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Interaction at the coffee shop - what would you have done? - Page 3

post #41 of 191
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Kate View Post
But we're not talking about a large piece of play equipment here. The "large boat" was small enough that a small boy could grab and move it away.
It was a cheap thing made of plastic. My toddler could probably have moved it. The salient point is that it was large enough and built in such a way that it could easily have accommodated all of the kids who wanted to play with it.
post #42 of 191
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
So, if you were sitting at a table at the cafe chatting with a friend and the 5 year old's mother sat down at your table and started to talk to you, how would you feel? Do you think that because you're in a public space, you need to share your table and not exclude her, because she has as much right to be there as you have? Or is the burden then on you to move to a different table if you want to chat alone with your friend (although the other woman may follow you there)?
I really feel that this is a poor analogy. When an adult goes to a cafe and chats with a friend, there is no expectation or social norm that you need to accommodate strangers, and include them in your conversation. (Although interestingly, if you were in a cafe in mainland Europe, and it was full, it is expected that patrons share tables with others, on the very basis that "he has a right to a seat as much as I do." But I digress.)

However, in this particular coffee shop, the whole point of the children's play area is that all of the toys are available to all of the children. The expectation is that yes, if a toy is large enough that another child can join in without you having you to stop playing with the toy, it is shared. If it was a single-person toy, there would not be an expectation that someone drops the toy to hand it over to my child (as I explained in the OP, when my daughter did do this, I gave the toy right back.)

I must confess to being somewhat surprised, actually, by the responses I'm seeing. But all good food for thought!
post #43 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Really?
I say that because the OP went over and told the boy that the toys were public and therefore he was wrong (and clearly from the discussion here, that is her opinion and not a universal belief). The child went to his mother and didn't continue to play because of that. The least the OP could've done is try to convince the children to play together. I just don't think anything the boy did was wrong or mean in any way.

[QUOTE=North_Of_60;14846734]

I actually think having a board game in a public play house for kids is an odd activity since it's so exclusive, but if a couple of kids were already in the middle of a game, I would not allow my child to barge in. However, there is no logical reason why a kid can't join in with imaginary play at a toy kitchen, except for the kids already playing with it wanting to hog it, and that's not cool.


Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
But I don't think the 2 year old in question was being rude. She was being a typical toddler and wanted to play with other kids with a toy that had more than enough room to accommodate her. They wanted to purposely exclude her for no other reason than because they didn't want to play with her. It's not even remotely similar to playing a board game that can't be stopped/started once it's in motion. They just didn't want her to play, and I think that's mean.

I don't know. I'm still not sure what was going on at the toy if that makes sense. Were there pirates with it and the children had a scene staged and acting it out? That's the sort of play I'm imagining from the description, and in that case, a 1YO can't really "join in," though 3-4 children playing together may be able to use the toy together. It's hard to know without a full description of the toy, but I don't think it's as large as something like a play kitchen that the children actually fit in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post

Yes, I too generally avoid people who create little clicks and ignore me (or better yet, actually tell me I'm not wanted there.. like the children in the OP did) when I sit down in an empty chair at a BBQ.
I would never say you weren't welcome, though I can understand my 4YO saying that. It's just that I may be having a private conversation with someone and not want interference. As adults, most of us have learned to read that kind of signal from other people, but children have to learn how to do that.
post #44 of 191
The few times a place has been crowded and someone I didn't know asked to sit at my table, I have said yes. Mostly, I have ended up chatting. Or I've seen one person looking around for a table in a packed coffee place and offered a chair.

I don't get to live in a bubble. If a place is packed and someone needs a place to sit down and drink coffee and I have a free chair, why wouldn't I offer it or at least say yes when asked?

People NEED to remember how to deal with the rest of the world. We don't get to live in bubbles and we shouldn't.

