Every Friday we take Isabelle to a local play group. This particular play group is divided into two rooms for different ages. Now they have a baby sensory room and a room for older toddlers with outside space to for them to run around.
The baby room is usually a tranquil place to be with babies exploring and making new friends. It really is a lovely place to be, well not today. Today it was loud and hectic, lots of babies in the baby room accompanied by older children to. This usually wouldn’t bother me as the older children are usually very well behaved around the babies and cautious of their surroundings. Today was different, there appeared to be a new group of ladies with older children and babies in the room, yes they had every right to be there to and its understandable that they wanted their babies to be in the baby room. They were made very welcome but they chose to stay together in a group with their babies whilst their older children ran riot.
It was the first time Isabelle had ever encountered hostility from another child, today from no less than 5 children. I am usually a very relaxed parent and understand that older children get frustrated with babies and often have a streak of jealousy of the attention the babies get. Today I was annoyed that parents sat back and didn’t keep an eye on their children. Poor Isabelle and other babies were pushed over, had toys, taken from them, were hit and had toys thrown at them. Even the play group leaders found it hard to control these older children, the group leaders were very aware of the situation and provided us with a sincere apology and a firm acknowledgement that the matter would be addressed with those parents.
Now I don’t want them excluded from the room as it’s also theirs to enjoy time with their babies, I just wanted them to also pay attention to the other children in the room. I feel it is such a shame, we love playgroup and believe that children of all ages should be able to play together. Isabelle loves watching the older children play, she is transfixed by them but when parents are not watching their children I do not want my daughter to get hurt. Luckily at this age Isabelle is too young to understand and wont take anything to heart.