Warning: A rant follows and I am sorry if you are offended.
Since when is it acceptable to not supervise your children in a soft play centre? Or is it acceptable? Especially those with older children (5/6) when there are quite a few under 3’s running around and trying to play with their parents supervising them.
I didn’t realise that a soft play centre was a place to drop your children then sit as far away from them as possible and not pay any attention to what they are doing.
Here is a list of things I noticed some parents doing;
- Sitting in the furthest corner of the play centre,
- Sitting with their back to the play area,
- Texting on their phone/ using social media and not paying any attention to their children,
- Having a gossip to their other mummy mates,
- Looking around once to see if they can spot their child and continuing with what they were doing when they couldn’t,
- Shouting really loudly at their child for being naughty when they catch them doing something they shouldn’t,
- Going back to what they were doing and completely ignoring their child, letting them do the same thing again,
- Letting their toddler have as much coke and chocolate cake as he wants,
- Tutting and rolling their eyes when their child tells them they need the toilet,
- Letting their 6-year-old run around like mad with his friend in the 3 and under area, knocking over and bumping into children 3 and under.
I have no problem with older children being in the area specified for 3 and under but I do have a problem with their parents appearing not to give a sh*t and letting them run wild in there, knocking over small children in the process. Yes it is a soft play area and I doubt they would do much damage but it is the principle. To the boy’s mother who pushed my son out the way of the ball pit – where the hell are you and why do you think it is acceptable to let your 6-year-old run wild and not be supervising him?
I have no problem with the children, they are there having fun, they don’t necessarily understand that it isn’t acceptable to barge a one year old out the way (in the 3 and under area) where he is trying his best to climb up the climbing frame and have some fun. Luckily, Little D doesn’t burst into tears every time he gets knocked off his feet, unless he hurts himself.
I have no problem with parent’s meeting up and having a chat but for goodness sake, keep an eye on your child! Maybe it is because my son is 15 months old that this bothers me or maybe when he is 5 or 6 I will be one of those mums sitting in the corner not paying attention to what he is up to but I really hope not! Okay, I am sounding a bit like a snob and a b***h but I don’t care. It is just about being considerate to others around you. I would not let my child run up to yours and smack them full on in the face and then run away – as I saw today. No apparent provocation but a little girl standing there crying her eyes out. Surely if you kept an eye on your child you would be able to teach them that that behaviour is wrong and they might learn something. Maybe they have older siblings and that is acceptable behaviour for them and they don’t realise they should not be hitting out at children that aren’t their siblings.
I feel sorry for those children who have parents that can’t wait to get rid of them, can’t wait to get to the soft play centre and let them get on with whatever they want. Like I said before, maybe I will be one of those parents who cannot wait for the 30 minutes of sitting down and not having to worry about what they are getting up to, they are off somewhere having fun. I don’t know people’s situations and I hate to judge but come on people – when little children are involved it upsets me.
Especially when it involves your own child getting hurt. What mother hasn’t looked at a child who has just hurt theirs and thought about doing the same back to them and realising they can’t? Just me? You have to blame the parents a little bit don’t you? Especially when you see them sat there not taking any notice of them? And they are most likely acting out to get their parents attention.
I apologise if you are one of those parents I am moaning about and I am sure you have a reasonable explanation but sometimes you can come across as if you couldn’t care less what your child is up to. We don’t go to the soft play centre very often and when we do I try to go as soon as it opens as I already know what it will be like when it gets too busy. I want my child to be able to have a run about and explore without having to worry about the other children. I was stuck by his side the whole time today as I was worried he might get bumped into but I would like to watch from the sidelines and let him explore without me having to move him out of the area because there are too many older boisterous children running about. I do not want to be seen as wrapping him in cotton wool and I want him to be independent but when he is so young I want to make sure he is kept out of harms way and can play without getting pushed out the way or knocked over.
What are your experiences of soft play centres? Do you think that parents should be supervising their children in the soft play centre? Do you think I have it wrong? Let me know what you think by commenting below!
Happy Soft Playing!