Playgrounds are meant to be fun. They are meant to be enjoyed with your children. However, my last few occurrences at them, have been less than thrilling.
Somewhere there has to be a playground etiquette book! And if not, Im writing one, and then handing them out to everyone at the playground!
1) Lets start with last night. The kids were promised a trip to the park after dinner, and after it cooled off. We arrive to the park and I get out of the car. I feel a burst of wind. It wasnt through my hair. I realized that I had a giant hole in the (butt) of my pants. I pull my shirt down to cover it, and the Hubby tells me, “Your going to have to go home and change” I leave him and the kids there for a minute and go home to retrieve pants that will not offend anyone.
Once back at the playground, I notice Grace has a HUGE red bump on her right temple, that she did not have before my pants incident.
Me: What happened Babe??
Grace:Boy hit me
Me: Will,did Noah hit her???
Will: No, that kid there did. ( pointing to a small red-headed child, now in time out on a bench.)
Me: WHAT! Why! Uggh,Why!!!?
This child appeared to be about 28 months old. accompanied by is parents, and 7 day old baby brother.
I shrugged this off, as playgrounds can be dangerous places to begin with! They are filled with rambunctious 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,and 9 year olds! Probably 10-13 year olds as well. Kids run into each other,kids go down the slides to quick before the next child is off! apparently My child did not hear me when I taught him to wait for the person in front of you to walk away from the slide before going down. However, these little incidents are usually “accidents” Playground happenings. The “norm” What occurred last night was just plain rude.
After sliding down the same slide 40 times, and doing some running from daddy we headed to this little tunnel. Grace lets out a scream. Will and I were standing right by the tunnel. Inside was Grace, Noah, and that little red-headed boy.
GRACE YELLS: “HE PULL MY HAIR OUT!HE PULL MY HAIR! DAAAAADEEEEEEE!!!!!!!”
ME:Im sure it was an accident sweetie.Its okay. Fixing her piggytail, I look around for the childs parents.
I notice the hair pullers dad is coming right for us. I smiled. He just picked the kid up, with no apology, took the kid BACK to time out. ( time out is apparently the bench when you are misbehaving at the playground.) Time went on, Grace took her battle wounds and continued to enjoy herself. We headed over to the little wooden train, where I pretended to be a passenger, and the kids were the drivers. We were TRYING to drive but that darn train kept breaking down, so we had to keep stopping. We traveled all over the place! Kansas, florida, everywhere! It was a hoot. 3 other girls boarded our train. Poor souls. lol. They dont know my kids have a mother who likes to have imaginary play at the playground, no matter who is in my opresence.lol. anyhow, it didnt take them long to get off the train-but before they did, they told me how this little boy with RED HAIR keeps following them and pinching them and pulling their hair
Like I was 7 or something, I said, “Oh my! I know! Hes doing it to us too!” (I paused)Oh how dumb I must have sounded.lol
lol. Like I was a victim. But all in all, the kid went back to time out. I have to say that i your kid spends more time in time out at the playground, then he does PLAYING, its time to go home.
It bothers me to see parents like that just sitting there, like their butts fell in quick sand. Just sitting on the bench. Not even watching their offspring! Some mothers take books, some take laptops, others take other people, and talk. Now, If your child is 7 or 8 or so, yes, he can entertain hisself at the playground. He probably dont want him mommy playing with him anyhow. But, you still have to watch him! 7 year olds can fall and get hurt, or get bullied too!
But, most of the time these mothers are mothers of toddlers, preschoolers. How much fun is it to sit on a bench, and not playing with the kids? Why go tot he playground. you might as well stay in your back yard.
this is not only stupid, but dangerous. I have “saved” so very many children under the age of 3, from falling, I lost count. Sometimes I feel lilke NOT watchin other people’s kids there,cuz I have my own to keep safe.with. But then, what can you do? Let them fall? One time One did fall, but I caught him. He was under 2, and was supposed to be under the care of his older sibling, probably no older than 5! The mother thanked me greatly, but then, went back to her cozy spot on the bench, releasing the child tot he wild wild west…….(ugggh, I mean playground)
“No, I will not push you! Go play!” Who says that to a kid? Well lady, I tell you what one day you will regret that! One day you will wish that you had a small child TO push in the swing. I just don’t see why ppl take their kids to the park and allow them to bully other kids, dont supervise them, or plainly ignore them.
