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soft play

(22 Posts)
yummymummy1405 Wed 30-Jul-08 11:25:20

In our local lesuire center there is a soft playcenter. Its a very small soft play compared to others and is in a room all of its own no natrul (sp) light but thats off topic! Its aimed at toddlers and very rarely do u see an over 6 there. We went there the other day and there was a little boy a few yrs older than my 2yo who we heard his mum telling another mum was autistic. I have no problems with this at all however he was hitting and throwing things at his mum and when he went into soft play was throwing things at the other kids and occasionsly hitting them. Am I unreasonable to think that the mum could have gone in the soft play with him? There are plently of places to sit inside the actual soft play ie. Ball pool without getting in other childrens way as we often do to join in with the Kids. If she knew he was likely to behave like that which I assume she did as he was like that to her if I were in her position I would have gone in just incase as obviously he is not doing it out of malice but toddlers fi d that quite difficult to get their heads round. Ooops long post!

Dynamicnanny Wed 30-Jul-08 11:27:04


Love2bake Wed 30-Jul-08 11:29:03

If I was the parent I would definately keep a close eye on the child.

VictorianSqualor Wed 30-Jul-08 11:29:20

He's autistic FFS. It's probably the one time she gets five minutes to talk to her friend.


Was anyone actually hurt? It's pretty hard to get hurt in soft play.

PussinJimmyChoos Wed 30-Jul-08 11:34:09

I don't think you are being unreasonable. If she knows her child is going to behave like that, then its her responsibility to ensure that other children are not in harms way. I know its hard to get injured in soft play, but I know my DS would be intimidated by children throwing balls at him or hitting him. I sympathise wholeheartedly with the child being autistic but no reason to allow behaviour to affect others imo

Twinkie1 Wed 30-Jul-08 11:34:48

Hhhhhmmmmmm this will be emotive won't it!

So it is reasonable for the child to behave in an innapropriate manner around other smaller children with the danger of them being scared or hurt so she gets 5 minutes to chat to her friend?

ChopsTheDuck Wed 30-Jul-08 11:35:06

well in that kind of situation I would have kept a closer watch. Agree that she may have been desperate for a break but sn or not, I wouldn't allow any of my children to harm another child unchecked.

KaySamuels Wed 30-Jul-08 11:37:48

I had this the other way round yesterday,

my ds is 3yrs in 5-6 clothes and on autistic spectum, and spent almost the full two hours of soft play being hit, pushed and kicked by two two year old twins. sad

In the end I sent him to the older kids section to get away from them even tho he is only 3 years old!

YABU all kids need to learn this at some point in their childhoods, I would never judge another parent.

cornsilk Wed 30-Jul-08 11:38:06

What was she doing? If she was looking after another child then fair enough. If not then she should have really kept a close eye on him.

KaySamuels Wed 30-Jul-08 11:39:36

My issue at soft play is if the hitter is not told off, supervised, etc.

Age, special needs, behavioural phases all irrelevant, supervision needed so should be given.

justwondered123 Wed 30-Jul-08 11:47:13

I agree, my ds is autistic and soft play is one of the places that he needs constant supervision, I can't risk the other children getting hurt. I would love to sit down and have a chatter with chums but for me a soft playcentre is definitely not the place for that.

Oblomov Wed 30-Jul-08 11:48:02

Disagree with VS.
I am sure mum needs a chat. She prob needs a break more than most mums.
But this is not o.k. if it is overaggressive, and thrpowing balls, which can be quite hard, at little ones.
I have been in soft play. Had older boys in playing. They can throw balls and hit even me, very hard. No harm done. I laughed it off and went to another area.
But don't underestimate how , can't think of right word, 'threatening/scarey for little ones, this kind of behaviour could have been.

yummymummy1405 Wed 30-Jul-08 11:55:00

Oh dear what have i started! would just like to point out that I wasn't and never would criticize another parent as every child is so different and was genuinely interested to see whether i was bu or not. Also as my son recieved a smack someone hitting u hurts as much whether you are in soft play or not.

Upwind Wed 30-Jul-08 12:01:19

This is a really difficult one - God knows that mother probably needed a break but it seems to have been interfering with the ability of other children to enjoy/use the soft play. If his behaviour was threatening or even endangering other dc, he should have been supervised...

cornsilk Wed 30-Jul-08 12:04:26

I hate soft play.

OurHamsterisevil Wed 30-Jul-08 12:22:04

YANBU. It doesn't matter whether the child was autistic or not. If he is the type of child that will hit others his Mum should have watched him. I hate having to constantly check on my DS in soft play because other parents don't give a damn. I know that my son would not hurt other children but have to constantly keep a lookout in case of others

Oblomov Wed 30-Jul-08 12:24:52

Yes, autistic has nothing to do with this. Big boys can throw balls hard.

aGalChangedHerName Wed 30-Jul-08 12:31:23

I think whether or not a child is autistic is irrelevant tbh.

If your child is likely to hit other children you should be keeping an eye on them or in with them.

It pisses me off when parents ignore behaviour which will hurt or annoy another child.

I would also like to go and ignore my dc and blether to my friend/read a book but i don't/can't.


twofalls Wed 30-Jul-08 12:35:11

YANBU - all parents should keep an eye on what their DCs are doing at soft play, common sense in my opinion.

This is why I hate soft play by the way. There are always parents who don't seem to give a toss about what their children are up to and it seems to be those children that normally run riot and are "overly exuberant", if not downright aggressive with others. Not that I am saying that is what happened in your case, just making a general point about soft play.

hercules1 Wed 30-Jul-08 12:36:41

These places are vile. Don't go to them.

ancientmiddleagedmum Wed 30-Jul-08 12:42:56

I have an autistic son and I have spent 3 hard years making sure he does not hit other children, as when he was 2 he was aggressive. He is now not in the least bit aggressive and actually gets hit or bumped into by other kids far more than he does to others. However, in the days when he was aggressive I would always stay with him in soft play. I think in a way the autism is a red herring: if your child is aggressive , you should stay with them, particularly when there are smaller kids around who could get hurt or scared. There are plenty of "normal" kids in my DS's mainstream class who are aggressive, and the mums seem unable or unwilling to do anything about it, and it drives me mad to see them chatting and slurping coffee while their kid batters small toddlers. After all, when a kid has all the gifts of speech and understanding which come with normal function, it is so EASY to teach them to behave! My DS was non verbal but I managed to teach him not to hit or bite.

elkiedee Wed 30-Jul-08 12:43:02

I agree with twofalls. We also have that kind of problem at the park and other places - ds is a very big for his age 15 month old.

If you're meeting up with friends, I'd say do soft play for a bit, supervise them and then look to do something different where it's easier to chat.

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