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Your story is the exact reason I don't let my kids use those playgrounds. They are too small, overcrowded and the parents don't give a shit.
We should be all contributing to raising our children to be respectful and responsible. Go ahead other moms sit there and take your “break”, sip your coffee, check FB...but if your child pushes my child on purpose stand up and teach your child right from wrong and then go back to relaxing. You will see me check on my child and say “are you okay babe? Pushing isn’t nice. We need to take turns. You are okay. Keep playing love.”
If you want to tune out 100% you need to get a sitter and go shopping on your own. There is nothing wrong with that.
I find most of the mums/dads at our shopping centre playground just dump them in there, sit on the couches nearby & ignore them. And yep, I pretty much do too! Glance up every now and then to check they're not killing anyone or being killed. I reckon that's what it's there for. A quick break for you to have a coffee or look at your phone for 5 minutes after an exhausting shopping trip with kids, with them in a fenced space, away from you but in sight. They're usually quite crowded & noisy and quite often have bigger kids in there too (though they're not meant to be). If you're looking for an interactive playground experience with your kid, especially if she's still quite little and not able to defend herself, I probably wouldn't pick a shopping centre playground. Play cafe or outdoor playground might work better.
I'm someone who would say 'excuse me, don't push please'. My rule is to always know what your child is doing, and if that means following them around, so be it. But you will always come across parents that just dump their kid and ignore them.
I go by my child's abilities, I would stay close to a little one or just watch from the outside of the pen with older kids. There is always at least one unsupervised brat there. Sometimes kids escape when the gate is opened, I'm not sure why anyone would leave kids and not watch them. I think it's ok to ask a child not to push, I would be greatful if someone said that to one of mine if they were pushing.
Thanks for the responses. By the time this happened I was hovering. When a few more older kids arrived they were quite enthusiastic over my "baby" (crowding around her, patting her etc). I might stick to other places for now or just go when it's just some other babies in there.
At 14 months old I would be in there with my child. That age is too young to be alone in one of those playgrounds. There are times when it’s ok to ‘hover’ and this is one of those times.
Parents always dump their kids and ignore them. Try leaving the gate open that makes them pay attention.
I noticed my kids always got really sick playing in there. Make sure you carry the antibacterial liquid hand wash with yo and get them as soon as they come out.
OCD alert 🚨