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Parents banned from play area

(75 Posts)
gorionine Fri 30-Oct-09 07:46:14

I have just seen this in the news and it left me a bit hmm What next?

Article here

gorionine Fri 30-Oct-09 07:47:08

Meant to be banned not bannes!!!![GRRRR]

ruddynorah Fri 30-Oct-09 07:57:21

they are meant to be unsupervised play areas though aren't they? i thought they were for older kids who wouldn't need or want mum and dad there. and they have play workers in there who watch them for safety. the kids are free to come and go. the whole point is that mums and dads aren't in there.

stuffitllllama Fri 30-Oct-09 08:02:13

Ruddynorah if they are unsupervised why do you need the play workers.

This is nuts. Gorionine you're right to think what's next.

gorionine Fri 30-Oct-09 08:04:33

That is not what I do understand from the article.

""Mums and dads have been told they will no longer be welcome in two play areas supervised by Watford Borough Council staff, from Monday (November 2)."" surely it means that they were allowed up until now?

and that

"" Mayor Dorothy Thornhill argued the council is merely enforcing Government policy at the play areas, in Vicarage Road and Leggatts Way respectively.

She said: “Sadly, in today's climate, you can’t have adults walking around unchecked in a children’s playground.” ""

So will adults also be banned from park soon?

stuffitllllama Fri 30-Oct-09 08:08:36

If it was me I would get a group of friends and just sit inside and refuse to move. It's silly.

Besom Fri 30-Oct-09 08:43:11

The issue is because they've employed these play rangers. They've obviously decided that this particular play area should be for slightly older children playing without their parents.

The council can't then say to people 'this is a safe place for your child to play without you but with some professional supervision' and then have unchecked adults wondering about in there. The council would be on very dodgy ground if anything were to happen (even though it seems extremely unlikely that anything would happen).

I would be pissed off if I was one of these mothers who used it a lot, but they would have to get rid of the play rangers for it to go back to normal. Because then there would be no responsibility placed on the council to supervise the children in the play area. It's all about the council covering their backs, but I can understand why they should want to do so.

gorionine Fri 30-Oct-09 08:57:31

But what could happen? If they are looking after the children anyway they can do it with or without the presence of the parents?
Besom, One of the mother or grandma I can't remember says that they are only three rangers for a large amount of children so the rangers were already there when the parents were still allowed, what has changed? They hired more?

I think it is equally naive to think that because someone has been "checked" it means that they cannot do anything to children as it is to assume every unchecked grown up is up to no good.

ruddynorah Fri 30-Oct-09 13:30:44

stuffit- i mean unsupervised as in the idea is that it's a place kids can just wander to, or parents drop them off. they are left to their own devices under the watchful eye of the play rangers for safety. it's not meant to be like soft play where the parent is responsible for their child. i guess part of it is to encourage older kids to actually go, be off the streets. maybe less incentive for them to go if the place is full of parents.

southeastastralbeing Fri 30-Oct-09 13:34:51

ruddynorah is right

the story is completely blown out of proportion

juuule Fri 30-Oct-09 13:44:37

One woman takes her 5yo granddaughter and doesn't want to just drop her off.

From Mayor Thornhill “There are other places in the town for parents with small children to go.”

What if you have a younger child and an older child. You can't have time in the playground together as a family in this situation. Is the mayor saying younger children are no longer welcome in this playground? Quite divisive of families.

Mayor also says
"playgrounds are not a meeting place for adults."

Adults with children often find it helps to
meet up with others in similar situations. Not allowing this is divisive of community.

Doesn't seem a great idea all round.

ruddynorah Fri 30-Oct-09 14:20:03

ok. maybe they need to rename them as when i read they were opening one nearish us i though oooh adventure playground...dd (age 3.5) would love that! then i read up on it and realised it was more of a youth club type set up. it's really aimed at kids local to the place who need something to do.

Madsometimes Fri 30-Oct-09 14:49:45

Our adventure playground allows you to drop off children between the age of 5 and 16 unsupervised. They do not encourage parents to stay, although you can if your child is 5 or under.

I would not leave my 6 and 9 year olds there unattended. The teenage children would flatten my little one in seconds, because they are not aware of how much bigger they are. The play leaders are around, but not supervising closely, so I do not use the playground any more.

gorionine Fri 30-Oct-09 16:38:54

I agree with you Juuule, killds the community spirit IMHO.

