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I enjoy a quiet cup of coffee too. Edited to add.

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Last Friday was our DS's third birthday, so DH and  I took him swimming at the local pool with some friends and then headed to McDonalds for lunch.  We ordered our food and sat in the kids play area so the little ones could run around.  

There were a lot of kids in the playroom.  In addition to the 4 kids in our group, there were probably another 10-12 kids playing.  They weren't all playing nicely, some of the older ones were really picking on the younger ones.  I even commented to my husband that the kids seemed to outnumber the adults by about 4 to 1.

Anyhow, about 1/2 hour after we arrived a woman came into the playroom and called out "okay kids, 5 minutes" and left.  I watched her walk to a table in the restaurant area and sit down with another woman.  Five minutes later, she came back and told the kids that they were leaving.  After some complaining and whining, five kids (I would guess between the ages of 5 and 10) came out of the play structure and left with the woman. Two of them were the kids that were causing most of the arguing and fighting.

I was really kind of shocked and almost said something to this woman, but wasn't sure if that was my place to do so.  

Anyhow, I guess my question is this?  Do you allow your children to play unsupervised in a restaurant play area?  If yes, why do you feel this is okay?  

EDIT TO ADD:  I am actually surprised at the number of parents who allow their children to play unsupervised in the play areas.  I honestly thought this woman was just an anomally and that the majority of parents would never dream of doing this.

Maybe their play structures are different than the one I was at.  The one at the McDonalds is basically a huge, enclosed climbing structure with slides.  Even while sitting in the play area, it is difficult to see your kids.  The only way to really know what they are doing is to listen.  It's really hard to supervise your children when there is a soundproof glass wall between them and you.  And  maybe there are no signs, like the one at McDonalds that specifically states that children are not to be left unattended in the play area and that they must be supervised at all times.

I personally don't get it.  Like I said in the title of my post, I really do enjoy a quiet cup of coffee (which, BTW hasn't happened since the day my son was born) but I would never shirk my responsibilities as a parent just to have one.  

And to those parents who do allow their children to play unsupervised, take a moment to think about the parents who are in the playroom keeping an eye on things.  Who do you think has to act as referee when your children are arguing or fighting with our children?

by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Replies (21-30):
by Ruby Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:20 AM
Yes I have. The Burger King near me has all glass around the play area so I could see them the whole time. The area itself, to me, smells like really dirty feet, I can't be in there. We go there maybe a few times a year, not much at all.
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by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM

i never let my kids play in those things, i have heard too many horror stories about those playspaces...but if i did allow it, i would stay there and supervise, because anyting can happen in a few seconds. 

by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Yes, I would allow my kids to play unsupervised.  My six year old, also, plays outside with the neighborhood kids unsupervised.  

by Sandy on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:19 AM

 No I don't allow them to play like that unsupervised. I get my quiet cup of coffee every morning before they wake up.

by Silver Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:41 AM

At three years old, I didn't.    But, once they were school age, I often sat inside with a friend while our children played in the play area.    We could see them clearly and intervened if they behaved inappropriately.

by Gold Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:47 AM
No, I will wait in the entry way ( all of the ones close to me are door less, no soundproof glass)while they get our order done and then sit in the play area. My kids are the good ones, but they can still get into mischief, and did is still very young so I like to make sure she isn't going to get hurt. Its loud yes, but if I'm a McDonald's I'm not there for a quiet cup and girl time. I'll go to Starbucks or the local cafe for that. Mcdonalds is for the kids.
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by Silver Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 2:50 PM

No and it's not allowed anyway. If you would have spoken to the manager, they would have told her to go watch her kids (if you would have known it was her). The few times we have been, there is an older woman that brings about 7 kids with her and she stays in the room, but she talks with other adults and doesn't watch her babysitting kids. They go around to people's tables and take food and she doesn't let them into the bathroom when they're saying they need to go and she doesn't tell them to stop running and yelling. I can't stand to go because of her.

by Silver Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM

 I did that too at that age. My kids would be outside with other kids by themselves for hours from the time they were in 1st grade or so.

Quoting A_McCool:

Yes, I would allow my kids to play unsupervised.  My six year old, also, plays outside with the neighborhood kids unsupervised.  


by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 3:27 PM

I don't take my kids to resturants with play areas, in fact we rarely eat out. My kids all have food allergies and there would be little they could eat there anyway. Our playgroup goes to an indoor playgroud here in town(it's just a playground not a resturant) and we always sit out there with them.

by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 3:30 PM

When they were younger I would take them into those little places to play at Burger King and such and I would always stay in the play area with them and watch them..

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