Here’s a question for you. Is it ok to tell off another kid in soft play? I say yes – especially when they are endangering your own child.

Here’s another question. Is 4pm on a weekday the worst possible time to go to soft play??

We are lucky enough to live opposite a leisure centre. I mean, we can’t afford to buy a membership or go swimming more than a couple of times a month, so it’s not that great, but there is a cafe and a small soft play. It’s still expensive, £4 for each kid is just about as bad as going swimming, but infinitely more possible when it’s just me with the boys!

However, I have a bone to pick with all the parents out there who have kids over the age of 6. I understand that after school can be a bit of a dead zone, and that your kids might go through the same ‘witching hour’ as mine do once the clock hits 4pm, but that’s no excuse to let them terrorize my children!

Last week I had to tell off one child for going the wrong way down a ramp, while Teddy Bear, obviously a lot smaller him, was trying to go up it. The way you’re supposed to go. As he was nearing knocking Teddy Bear down to the floor, I raised my voice to stop him. He stopped short, and gave me a shocked and outraged look that said ‘who is that woman and what on earth is she shouting at me for?? How dare she??’. He did reluctantly turn around and get out of the way, but I didn’t get a word in response, no apology, nothing. Hackles up, we continued up and went round to the top of the slide. More older kids (can I say, possibly too old for such a little soft play??) were climbing up the slide, and tearing around like lunatics all over the place. I couldn’t hack it, so we left quite soon after, fearing for my little Bears’ safety.

After chatting to another local mum about it, she told me she had actually been punched, yes punched, in the face, by a 5 year old kid there the last time she went. The worst thing about it? The parent of the puncher did nothing, absolutely nothing, even when they were made aware of it. An annoyed look, a shrug, then nothing. I can understand bad behaviour from kids, believe me, I have one very determined 3 year old who I wish would listen to a word I say, but when the person responsible for that child does nothing to admonish and correct that behaviour, it really makes me mad. Grrrr.

Anyway, conclusion? Stay away from soft play with little ones when school is out!

Rant over.