I take it all back! No more swimming or soft play!

Amid all the riot coverage yesterday, the ever-reliable Metro published a small article on p11 about the state of today’s toddlers (aka tomorrow’s looters). As far as I can see, it hasn’t been reproduced online anywhere but I’ll do my best to share its wisdom with you. According to a new survey, toddlers are “pampered but ill-fed”. In this shocking survey, it was revealed that 80% of toddlers have…wait for it….tried pizza and chips. A number of those have also tried chicken nuggets. And there’s more – parents spend £1000.00 a year on activites such as swimming and “soft play”. Hence the pamperedness of our little ones.

I was shocked and dismayed.

By the quality of the journalism, naturally. There were so many ridiculous things packed into this short article that I barely knew where to start. Right this second, i’m questioning how anyone manages to spend £1000.00 a year (£20.00 a week) on swimming and soft play. That must mean you go to one or both every day of your life. Possible but it seems that the figure is taken from a very small sample of people who do that. As for the rest of the article, well here’s my response to the Metro (almost guaranteed to not get published)


I felt I had to respond to an article on p11 of the Metro yesterday morning. Sorry the response is a bit late but, like most Londoners, I was a little preoccupied last night. So, the “shocking” claim that “80% of toddlers have tried pizza and chips”. Really?! The shocking thing is that 20% haven’t. Toddlers will try anything they see adults eat and a lot more besides. Let me share with you some other things that 80% of toddlers have tried – dirt, bubble mixture, their own bathwater (which probably contains their own pee)…I could go on. Trying pizza and chips does not make them ill-fed. If you’d said that 80% of toddlers were fed nothing but pizza and chips, that would have been an interesting point. Incidentally, pizza made well is not a bad foodstuff for toddlers (as long as you limit the salt) as it can combine all their major foodgroups.
Lets move on to the real shocker – the idea that toddlers are pampered because they’re taken swimming and to soft play. Soft play during the winter is a basic need. Toddlers need a good run-around every day and most people in London don’t have huge houses where they can do that. There’s a limit to how long you can stay in a park in the winter and the free provision (one o clock clubs etc) is being cut all the time. So, soft play is the only viable alternative. As for swimming?! That thing that exercises them and teaches them a basic survival skill? If that’s pampering then I hand in my parenting license right now. I have clearly misunderstood the whole point.
It takes nothing to make a parent feel guilty about the way they bring up their child. Please think before you publish such ill-conceived, sensationalist articles.

Kate, se11″

Today, we’ll be leaving the house and hanging around wherever’s open post-rioting. Then I might post some interesting new material and stop brooding on stupid journos. In the meantime, feel free to form your own opinions….


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7 Responses to I take it all back! No more swimming or soft play!

  1. Nathan says:

    I notice they edited out the parts that were negative about the Metro!

  2. LOL this is excellent Kate – and yes, I would be surprised if 100% of toddlers hadn’t tried chips – how ridiculous! And as for soft play, it’s a place to be avoided at all costs if you what your child to stay germ-free and nit-free!

  3. Sarah says:

    You tell ’em! What a load if crap. Great post 🙂

  4. Pingback: An addendum to my last post…. | London With a Toddler

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