I guess all parents have their own reasons, and are different but it sure is annoying to have to watch. I think I declare that I am done. I will no longer supervise kids that arent mine. I hardly want these children to get hurt. But, something has to teach these parents a lesson! Oh heck,I know I could never do that. But, If Im watching other ppls kids, who is gong to watch my kids? You??? I doubt it.
Okay, so rule number one: Watch your kids, Have fun with them! Pretend! Make believe! Its alot more fun then sitting on your blackberry.
#2Playground Etiquette Rule: Take turns, and share. Dont be selfish or greedy
At a recent visit, Grace wanted to swing. Well, when ya have Cerebral palsy you typically arent doing well in the big kid swings. Noah does semi okay, but mostly just lies on them on his belly. Every time I looked over at the little kid swings, ( there are quite a few) and then a few that lock the child in) there were the same kids on them. A family of 4 or 5 came to the park. They were there before us. They were there when we left. AND WE WERE THERE ABOUT 2 HOURS! So, in the first 30 min. I told sis to wait her turn.
after an hr. the same kids were still being pushed by their parents! We went over to the swings and acted as if we were in line for a spectacular coaster ride or something. I looked at sis and said very politely, ” It will be your turn soon honey, im sure they will take turns” Well, I know the parents, the kids, and the dog heard me. Grace started whining. I sat on a swing, and struggled to swing her on my lap.She was not happy.
We walked away from the swings. 45min. later they were still still swinging. They KNEW she wanted a turn!
However, I couldn’t bring myself to asking them to get off.
I think 15 min. a piece is good enough for a swing ride, if someone is waiting. If no one is waiting, swing away baby! But, if you see a child, smaller than you, could you please get the heck off?
(p.s the kids we were waiting on, cold of easily rode the regular swings)
#3, Snacks and Drinks.
Okay, run a mile. Will you need a drink? Yes, you will. When kids go tot he playground they run and run and run, they fall and fall and run and sweat and play. They need to stay hydrated. When we go to the park, I take my kids big sports water bottles with us, filled with ice water. Or Gatorade. Sometimes tea. Yes, I give my kids tea. A lot. I’m terrible. Anyhow, the last time we went we skipped the water bottles and took Capri suns. I had about 5 of them.As I have 3 kids. We had chunks of water melon and cantaloupe.
The kids wanted a snack break, they was hot, and thirsty. We went to the pavilion, as I wasnt going to allow them to directly eat in front of the other kids. So, we went to the picnic area. I had a swarm of kids follow us. And look at us.well, look at me. I sat the kids up on the table, with their drinks and snack. 50% of me felt bad for the on lookers, so I gave them all a big chunk of melon. 🙂 That satisfied them. they ran off. Then, another group of kids came by. I had 3 pieces left. My kids only had about 2 pieces each their selves at this point. They stared at me. I told them to go ask their own parents for fruit, I dont have enough.
Kid: You have 3 more pieces!
Me: Yes- I know.
kid: Can I have one?
Me: Maybe next time hunny, I already gave away the majority of it, and my kids need more too.
Kid: stomps away mad at me and acts like its my fault that he does not have a drink or snack.
What is a mother to do here????? Arent I being a good mother, taking drinks to the playground!? I cant help it if another child is there and dont have a drink! I wish I could help everyone, but Im not magical, and certainly not rich. I cant supply the whole playground with drinks and snacks like that.
For petes sakes parents, take a bottle of water with you to the park!
This happens alot to us. baseball games,parks, at the fair! the circus! alot of places! If my kids EVER walked up to another kid, whom is a stranger and begged for food, I WOULD DIE! I know I kno, it’s a kid thing, but come on, like, they just wouldn’t do that. They have manners for one.
So, if your taking your kids to the park, play with them, or if you can’t, as some ppl have medical conditions, I understand. I understand you have to sit, but at least watch them for petes sakes! Take some thing for them to drink, and make sure your kids aren’t hogging the swings, or the tunnels, or slides.
#4 Etiquette Rule & Last Rule Until Further Notice;)
Dont get mad at me that your kid gets bonked in the nose by my kids foot, the slide is meant to SLIDE DOWN. not walk up. Its called a slide. Not a Walkup. I do feel bad if my child caused your child a nose bleed. But when your child is hiding in the slide, tryin to walk up it, my kid dont see your kid. Teach your child that doing things wrong, entitles them to getting hurt. Kids will be kids, yes, That is why we have to teach them right from wrong. Start with playground etiquette! Good place to start!
C~ya at the playground!