My daughter is four in two weeks. She ALWAYS wants to hit up those group toys in bookstores and coffee places and I ALWAYS remind her that everyone is allowed to play. If someone tries to take something out of her hand, I don't mind her hanging on to it or asking for it back but if someone else wants space at the table, ya make room. It's not ours, it's for everyone. I have had to remind her that a. smaller children are less sturdy on their feet so don't bump them and b. they sometimes don't understand sharing so be patient. So far, she seems to get the whole idea of public toys are for everyone, but possibly it's because that's how we've always done it.
post #45 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
My daughter is four in two weeks. She ALWAYS wants to hit up those group toys in bookstores and coffee places and I ALWAYS remind her that everyone is allowed to play. If someone tries to take something out of her hand, I don't mind her hanging on to it or asking for it back but if someone else wants space at the table, ya make room. It's not ours, it's for everyone. I have had to remind her that a. smaller children are less sturdy on their feet so don't bump them and b. they sometimes don't understand sharing so be patient. So far, she seems to get the whole idea of public toys are for everyone, but possibly it's because that's how we've always done it.
We do this with train tables as well (every store here seems to have one). We explain to DC that they should share the engines and cars. There have been many times, however, when parents of toddlers (and I didn't allow this when my children were toddlers) want to drive over the other kids' trains or wreck their trains (basically make them fall off the track). My son gets really upset by that, and I don't think it's good or fair or whatever term we want to use. It's inappropriate, and it bothers me when the parents just smile as if their toddler knocking something over is part of the game. Some even say, "he's just having fun." Okay, well he's also being rude. Maybe that's coloring my perception, but that's the sort of thing I'd be thinking if my children were playing and a toddler who'd already taken one toy and had to be stopped by her mom from taking others came up to something my kids had in motion.

I've actually become much more abrupt about it. We went to a play area last weekend with hundreds of giant Lego-like toys. My DD (35 months) was building a structure, and this boy, maybe an older 1/younger 2 came over and knocked it over. He actually had to hit it twice. He dad smiled and said, "he likes to knock things over." When DD said, "he knocked over my building" with little tears coming, I said, "some people haven't learned how to play in groups. You can build it again, but watch out for him." The boy's parents seemed miffed, but ya know, it's just not cute. I'm not going to giggle at it, certainly not when my child is about to cry over it. So, yeah, I'm probably using my own experiences here, but I feel parents of older infants and younger toddlers often think behavior is okay because it's age-appropriate, but that doesn't mean what they're doing doesn't sting to the older child.
post #46 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
We went to a play area last weekend with hundreds of giant Lego-like toys. My DD (35 months) was building a structure, and this boy, maybe an older 1/younger 2 came over and knocked it over. He actually had to hit it twice. He dad smiled and said, "he likes to knock things over." When DD said, "he knocked over my building" with little tears coming, I said, "some people haven't learned how to play in groups. You can build it again, but watch out for him." The boy's parents seemed miffed, but ya know, it's just not cute. I'm not going to giggle at it, certainly not when my child is about to cry over it. So, yeah, I'm probably using my own experiences here, but I feel parents of older infants and younger toddlers often think behavior is okay because it's age-appropriate, but that doesn't mean what they're doing doesn't sting to the older child.
Even though it's age appropriate, I would have been mortified if my toddler destroyed something another child was building. While there's not really much you can practically do to prevent it sometimes (toddlers are fast!) the least the parent could do is respect the CRYING CHILD'S feelings and apologize. It makes me really sad how many parents think that their child is the only person in the universe, and it's such a bad lesson for the child! If it were my toddler, it's not like I'd punish them (as I said, it is age appropriate), but I'd at least do my best to model appropriate levels of sympathy and apology.

I find this thread very interesting... if only because I've never seen a coffee house with toys in it! In playspace situations like this, I think it's great when kids play together but I don't think it's a requirement, especially with such a wide age difference. I think that it was inappropriate for OP to insist that the older children let the toddler ruin their game. I mean, a not even 2 year old doesn't even parallel play yet, let alone play with other children. In order to "play with" the toddler, the older children would have had to completely stop their game and started entertaining her. That's just not their job.

I think maybe I also don't understand how big this pirate ship was. Was it something to climb on? Or just a Playmobile sort of thing on the floor?
post #47 of 191
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I think that it was inappropriate for OP to insist that the older children let the toddler ruin their game. In order to "play with" the toddler, the older children would have had to completely stop their game and started entertaining her.
What on earth are you talking about? Did you even read my posts? My child had not even touched the pirate ship before this child pushed it away from her. I was sitting less than 3 feet away during this entire interaction - and I have already stated that I would (and did) intervene if necessary. Do you actually think that pointing out that my child can play along side means that I was "insisting that she ruin their game"? And I intended for them to stop playing in order to entertain my child? Give me a break.
post #48 of 191
hmmmm.... i can see both sides.

on one hand, the boy could have been being exclusionary and rude.

on the other hand, he could have been setting an appropriate boundary and communicating his needs.

i think it really depends on the intent and manner of the child.

i would certainly allow my child to communicate his needs to another as in, "i'd really like to play with this by myself now." and i've also seen bratty older kids deliberately being jerks to younger kids because they can.

s
post #49 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
The expectation is that yes, if a toy is large enough that another child can join in without you having you to stop playing with the toy, it is shared.
I hear that that's your expectation... it doesn't sound like the other family shared it.

