Parenting Random Ramblings

Should Children ‘Play’ When Out And About?

As I mentioned in Operation Makeover, we’re looking to make a few changes around the house, breathing a little new life into each room, throughout the course of the year. So, as the husband had a day off, we though it’d be useful to pop over to a local retail park and check out Next Home and Ikea for some ideas and inspiration.

On the way over, I took a rare stand and removed Boo’s Disney CD and replaced it with one my own – horror of horrors! So while she pretended to sulk, Little Man and I had a dance and I sang happily all the way down the M6! It was a fun start to our outing, and as children do, even trips like this can be turned into great adventures for them, especially when they have each other to play and giggle with.

ikea trip

Whether they were in or out of the trolley, snacking in the cafe or testing out the toys, they laughed. It was a lovely afternoon, marred only be one small niggle. A comment. By a stranger.

Boo and Little Man were jumping on a huge children’s pouffe, giggling raucously, and doing it over and over. I was across in another staged room, eyeing up a rather lovely bookcase (more of that in another post!), and the Husband was with them. I enjoyed hearing them so happy. I should stress that’s all they were doing. They weren’t in anyone’s way (it was Ikea on a Monday afternoon, so hardly the busiest of places), they weren’t doing anything to mess with displays or potentially break any items, they weren’t wildly jumping on sofas and furniture, they were just playing with a kids toy (I should also stress that the TV in the photos isn’t real – I’m not mad enough to let a toddler do that!) A woman walked passed the Husband and muttered to him ‘control your children’. It was fortunate it was not me it was muttered to, as I’m not quite as laid-back as my lovely Husband.

I would ask, ‘Why?’ And are children of 4 and 1 meant to be ‘controlled’? As long as they’re safe and happy, and not hurting anyone or anything else, isn’t that OK? They were making a potentially dull trip into a fun game, and yes they were noisy because they were laughing so hard, but since when has that been a crime? I love seeing their ability to transform the mundane into the magical. I revel in it. They are well-behaved, they are polite, and I’d say we err on the side of being strict parents rather than go-with-the-flow, but, and it’s a big but, they are also young children. So they play, they have fun, and if it’s OK to do so, they have free rein with that, and we like to join in.

It did leave me wondering if this lady had any children and grandchildren of her own, and how much fun their childhoods would have been…

Has this happened to you? Do you allow your kids to play when you’re out and about?

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  1. Fiona @ Free Range Chick February 4, 2014
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