07 July 2011

Playground etiquette

As the weather is getting nicer and my son is getting older, naturally, I have been taking the little tike to the park to play. Now, I realize that he's only 17 months old and a lot of times the toys at the park are meant for kids that are ages 2-6 y/o (as stated on the signs outside many of the local playgrounds around here)... but my little dude likes to run and play - just like the 'older kids'.  And how else is he going to learn to play well with others and climb on the toys?

{stepping on top of my soapbox}
excuse the sarcastic tone coming on it's all in good spirits :)

Maybe it's just because I have a small toddler that I have to keep closer eye on him, but lately I have been absolutely annoyed with the goings on at the playground.

So I thought I'd share a bit of what I like to call "Playground Etiquette".

The swings. Every kid loves them! Heck, even I love them. But I'm sure every single parent has noticed that there are usually 20 kids at the playground and only 2-4 swings. There is a golden rule when it comes to swinging and it's called SHARING. The other day, I took Bennett to the park/playground and there was this cute little girl on the swing when we got there at 1:00pm. And her cute little hiny didn't move from that swing until 1:45pm. Whaaaa? Hello lady pushing your kid on the swing for 45 minutes, do you not notice the 25 other kids hovering around trying to get a turn? Sheeesh.
Okay, so the rule is... 5 minutes on the swing. TOPS. Obviously kids don't know the difference so parents, it's your job to enforce this!

Kids running around like crazy people.  You know the kids I'm talking about. The ones that run around like they are being attacked by zombies and screaming like banshees? Pretty much knocking over every little kid in their path and deafening me as they pass? Yah, those kids. Excuse me, where are these kids parents? Oh riiiight, they are sitting over at the picnic table chit-chatting with their friends. Keep your kids under control, please???
This one goes along with Playground bullies.  My poor little Bennett was trying to play in the "little kid area" at the playground and this older kid (probably around 4 y/o) told him "get out of here, baby!!" and then proceeded to grab his arm and pull him out of the train he was playing in. When Bennett wouldn't leave, the child pushed him over and told him to "get out." Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed. 5 minutes later, Bennett made a 2nd attempt to go back to the train and play. That same kid pushed Bennett again. At this point I had enough and told the little meany to leave my son alone. Where in the world was this kids mom???

Mom's who like to take their kids to the park so that they can have social hour and neglect to pay attention to their children - please stop! Your children are most likely abusing the younger ones. Be attentive and teach them to be nice so that the playground be a fun experience for everyone.

The slides. I don't really see the appeal here. Static electricity is super annoying. I mean, who wants to get shocked every time they slide down. But whatevs, the kids love em. Anyway, here's the general rule when it comes to slides: You go DOWN the slide. Not up the slide. Got it? I mean, I can kinda get why kids like to climb up the slides, and it can be somewhat acceptable if the playground is empty. But if there are lots of kids playing... please follow the general rule. 'nuff said there.


Snotty kids. I know that kids get sick. I totally get that sometimes you don't wanna be cooped up inside with your sicky baby. But when your child's nose is running like a faucet and they are constantly wiping their snotty nose and then touching my child - I'd like to vomit now. No one wants to leave with a germ infested child.  So please leave the super sick/snotty kids at home.


Alright, so that's all I got for now.  It's actually pretty simple. Just watch your kids and make sure they are playing nice and being safe. And we'll all have a good time at the playground. Thanks for listening!! Oh, and if you have anything to add to this list, feel free to do so in the comments! (and p.s. i hope i didn't offend anyone at all, it was not my intention)

{stepping off my soapbox now}

30 comments:

Olivia Grace said...

Oh my goodness, the snotty kids drive me nuts. Well, not the kids themselves, poor little innocents babies, but the moms who are letting them roam around touching any and everything. Don't take your sick baby to public places that other children frequent! And while you are at it, don't take them to daycare either! And please carry tissue with you! The slide thing drives me bonkers, too. Watch your kids, have your social hour some other time and some other place!
Love this post, I'm a soap boxer myself:)

Tara said...

my favorite section of this post is the snotty kids!!AMEN! LOL! What a mean bully! I would be livid!

Joni said...

i used to work in childcare and snotty kids used to drive me insane. i love kids, don't get me wrong, but one o the main reasons i had to quit my job in childcare was because of the parents. those same kind of parents not watching their kids on your playground were bringing their children to have me watch them every day while they work. and it was always the parents of the snotty kids, bully kids, straight up non-listeners, that got so defensive or get mad when you mention any of it. what they fail to realize is that if ONE person is mentioning it, everyone else is noticing it.

another thing i hate are the sand throwers. some parks we go to have sand, some have mulch, and some have that recycled tires material, but there is always one or two that want to dig instead and throw that junk up in the air. probably wouldn't make it to the top five but it is definitely annoying.

