No Children Welcome At Stones River Mall

No Children Welcome At Stones River Mall

Why you shouldn't take your kids to Stones River mall in Murfreesboro.
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Rivergate Mall, Opry Mills, Cool Springs Mall and Stones River all have something in common other than clothing and perfume stores. They all have play areas for kids. While all of these malls share this common factor, not all designated play areas are treated equally. If you have ever been in Cool Springs Mall, you can hear the squeals of children all over the mall. The same thing goes for Opry Mills. They are happy places to be a kid. However, the same cannot be said for the Stones River Mall in Murfreesboro Tennessee. In fact, speaking from personal experience, the play area should be taken down completely.

A few months ago, a few moms from the local stay at home mom group, met up for a play date at the mall. Before this particular play date, we'd had several very successful play dates that lasted a few hours and sometimes we all got lunch afterwards. This had become a favorite play date for my daughters, especially because it was big enough for my oldest, yet small enough for my youngest. It was kind of a tradition to get a slice of pizza or Chinese before leaving the mall, so lunch and play was a great combo before nap time. We also would play before or after seeing Santa or the Easter Bunny.

Naturally, setting up a play date for similar aged kids made sense, and a few moms were saying they needed to shop while we were there, so why not give our business to a place where our kids can be kids, right? Wrong.

It was a few weeks before Easter, too humid outside, and a lot of us were going stir crazy from being kept indoors during the winter. No more than fifteen kids, most preschool and under, and maybe ten moms were present when a security guard came over and told the moms to make our kids be quiet or leave. At first, it was kind of shock factor because the kids weren't jumping around; most hadn't even taken their shoes off yet. On top of the children not acting disorderly, the security guard’s whole tone and attitude weren’t a professional authoritative one, but rather a bullying and demanding one.

I left a review about this experience on their Facebook page and did get a few responses from it. Turns out, there are moms who swear they'll never go back because the same thing happened to them. The marketing person for the mall did respond to my review saying that we should try one of their kid clubs or check out Chuck E. Cheese. Their exact wording was that it is "also a great, enclosed location for kids to act as kids do."

After my response of possibly tearing the play area down to not attract kids towards the area, I was messaged personally from a person in their marketing department, and offered tickets to Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and a free 5x7 print. While this might have been appetizing to some moms, I felt it wasn't enough because my kids weren't the only ones involved in this situation.

One mom, who wishes to not be named, had driven from Shelbyville Tennessee to meet up with a few moms and let her kids play. She had brought her oldest son, who has high functioning autism, prepared with books and school work to occupy him. While she was turned around trying to help her toddlers take their shoes off, a security guard asked her older son to leave the area immediately. Following orders, he did so. When the mom turned around, her son was nowhere to be found. Luckily he was not too far off, but things could have been much worse.

Since our said incident in March, things have continuously gotten worse. I am constantly seeing my news feed fill up with how Stones River isn't the place to be, or how the security guards have mocked the children. The only reason I have personally been back is because of a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. Early last week, Susie King of Murfreesboro Tennessee, brought her two sons, six and four, to play at the play area after buying a lawn mower. She estimates that there were 12 to 15 children present, all small enough to play, and all playing very well. They were there for about five minutes before the manager of the mall came over and started shouting at the parents. The manager stated that, “you parents need to get your kid's noise levels under control.” Of course, five minutes after that incident, a security guard came over and told everyone to leave immediately because the play area needed to be cleaned. Before being escorted out of the mall by security, King told the manager of the mall that she would be contacting the mall ownership regarding what happened only to be told that the manager didn’t care.

Sound familiar? The exact same situation that happened to the local mom group only months prior, when all parents present would tell you that the kids were acting fine and at an acceptable noise level. The only difference in King’s experience and my experience is that we left before they could give us the transparent excuse that the play area needed to be cleaned. As a mental note and reminder to all parents in middle Tennessee, if you need to shop and have younger kids in tow, check out Stones River’s Facebook page before deciding to go there. Opt for Opry Mills or Cool Springs instead, they have better selections, upgraded space, and would love to have your children there.

Cover Image Credit: Jennifer Newkirk Haley

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.
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I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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You Should Love Hard, But You Shouldn't Drive Yourself Crazy

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Relationships are never easy. There is always this misconception that couples that are "meant to be" or friends who vibe well never struggle or fight.

The term "compatibility" is subjective, and it can take on many definitions based on different perspectives. Even the most compatible pair has their fair share of rough times, too, when they just feel like eliminating the other party's existence.

That may be exaggerative, but it's true. Been there, done that.

Sometimes, love is not enough to make a relationship work. Other fundamental elements like trust, mutual respect and commitment are necessary too.

They are the most precarious characteristics in this world. Once broken or lost, it will be an uphill battle trying to rebuild them again.

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People who tend to be emotionally generous and show affections to their partners easily have a harder time when the relationship ends. Why is this so?

When you are loving without caution, you expose all your vulnerabilities to him/her. You're allowing him/her to have access to your inner world. You're loving hard, which undeniably should be the best way to love anyone.

But it got to the extent where you're almost driving yourself insane. You're so used to facing disappointment, and your heart has been shattered so many times you already lost count. You stayed despite knowing that he/she, on the other hand, would never go that far for you. You knew how calculative he/she was with giving love. You fought against yourself.

Was this really worth it?

You're pushing yourself into a corner for someone who just can't be bothered. You're constantly seeking him/her for closure. At times, you're just turned away.

This lack of clarity about why the relationship ended incurs greater pain and distress.

Loving hard is how love should be. I don't deny that. However, we still have to have control over our emotions.

You have already given your all. You have done more than enough to prove your love for him/her. What you should understand is that a person who left you in emotional despair would not be there for you, even if you both managed to reconcile.

Continue to wear your heart on your sleeve, but take accountability of your emotions. Love can drive us nuts and make us do things out of character.

If someone truly loves you and cares, he/she will never make you feel desperate or crazy. You will never have to beg for the closure that should be already given. Always bear this in mind.

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