Can I just share one of my biggest pet peeves with you?
Let me first say that I almost NEVER criticize how people parent. I believe in freedom and that we should be able to raise our children as we see fit without a whole lot of criticism and judgment from others. It's none of my business what you do, unless you're seriously abusing your child. Then, it would be wrong if I never did anything about it. But for the most part, I don't form opinions about others and the way they raise their kids.
But I'm going to let loose here and vent about an experience I had today when these prepubescent boys were putting my fragile little baby girl in danger! I have a real problem with parents who allow their children to do this...
I can't stand when I take my 20 month old to the mall, to those enclosed play areas for toddlers and small children, and there are big, rowdy, usually unchaperoned (and sometimes they are chaperoned...this bugs me the most) kids running and jumping around, amidst all these toddling babies and rambunctious preschoolers! Now, I can take it if there are a couple of 5 or maybe even a 6 year olds on the loose. But when there are 12 year old boys running and leaping and chasing each other and jumping over babies, this just infuriates me!
What makes me the angriest is when these parents, who actually have some toddlers running around, also allow their older child to do the same. You may ask, "Well, do you expect the older sibling to just sit there and watch while their little brother or sister plays? That's not fair." Well, yes I do expect them to. For one thing, it's posted very clearly on the "rules poster" that children over the age of 4 are not permitted in the play area. So, you're teaching your children to disobey the rules? You know, there are reasons for rules. One of which is, your big footed, 100 pound 12 year old running and jumping around could seriously hurt my unknowing little 20 month old baby! Parents, don't you have any common sense?
Just to let you know, there is NO ONE in that whole play enclosure that is just totally fine with your big ol' kid rowdily playing around their small child, ok? We are all seething underneath and whispering under our breath about you and why in the world you'd allow your child to do that. We are all giving you and your child dirty looks and just daring them to step on our baby, cause then all hell's gonna break loose! It's not totally fine, ok? It's wrong and inconsiderate and you need to tell them that they need to act their age and sit their butt down! Now, I have seen some older siblings carefully following alongside their little baby brothers and sisters, assisting them on the toys and making sure they don't run out of the enclosure, etc. And if they do forget, and get a little carried away, their parent jumps right in and reminds them that they're too big for that. I love seeing this! The older kids, acting their age and their parents acting like adults. But in my experience, the parents that allow this are for the most part on their phone or texting. They could care less what their child is doing. This is so selfish and bad parenting. Not only are you not watching your little one, you're not watching to see what the older one is doing. Or they just aren't present at all. Their kids are free to run around the mall unsupervised and they think it's just hilarious to kick off their shoes and romp around with the babies. Well, it's not going to be hilarious when one of them seriously hurts a baby, and your butt winds up in court.
So be an adult, be a parent, be considerate, have some common sense, teach your children to follow rules and don't allow your older children to play in the toddler play area!