The Best of Both Worlds said...

Im laughing outloud over here. This post is how all my mommy friends and I feel. Were always giving looks at those kids and wondering where the parents are. Older kids being mean & putting there hands on others smaller than them is not something that should happen. Girl I woulda asked that boy where his mother was and told her what happened. But then again that kids mother will be the mom that says "don't touch or be nice" & then walks away leaving that child to do it again! & the swings, playgrounds defiantly dont ever have enough swings. We have one nice playground around here that has NO baby swings. What the crap right?

Casey Martinez said...

yup, I too echo the understanding of the snotty kid's anywhere...at church nursery is another one that bugs me...they get every other baby sick!! I agree with you on all of these though i haven't dealt with any of these issues yet because D is too small so all she has done is the sandbox or swings when no one else is at the park. Easy and no conflicts but, our days are coming....

Kara @ Just1Step said...

Haha. In agreement. One comment though...Krew's nose runs 24/7. I think there's maybe been two months in his 16 months of life when it hasn't been running. And I'm not about to keep him penned inside every time he has a runny nose. So instead of saying those moms need to keep their kids at home, I'd say they just need to be standing by with a wipe, ready to catch the runs and drips before they make it to the child's hands. :)

nicole. said...

ohhhh my favorite subject lately!

snotty kids... the worst. go home.

and, omg nail on the head... my all time favorite thing to do at the park {while i am going down those awful slides, swinging on the swings, and playing in the sand} is make complete fun of the moms who show up, sit 100 feet from the playground {god forbid they get any sand on those freshly painted nails} and talk on their cell phones the entire time. the entire time. not paying attention at all that their kid is THROWING sand.

complete annoyance.

Jazmyn Alexandria said...

Oh wow I loved this! It was amazing lol. Luckily where we live the park doesn't get too busy unless there is a birthday going on or something. Although I'd seriously be pissed at that bully if they were doing that. If I knew who the parent was I'd definitely be having a talk with their parents. But yeah parents that don't pay attention to their kids (even in like stores and things, especially Walmart!) get on my nerves to no end and it drives me insane lol.

Oh Jazmyn

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

LOL! I've basically started to only visit parks away from peak time. Nobody's there at 7am - we can go up the slides and sit on the swings for an hour and run around screaming like banshees until she drops for all I care. But as soon as other people start arriving, I lasso my daughter in and lay down the ground rules.

I think I'm a pretty lenient parent. I don't really care about kids running wild and making noise and playing rough - on playgrounds or not. But even I don't understand why all parents don't lay down ground rules for playground interactions with other people. These are the first times our kids are learning how to behave around lots of other people their age - shouldn't we give them tools to be respectful and reasonable?

Hands down, though, the worst playground experience I ever had was with another parent, not with her kid, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. How can I expect kids to try playing nice if nobody in their life models it for them?

[ker-AND-uh] said...

Omword....I'm right there with you. All of these things and more bother me too!! Especially the snot!! Oh and throwing the wood chips from the ground at people. Like REALLY? Luckily, we have three nearby playgrounds so I always choose the one with less people!

Tara said...

EXCELLENT Post and this should be posted on parks everywhere!! This is so true. I can't believe another kid pushed him out of the train...I would have been so mad! I also agree about swings, get off! We have had to wait forever. 5 minutes Tops...then your off. Those are the rules, lol.

Christa said...

ugh we live in a town home complex.. so many little kids. i am ALWAYS having to deal with other snotty little kids, the worst part is alot of the parents dont keep an eye on them and just let them run around terrorizing all of the other kids things. Boo for mean kids

Nikki said...

I totally feel you. At my nephew's birthday party there was a kid swinging around a fishing pole and it almost hit a little girl in the face. I told him to stop numerous times but he would not listen. I was getting so annoyed his Mom was not watching and he wouldn't listen to anyone else!

Love, Chelsea said...

Haha! How about "Hey you teenagers who aren't in school but don't have jobs. If you want to flip around on the swings with your friends that is fine, but please stop dropping F-bombs in front of my 14 month old. Thanks."

the mom diggity said...

