Since when has a mall play area turned into a battlefield?!

Oh my, where do I begin?! So my husband, mother, two daughters and I went to the mall yesterday. It was a lovely Saturday afternoon and a perfect time to take our 23 month old and 6 week old girls out together to get some practice in toting two kids along. At the end of our mall outing I thought it would be a lovely idea to take our eldest to the mall's play area. The play area is called "Mister Roger's Neighborhood," and it was anything but a beautiful day in this particular neighborhood...The sign clearly states that no children over 48 inches are allowed on the premises, yet there were 4th, 5th, even 6th grade kids ripping, running, climbing jumping, leaping, flipping and soaring through the play area, terrorizing the very children that the facility was made for. My daughter almost got crushed on the head by an upper elementary-aged boy who was walking on top of the trolley and thought it would be a brilliant idea to try to do a spilt as a grand finale. My child was so traumatized that she just stood in the midst of the madness in a total state of shock, and I have to say that I too was in both shock and absolute disgust at what I was witnessing and experiencing. That disgust went to another level once I spoke with a grandmother who was sitting outside of the play area. She explained to me that she was unable to stay inside with her granddaughter because a security guard came by and told her she was not allowed to have water on the premises. REALLY DUDE???!!! Did you not see all of these big kids storming around here UNSUPERVISED???!!! And yes, that was also a requirement; children were to be supervised by an adult "at all times."

Where were the parents/grandparents/guardians? Why did they even bring their older kids to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood? Why the heck did those big kids even want to play in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood? That doesn't strike me as cool hangout for them. There were so many layers of "wrong" to this scene that my head started spinning. There were adults not watching over their kids. There wasn't a person hired by the mall to overlook the play area, yet a security guard shows up to yell at a grandma for drinking water.

Since when has a mall play area turned into a battlefield? Since malls started cutting corners by not hiring people to monitor the premises in order to save money. Since some parents have decided to use the play area as a place to dump off their kids so they can text and shop to their heart's content instead of using the play area as a place for fun, exploration and social time for their children. SMH