And it didn't seem that the play area was so crowded that there weren't any other toys for the toddler to play with... my hypothetical situation assumes open tables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
Maybe that's coloring my perception, but that's the sort of thing I'd be thinking if my children were playing and a toddler who'd already taken one toy and had to be stopped by her mom from taking others came up to something my kids had in motion.
Yeah, that... bigger kids (and those kids were still pretty little, really) also have the right to play undisturbed. And I think saying that a pirate ship small enough for a toddle to move around is big enough for 3 kids to play with is a matter of opinion... if we were talking about a piece of playground equipment, yeah, but this sounds like the kids would all have to be pretty close to each other.
post #50 of 191
At 21 months the OP's dtr is young enough for distraction. I think that at this age the kindest action would have been distracting the 21 month old to another toy until the older two were done. If she kept toddling back I might have negotiated with the older kids but really, it probably would have used less emotional energy just to direct the toddler to another toy.
post #51 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
What on earth are you talking about? Did you even read my posts? My child had not even touched the pirate ship before this child pushed it away from her. I was sitting less than 3 feet away during this entire interaction - and I have already stated that I would (and did) intervene if necessary. Do you actually think that pointing out that my child can play along side means that I was "insisting that she ruin their game"? And I intended for them to stop playing in order to entertain my child? Give me a break.
I'm still a little unclear on how big this pirate ship was, but assuming it wasn't a large climbing structure, but was a smaller floor toy, it really isn't all that practical to think that a toddler could play side by side with older children. And as other people pointed out, your toddler had already tried to snatch a toy, so it was reasonable for the older children to assume she would do it again. That's just what toddlers do.

I guess I just disagree with you that it wouldn't have been disruptive to the older children to have a toddler playing with the same toy at the same time that they were playing with it. They, imo, had the right to want to continue playing the game they were already playing. When I am in situations where my 2yo wants to play with older kids, and they don't seem particularly receptive, I redirect to other toys.
post #52 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
What on earth are you talking about? Did you even read my posts? My child had not even touched the pirate ship before this child pushed it away from her
But she'd already grabbed a toy once before, and it makes perfect sense that the boy would expect her to do it again.

And how do you imagine they all were going to play together? When 5 year olds play, they often incorporate items that they aren't actively touching - like a picnic table might be set up for dinner, or a figure might be sitting in the crow's nest being the watchman. An older child can see this and understand it - a one year old will see the toy as unused and pick it up, or push it over. What would you do, then, if your daughter picks up the watchman and the 5 year old says, "No! He has to stay there so they don't crash!"?

It sounds like a recipe for disaster... if older kids decide to include a toddler in a game like this appears to be, it does take work on their part, and these kids seemed like they just wanted to play. Yeah, it's nice when older kids want to take time to play with a little one, but they shouldn't be forced to... just like we don't force adults to chat with the toddler who wanders over to them in a public place.
post #53 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
So, if you were sitting at a table at the cafe chatting with a friend and the 5 year old's mother sat down at your table and started to talk to you, how would you feel? Do you think that because you're in a public space, you need to share your table and not exclude her, because she has as much right to be there as you have? Or is the burden then on you to move to a different table if you want to chat alone with your friend (although the other woman may follow you there)?
This analogy makes no sense to me. I'm not going to a restaurant to sit with and socialize with strangers.

Isn't that the point with play houses/parks? To let kids play with other kids? It has never dawned on me to take my daughter to a place like that with the intent of letting her stake claim on A toy and exclude other children in the process. She can do that at home without ruining the social experience for other children (and when she's gone through phases of wanting solitary play, the park is the LAST place we go!).

I mean, at these play houses isn't there an assumption that there will be other children playing on and sharing the equipment? And isn't it expected at these places that children will want to make friends by attempting to play with other kids? That's a pretty kid thing to do isn't it?

Since when is it expected that strangers will sit down at my table in a restaurant? The two don't seem comparable.

Kids want to play with other kids. Isn't that the POINT of these places?

