Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Too good to share, but I have to! - Cresta Family Room

Cresta Shopping Centre
The new Cresta Family Room facility is a place I want to keep to myself. But... It would be selfish, and Little Miss won't be needing it that much any more. (I wish there was such a facility when she was a baby and a toddler.)

The Cresta Family Room is the oasis all parents want and need while they are shopping. A safe free haven for 45 minutes available to all to go to when you need to.
- There will be a concierge looking after the facility to only let parents with children through.
You are able to: 
- Change the diaper
- Heat up food or a bottle
- Breastfeeding
- Playing
- Resting
- Family toilet (which won't be inaccessible because of workers or selfish adults using it!). This one we will also still make use of!
- Breathing space for the little ones (AND big ones!) This too!
- Cool "prize" to the little ones after a shopping trip!

I was invited to the launch of the Cresta Family Room, but that's not why I am sharing it here. I think it is my duty to notify all parents about something that should be in all shopping malls.
Cresta Family Room launch
Play area at Cresta Family Room

Virginia Bester, General Manager of Cresta Shopping Centre
Nikki Bush, the parenting expert, had a few good pointers (Commandments) when taking children to a shopping mall:

Nikki Bush about smart shopping as a parent
(OR: Parenting on the run)

1.    Avoid rush hour if possible.
2.    Make shopping an outing after nap time. Children need to have outings. Make shopping an outing!
3.    Please work around your children's routine.
4.    Be prepared like McGyver. Never take a hungry child shopping. Let child eat before taking him  to a restaurant.
5.    Keep refreshments on hand.
6.    Hunt in pairs - mum, partner, etc - to help with watching, carrying, distraction.
7.    Have a plan when shopping. Need to be strategic! Include children in planning. Get them to Memorize when 7 or 8. What shops did we visit? (Use their grey matter)
8.    Remember to take a break. Just be with family.
9.    Set rules/boundaries/scene before reaching the Shopping Centre - scenario planning as CEO of family. Predictability which gives security. Rewards that can dangle before kids. Go to pet shops, play area, toy store. Do not have to buy. Window shopping is fun! Need to learn to wait. Bubble gum machine also fine.
10.    Need to be the boss of the show! Parents feeling stressed, guilty but not building emotional intelligence. Use your tone of voice! Calm. Assertive. Lower your voice! Keep your sanity and keep it secure! Stranger danger - opportunity to teach children. Do not play hide and seek!

According to Nikki Bush it is entirely possible to have quality time with children while you are "a parent on the run".
She inspired me to look at my shopping experiences with Little Miss in a different light! It is not always easier when they are bigger, because they want to have a say! About every-thing!
(Or is just us?)

Check out the Family Room at the Food and Entertainment Court at Cresta. I hope the signage will be up, but it is into the same passage as the general toilets. (You will know when you find it!)

1 comment:

  1. Ah this sounds so interesting! I have been past it but didn't realise it had family toilets. We always go upstairs for that. Will check it out. Thanks!


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