Mall play area rant.
Written on October 5, 2006 by Kevin.
We have been taking Rylan to the mall frequently over the past couple of months so that he could get plenty of walking time. As mentioned in the past, we feel that this has helped him significantly. He now roams the area by himself at his own pace.
The play are is designated for children under 42" tall but my wife and I are always commenting on the fact that there are older children as well. Some of these kids were atleast 10-13 years old, definitely surpassing the maximum height. These kids likely weighting more than 3 times Rylan's weight running around and jumping off of things. Call it old age kicking in but this is a disaster waiting to happen. My wife and I are always confused on how this type of play area would be fun for such older kids. We don't understand that the parents themselves don't understand that the area was made for babies/toddlers and not their over-energized kids.
Yesterday, we took Rylan back to the mall during the afternoon and we were surprised at how many children where there. One thing we noticed was that there were numerous kids ranging from 10-13 running around. These kids just didn't fit in here and I noticed multiple other people starring at them likely thinking the same thing.
I decided to stand up for all of the little kiddos and when one of the girls tried to push me out of the way, I decided to stand firm and let her run into me at which time I told her that this play area was not for her and that she was taller than the sign says she can be. She acknowledged me and said she knew. Soon after, her and her friends took off making noise in other parts of the mall. I felt a bit of accomplishment getting her to leave and being the only parent willing to stand up for my kid's safety. Why did all of the other parents just sit there? More importantly is why were those kids not in school at the time?
Rylan finished up our mall trip with alot of interaction with other kids. Normally he sits back as other kids come up to him but this last time he was chasing after other kids. He saw a young girl holding a sippy cup and went after it. The look on her face was priceless.