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I Avoid Mall Play Areas!

Toddlers love them … but parents typically hate them.

I have started to dread trips to the mall because my kids want to spend an hour running around and playing, which normally would be just fine with me. Go ahead, run out all the energy you have bottled up so we can go home and take a nice nap!

But lately it seems like every time we go there is a rash of kids who just don’t know how to get along with other children.

Whether it is running over the smaller children, not sharing specific toys, pushing, hitting, or just flat out being mean. I didn’t think I would have to deal with this kind of playground behavior at such a young age, but I guess I was wrong. Just par for the course as a young parent.

But I realize this also isn’t the fault of the children. You can’t blame a six-year-old little girl for running over a one-year-old with no as much as an “I’m sorry” or “Is she okay?”

I’m not hatin’ on kids by any means. I am just frustrated because now I am being forced to avoid these play areas that my kids all really enjoy—especially my toddlers. It just hurts me to see them treated so horribly sometimes. They look like deer in headlights when they encounter a less-than-polite child. They simply aren’t familiar with the behavior.

My biggest lament is the fact that parents aren’t following the rules of these play areas. On the outside where kids are asked to store their shoes is a sign requiring all parents to watch their own children. Yet so many dump them in the area and walk away like it is a free babysitter. Or expect the other parents doing the right thing by watching their own children to ensure a kidnapper isn’t going to walk away with their kids.

Or even better are the parents who are sitting and watching their children bullying others and running over the smaller kids … and doing absolutely nothing about it. Just sit there and smile like their little one is an angel.

Oy! It all makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

Do you have any kind of mall play area horror stories?

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Read more on Toddler Times from Danielle:

White Lies We Tell Our Toddlers
Busting Stereotypes: Tattoos and Motherhood
Cookie Monster Tells Kids: Share It Maybe?

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