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To feel a bit cross

(16 Posts)
Vijac Fri 05-Jun-15 16:32:10

Just visited a children's centre stay and play with my 6 mo baby and older child. Thought it would be lots of fun for them and I might get an adult chat too. No one even said hello until the last bit where you sit and have a snack. Neither other mums or the staff. Also not clear who where staff. First thing anyone said was at tidy up time when a lady staff member said 'next time bring a mat out for baby, she shouldn't be on the hard floor. I wouldn't like to be lying on the hard floor'. I had bought her out to be with my older child and she was fine. She'd let me know if she wasn't! Then as we left another member of staff said 'that's right get home and get some shorts on child, it's hot today!' So I left feeling crap basically.

I am an educated mum and am confident my kids are fine, but what if you were less confident or had depression. I also wonder a bit as it's near a large fairly deprived estate, if the staff assume all the mums are uneducated and bad mums and are more patronising that staff at centres in nicer areas. Which is a horrible attitude.

formerbabe Fri 05-Jun-15 16:38:54

the staff assume all the mums are uneducated and bad mums and are more patronising that staff at centres in nicer areas

I felt this was the case when I used to go to a baby group in a "rough" area! Really pissed me off when the staff assumed I was on benefits or lived in a council home (neither of which was the case) and spoke down to me..not saying there's anything wrong with being in that situation, was the assumption which irritated me!

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Fri 05-Jun-15 16:44:08

That is a shame. We have been to stay and play a couple of times.
Many of the kids knew each other already, so we were the newbies.
The staff wore purple, so we knew who they were.
We were mostly left to get on with playing, but as the kids were doing the same activity, we said hello to them. And them to us.
The staff did come and say "hi, I am whoever, partof my job is to observe the children. Do you mind if I take notes on your child?"
I would feel a bit cross if we were totally ignored.
I would give them another try next week, just in case too many of them were having a bad day. Try chatting with a parent of a similar size child when you get there. Even something trivial like " oh is this your little boy? I see he likes playing in the sand. My Freddie always loves sand."

duckbilled Fri 05-Jun-15 16:44:39

I had a similar experience and was so annoyed and upset that I emailed the group leader. They basically said I was lying and I couldn't have possible been there for a whole session with no one speaking to me....that's exactly what happened. I tried to chat to other mums but they turned their backs into their cliques, and the staff weren't identifiable in any way for me to try and talk to them.

This put me off and 'playgroups' for a while, and I had much better experiences at the more focused (and unfortunately expensive) groups like music or craft.
However I tried again recently at another local group and had a lovely time, it was very friendly.
I think it really is the luck of the draw if you have friendly regulars and welcoming staff/volunteers.

WannabeLaraCroft Fri 05-Jun-15 16:44:39

Were any other parents in the same situation, ie on their own, looking a bit lost? Or was it very cliquey? (sorry if I've spelled that wrong!)

Sometimes people can be so patronising.

YANBU to feel cross.

Joolsy Fri 05-Jun-15 16:44:40

Ah you poor thing. I remember those days, I've been to a few stay and play/toddler groups and been totally ignored, even by the organisers. It's happened to me in different areas of the town where I live but there's no excuse to talk down to you like that. It's so hard when everyone appears to be unfriendly. I remember being so grateful if anyone even said hello! I'm afraid it can also happen to school age kids with the other mums in the playground. I sometimes feel invisible! I just don't understand it as I feel I'm friendly but I'm not going to go around grinning like a loon at everyone!

SireeDubs Fri 05-Jun-15 17:14:02

You have my sincerest sympathies flowers

This was my experience completely! It makes me sad to see so many people relating the same things. I'd always thought it was just me...
I was in the Army for many years, and left when dd3 was on the way. I have to admit that though my job meant I had to be confident in leading large groups of men, I found large groups of women to be really intimidating (sorry blush). I always put it down to being more used to male company at work, but maybe not?

I have to say that I just didn't go to groups in the end, as I found them so difficult to deal with. DD3 is just fine, whatever!

Vijac Fri 05-Jun-15 19:43:00

I have been to other cc's before. The staff at the one near me are really nice. I just felt really judged.

AlmaMartyr Fri 05-Jun-15 19:53:47

Our local CC is awful for this. Really unfriendly and very patronising. They clearly marked me down as a young struggling mum when I really really wasn't. It left me very upset and angry (and isolated in a community with not many other places to go for parents) and wouldn't have helped if I had been who they thought I was either so was daft treatment all round.

I stopped having anything to do with them eventually. Sadly, have talked to lots of people who were in the same situation and were left isolated and insecure as a result. Great.

LittleMissIntrovert Fri 05-Jun-15 20:04:19

I went to ours once and didn't bother going back, the staff were patronizing and looked down their nose at everyone.

They expected 2 year olds to sit down and listen to a story in a room full of toys including a toy kitchen, which all the little ones wanted to play with. I tried to get my youngest to sit down, but as the other children were all playing with the kitchen he also wanted to.

So I let him and the staff had a real strop on with everyone!

If the children were being disruptive/noisy etc maybe say something but they weren't. They were playing nicely.

The story was long and boring, and I thought that as an adult.

Didn't bother going back and just went to a playgroup where they are allowed to play with the toys!

I certainly don't think children should be allowed to behave as they please and run around restaurants etc, but it's a children's centre, where they go to play!

The staff spoke to us like children, and it was horrible!

Mistlewoeandwhine Fri 05-Jun-15 20:13:16

I went to one in our (deprived) area. I am a secondary school teacher and got talked to like I was an idiot. I was offered classes to 'learn how to cook simple healthy meals' and told by a woman who had not previously spoken to me that 'she hoped I had plenty of suncream on that baby' in a bossy voice. It was quite irritating. I could accept the first but found the second incident massively patronising. Also I hate they way the call you 'Mum' - I'm not your flipping mum! Why not ask my name?

debricassartcleary Fri 05-Jun-15 20:20:41


spicyfajitas Fri 05-Jun-15 20:23:44

What a shame the staff didn't introduce themselves, introduce you to some other mums or offer you a mat.
It sounds a bit like they lack social skills to be honest.

RabbitSaysWoof Fri 05-Jun-15 20:26:30

I found this too, very very patronizing places. I didn't go back to mine after the very first baby group.

SideOrderofChips Fri 05-Jun-15 20:42:36

I went to a similar group with DD1 and DD2 when they ere young. it was aimed at mums with post natal depression, single mums, children with additional needs etc.

Unfortunatly most of the staff assumed that if you were referred there you had no idea how to parent at all and i left after i was told that all my decisions for parenting DD2 were wrong, and i obviously had no idea what i was doing.

This was for cloth nappying, bottle feeding and co sleeping when she was ill. This time around, for DS1 i will be attending an NCT group which ive gone to already as its for pregnant ladies and babies and its a far nicer group!

emms1981 Fri 05-Jun-15 20:50:42

when my children were very young I was pushed into going to a breastfeeding group by my health visitor, I don't know why but she was insisting that I went and that I "would meet new people" but I spent the whole time sat there with a baby in my arms and nobody talking to me at all, I hated it. I'm not very good at talking to people at the best of times. I went a couple of times and gave up.

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