As well, I find it a different situation to "allow" you to drop your child if you wish to do so and to "ban" parents to stay on the ground that they have not be CRB checked.

I lead a toddler group and if the future means that I have to CRB every parent I will just stop, it makes no sense to me to ban parents from the place their Dcs are playing. I would understand a rule that would say if you do not have a child (either yours or mindee) you cannot just come to have a coffee but not the altogether ban of parents.

MillyR Fri 30-Oct-09 19:27:56

I think this is a stupid decision. I would not feel happy leaving a young child in a park where they are supervised by play rangers but children can walk in and out of their own choice. What is to stop a 16 year old taking a 5 year old out of the park? I would have thought that the presence of teenagers, who maybe irresponsible or ill intentioned or just inexperienced with young children is more of a threat than the presence of parents.

It is all very well saying parents with young children can go elsewhere, but what if you live right by that park? How ludicrous to have to tell your child that you can't all go to the park together because Mummy isn't allowed in, and you have to get a bus somewhere else?

I fail to see how it benefits children to ban adults.

What does a play ranger even do?

sarah293 Fri 30-Oct-09 19:38:00

Message withdrawn

ruddynorah Fri 30-Oct-09 19:52:18

i think some of you are imagining it to be like a normal playground you get in a public park. it isn't. they tend to have session times. they usually operate after school and in holidays.

just with a quick google..

AnnieLobeseder Fri 30-Oct-09 19:57:16

I'm sorry, but what 'climate' is it we have today, exactly? FGS, there are no more weirdos running around today than there have been in the past. Why this sudden child safety madness?!

juuule Fri 30-Oct-09 20:02:04

Harwood and Harebreaks adventure playgrounds

southeastastralbeing Fri 30-Oct-09 20:07:20

it's for children to play and take risks alone also.

MillyR Fri 30-Oct-09 21:18:09

I actually had read up on what these sites involved and read the Guardian article on it before I posted. The fact that these play areas offer more facilities than other play areas does not justify why adults cannot accompany their children, particularly as they could until recently accompany them. So the facility was not originally designed to need to be parent free; it is a council decision based on a misguided sense of risk.

I find the description of play rangers very disturbing. Of course councils will say they need them if they know it is a way of getting funding. How sad that children need to have a government official to take them into a wood and make a den (as described in the play ranger link).

The children are not learning how to play alone; they are learning how to play supervised by the government.

What really irritates me is that the local council has attempted to make out this is media hype by the local paper. When the Guardian rang the council, it turned out that every fact printed by the local paper was true.

There has been a demonstration by local people about this; why is the council allowed to control local green spaces in a way that people do not want?

southeastastralbeing Fri 30-Oct-09 21:39:19

playrangers are not government officials, lol. mostly they're students, training to be teachers

nothing sinister fgs

why is it so bad that there is a playground where only kids are allowed anyway?

the amount of playground gripes threads involving parents on mn prove that it's not letting children play properly if they're being watched all the time.

Bumblingbovine Fri 30-Oct-09 21:49:19

I think it isn't a bad idea for older children (say 8 years old plus). To say it is OK for 5 year olds is pretty mad.

5-16 years olds is a massive age range to allow to play together in an environment that is very lightly supervised.

ruddynorah Fri 30-Oct-09 21:57:08

i was in a normal playground with dd (3.5) this morning. i sit on a bench, call friends, make lists etc whatever, while she plays. i keep half an eye on her. i lost count of the other parents telling their kids not to go on the slide cos it was wet, not to run cos there were leaves on the floor they might slip on, not to climb the frame to high cos they might fall etc etc. poor kids. they'd be thrilled with an unsupervised play area where muck and wet is encouraged.

Pixel Fri 30-Oct-09 22:21:06

I couldn't take my ds there and leave him at the mercy of the other kids, once they realised he couldn't speak they'd make mincemeat of him. I've seen it before when I left him in a safely-fenced playground for a few minutes and he was pushed off the top of a slide by kids who called him a 'retard'. It's all very well saying children should be allowed to play without parents and that there are other places for under-fives to go, but what about 9 year olds who can't defend themselves? Where do they go? Because I'm pretty sure the 'play rangers' wouldn't be willing to take responsiblity for their safety. I don't suppose they could even stop them leaving and ending up in the road.
So are disabled children banned along with their parents, or would the parents be expected to be CRB checked to take their own children to the playground?

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