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LDavis33
I enjoy a quiet cup of coffee too. Edited to add.
January 8, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Last Friday was our DS's third birthday, so DH and  I took him swimming at the local pool with some friends and then headed to McDonalds for lunch.  We ordered our food and sat in the kids play area so the little ones could run around.  

There were a lot of kids in the playroom.  In addition to the 4 kids in our group, there were probably another 10-12 kids playing.  They weren't all playing nicely, some of the older ones were really picking on the younger ones.  I even commented to my husband that the kids seemed to outnumber the adults by about 4 to 1.

Anyhow, about 1/2 hour after we arrived a woman came into the playroom and called out "okay kids, 5 minutes" and left.  I watched her walk to a table in the restaurant area and sit down with another woman.  Five minutes later, she came back and told the kids that they were leaving.  After some complaining and whining, five kids (I would guess between the ages of 5 and 10) came out of the play structure and left with the woman. Two of them were the kids that were causing most of the arguing and fighting.

I was really kind of shocked and almost said something to this woman, but wasn't sure if that was my place to do so.  

Anyhow, I guess my question is this?  Do you allow your children to play unsupervised in a restaurant play area?  If yes, why do you feel this is okay?  

EDIT TO ADD:  I am actually surprised at the number of parents who allow their children to play unsupervised in the play areas.  I honestly thought this woman was just an anomally and that the majority of parents would never dream of doing this.

Maybe their play structures are different than the one I was at.  The one at the McDonalds is basically a huge, enclosed climbing structure with slides.  Even while sitting in the play area, it is difficult to see your kids.  The only way to really know what they are doing is to listen.  It's really hard to supervise your children when there is a soundproof glass wall between them and you.  And  maybe there are no signs, like the one at McDonalds that specifically states that children are not to be left unattended in the play area and that they must be supervised at all times.

I personally don't get it.  Like I said in the title of my post, I really do enjoy a quiet cup of coffee (which, BTW hasn't happened since the day my son was born) but I would never shirk my responsibilities as a parent just to have one.  

And to those parents who do allow their children to play unsupervised, take a moment to think about the parents who are in the playroom keeping an eye on things.  Who do you think has to act as referee when your children are arguing or fighting with our children?



Replies

  • davnrori
    January 8, 2013 at 10:22 AM

     No, I stay in the play area with them. However, I have seen parents/caregivers sit in the play area and be on the phone texting or chatting, or be on a laptop doing whatever, or simply engrossed in conversation and they aren't paying attention to their children. Being present is not all that's required of supervision.

  • RLT2
    by RLT2
    January 8, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    No, I absolutely stay with them.

  • spooky415
    January 8, 2013 at 10:26 AM
    i usually stay with him. however, chick-fil-a has a table right across from their play area and they have a glass door. sometimes i sit outside. i can see everything. its really interesting to watch my son interact with other people when he thinks i'm not around.
  • DakotaHaley
    January 8, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    I have allowed my son to play in the play area and I wasn't in there. He is six and I don't do it often. I usually let him while I order food and once I have the food I go and sit in the play area.

  • momof3grls4517
    January 8, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    No, my girsl aren't allowed to play in play area's like that.

  • TableforSeven
    January 8, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    I never took my kids anywhere with a play area....but if I had, I would have stayed with them.

    When I was in the states visiting last month - I met a friend for coffee.  She wanted to go to Chick-FIL-A....I can't eat there, but can have coffee anywhere so that's where we met.  She brought her two daughters along...ages 4 and 2.  We sat at a table near the door to the play area and she just put her kids in there to play.  There were only 2 other kids in there - about the same ages.  The other girls' father was also at a table near the door.  I noticed that there wasn't anywhere to sit in the play area....just a small bench for taking off shoes.  So, even if a parent wanted to be in there, they would have to be standing.

  • LDavis33
    January 8, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    I've never been to Chick-Fil-A (we don't have them in Canada).  I don't understand why a play area wouldn't have a seating area for parents.  Personally, I wouldn't allow my children to play in a play area without me being there to supervise.  So I guess next time I head down south I won't be eating at Chick-Fil-A.

    Quoting TableforSeven:

    I never took my kids anywhere with a play area....but if I had, I would have stayed with them.

    When I was in the states visiting last month - I met a friend for coffee.  She wanted to go to Chick-FIL-A....I can't eat there, but can have coffee anywhere so that's where we met.  She brought her two daughters along...ages 4 and 2.  We sat at a table near the door to the play area and she just put her kids in there to play.  There were only 2 other kids in there - about the same ages.  The other girls' father was also at a table near the door.  I noticed that there wasn't anywhere to sit in the play area....just a small bench for taking off shoes.  So, even if a parent wanted to be in there, they would have to be standing.


  • LDavis33
    January 8, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Do you mean that your girls don't ever play in those play areas?  Just curious as to why?

    Quoting momof3grls4517:

    No, my girsl aren't allowed to play in play area's like that.


  • LaughingTattoo
    January 8, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    My kids dont play in those things when Im present. My dad sometimes takes them even though Ive asked him not to, and I know he always stays in the room

  • LDavis33
    January 8, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Just curious as to why your kids don't play on them. 

    My MIL is always letting my DS eat/do things he's not supposed to eat/do, even though I've asked her not to a thousand times.  It's a grandparent thing.  I swore to my DH the other day that I would NEVER do that when I have grandkids, it is so annoying. 

    Quoting LaughingTattoo:

    My kids dont play in those things when Im present. My dad sometimes takes them even though Ive asked him not to, and I know he always stays in the room


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