - I sat with her, and this kid of about 6 came over into the 3 and under section and told DD to "get out of my house". DD being still a baby, practically, didn't understand, so I said that wasn't very nice. The devil child then slammed DDsfingers in the playhouse door really hard.
I have never come so close to punching a stranger in my life.
When I asked where her mum was she ran off to some woman playing on her phone at the other end of the room.
I spoke to the mum and said "Would it be possible for her to play in the over 3 section, please?"
She said her daughter could play "wherever she fucking well likes".
So we left. Didn't bother complaining, just never went back.

wheresthelight Wed 04-Jun-14 23:14:31

Oh my life! that is awful job87!! as someone upthread said it is very unfortunate at times that there isn't an aptitude test to become a parent!

From my observations on the 2 times i have been to the SP it seems an inordinate number of adults seem to think they have carte blanche to allow their brats to run riot and terrorise without any consideration to other people - as long as they can facebook, or whatever on their phones or chat and drink coffee with their friends uninterrupted they just don't give a toss!

The last time we went there was one kiddy who had tripped and fallen quite hard against the uprights of the framework and had hurt himself, he was sat crying for about 5 minutes before a parent appeared - they hadn't even been in the room - they had nipped outside for some reason leaving a 4 year old on his own in there. I know at ours kids are signed in and out but absolutely anything could have happened!

I only go because it is free for under 1's and when it's raining its quite nice as somewhere to get out the house to

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