If two children want to play with A toy alone, take them to a quiet park and find a place off to the side where they can play relatively uninterrupted. It seems like taking them to a public play house where the toys are expected to be shared, and where kids will want to play with other kids, most of the times in varying age groups, is probably NOT a good idea for the type of play they want.

Why take children into a social setting if they don't want to play in a social manner? That just seems like an altercation waiting to happen.

If I ever went to an establishment where it's common for people to plop down next to strangers at the table and start chatting (though I can't really think of a place like that) I wouldn't complain if that very thing happened. I'd just leave!
post #54 of 191
I believe children have the right to boundaries and it is important for children to understand it is not all about them. You can not play with or take whatever you want when you want and you need to respect other children. I would have redirected my 2 year old.
post #55 of 191
Um, it was a cafe, not a play park. The OP said it was a coffee shop with a kids' play area. I went to them often with Rain when she was little. Usually it was because we were out and about, doing errands or whatever, and we wanted to take a break and have a snack and relax for a bit. We never went to go find other kids to play with. It sounded to me like this was the same sort of place - the OP didn't mention kids besides hers and the other two siblings.
post #56 of 191
Interesting thread.

In my opinion:

1) The pirate ship is a red herring. I'm guessing OP's daughter didn't actually want to play with the ship specifically so much as play with whatever the other kids were playing with and/or play with the other kids. With kids, often whatever someone else is holding is the best toy in the toy chest. As evidence, OP's DD already attempted to grab a toy out of another child's hand--a toy that she would not be use or understand.

2) The older children didn't want to play with a toddler. That's perfectly understandable and allowable. There's no rule that you have to like everyone. Taking turns on a slide is one thing, but 4 or 5 year old should not be expected to stop their fun to entertain a stranger toddler.

--> So really, I feel that the only thing OP could have done is redirect her child. The older children would not have had fun playing with her DD. Nor should they be expected to. If they had moved onto another toy, the scenario would have repeated itself ad nauseum.
post #57 of 191
If a toy is small enough for a 5 yo to grab, it isn't an automatically shared toy.

Automatically shared toys are really big things with room to not disrupt others while playing: train tables (pretty much the smallest item I'd put in this category,) those big cubes with bead mazes and stuff sticking out on all side, most playground apparatus (though not all, at one playground near us, there are cars that though there is technically room for a few kids in, if the first kid in it wants to do his own thing it is disruptive to have other hop on it.) I've never seen a toy pirate ship that would fit into that category.
post #58 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by slylives View Post
It was a cheap thing made of plastic. My toddler could probably have moved it. The salient point is that it was large enough and built in such a way that it could easily have accommodated all of the kids who wanted to play with it.
So my kid must entertain your child? She doesn't have the ability to play with another child, she isn't 2 yet. They were playing a game and you allowed your child to stop all the play, so that she could have her way.
post #59 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Um, it was a cafe, not a play park. The OP said it was a coffee shop with a kids' play area. I went to them often with Rain when she was little. Usually it was because we were out and about, doing errands or whatever, and we wanted to take a break and have a snack and relax for a bit. We never went to go find other kids to play with. It sounded to me like this was the same sort of place - the OP didn't mention kids besides hers and the other two siblings.
It sounds a little different than what I'm thinking of. The place I'm thinking of is a large play house. It's not just small little kids area to keep kids entertained while you order your coffee. It's essentially and indoor park with lots and lots of toys. The coffee shop is secondary.
post #60 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
Isn't that the point with play houses/parks? To let kids play with other kids?
No, it isn't. I take my kids to the local playspace for a change of scenery and because I don't have to clean up. Sometimes I meet another mother there for a little playdate, but I wouldn't expect children I don't even know to entertain my toddler. My 2.5yo can't even play with other children appropriately: she's come into her parallel play developmental stage but no further. A 22 month old isn't even at parallel play yet. A 22 month old only CAN play by herself: interactions with other people are, by definition, solely on her terms.

Anyway, this wasn't even a playspace. It was a coffee shop that provided some toys. It provides those toys as a service to the parents, so they can drink their coffee while their kids are happy. If children from different families want to play together, that's great. However, if a child who isn't even old enough to play with other children is using the toys, IMO the onus is on the parent of that child to keep that child happy. The other children were playing happily, and they were entirely within their rights to not want to drop everything to entertain a child who isn't even two, which is what they would have had to do.
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