Oh girl. I'm with you. We have a few "toddler parks" around here, and it makes me CRAZY because the older kids come jump on the toys and break them!! I get sooooo frustrated when I take Jessi Girl to swing at a toddler park and there are about ten 8-15 year olds standing on the swings and breaking the toys meant for my toddler.

Ok, off my soapbox now too.

Andrea said...

A to the MEN! I have another to add. WTF is up with the freakin fire pole?! Oh yes, let's have an opening 10 feet in the air so kids can lean 2 feet OUT to reach some dang pole that takes the coordination of at least a 4 year old to slide down. Grrr. Fire poles, it's the stuff my nightmares are made of.
I am just thankful that we usually don't have too many other kids at our two parks in the neighborhood and only one of them has one of those broken arm... er, fire poles.

When I went down to meet Mandy and Amanda down in Gig Harbor there were these like 8 year olds letting their SCOOTERS ride down the slides. Um, dangerous much? Where are your Mothers you little hooligans?!

Lindsi said...

Totally in agreeance. And very well said! I think you hit all the nails on the head here, so-to-speak!

Libby's Life said...

I completely agree with you 100% on everything you just said! I hate the parents who bring their kids to the park so they can sit their butts on a bench and talk... come on! Watch your child so that he/she isn't out there beating up on the other kids out there!!

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ADSchill said...

That little bully kid will be glad I wan't there. I would have yelled at him and pushed him over for doing that to B.

Grrrrr.....

Summer said...

I totally agree! I have had so many run-ins with awful children only to question where are their parents. I'm always watching my children and as soon as they do something "wrong" I'm there to correct it as every parent around should be doing.

I can't handle the older kids who try to get my son to do things that would get him in trouble. He's 3.5 years and looks up to older boys, especially when it seems like they want to play with him. He just doesn't understand what they are doing is wrong and I'm the one who looks bad. :(

I think your rules should be posted at the park!

Anne U said...

What you said is just basic common sense, but unfortunately most parents today don't have that. Luckily the parks around here are pretty empty, or I just wouldn't even think of bringing my girl to one, not worth it being around all the bad influences and germs, gross. Being around her own cousins can be bad enough sometimes.

Mommy Points said...

Love 99.9% of this post - especially about sharing the swings. Boo on swing hogs, but I have to disagree about the snotty kids. My 18 month old goes to a daycare center and I swear for literally the first six months she was there she had a snotty nose at least 5 days a week. That is not an exaggeration. Obviously when she had a fever or was not feeling well we would not go to the park, but to go only when her nose was not running would have been six months of home confinement. That just isn't realistic with some young perma-snot daycare age babies.

Love the site though!

Shawntae said...

this post made me laugh out loud. I sooo agree with everyone The worst is when kids are climbing on toys that they shouldn't be climbing on then acting like a banchee on top of it. Where the hell are their moms? I've had to get them off the high toy a number of times in fear that they are going to break both their legs. Because they always think they can jump off! One time I helped a little kid down and his mom came running over and was pissed that I touched her child? Whaaaa? Where the hell were you lady!

Life-n-Reflection said...

I have meet everyone of those kids you are talking about! I'm not sure which is worse than the other? And it's so hard to see your little tike get pushed around. I hope your next visit to the park is better.

AmyLee said...

we don't really play much on the playground yet but i can totally picture what you're talking about here. and it all seems so obvious! but i know it's not. apparently there are parents who treat playgrounds like a dog park & just unleash their kids to fend for themselves. kinda sad, right?

Michelle said...

I'm going to get up on the soapbox with you on my megaphone LOL.

I have another slide rule - big kids need to wait until little kids are OFF the bottom of the slide! The amount of times my little man has been slammed in the back by some kids grubby shoes because they haven't waited for him to hop off the bottom, argh! He gets hit so hard sometimes I'm afraid he'll get whiplash!

Once he got pushed from the top of a pirate ship, he flipped head over heels down the stairs (I screamed, lol, how embarrassing!) luckily he was alright but another mother came up and said the same kid had pushed at least 5 other kids and the Mum had done nothing :/

Don't get me started on snotty kids, lol. I find the worst offenders are at story time at the library! Seriously thinking of not going anymore, lol

Melissa @ knit purl baby said...

Oh my god I can't believe a kid was PUSHING your kid down! That is crazyness! I haven't taken my little man to the park yet, well we've gone on swings a couple of times and sat on the grass but since he's not an experienced walker yet, there isn't much he can do. Now I'm kinda scared! I have def noticed the swing hogs. Like you said, five minutes or 45 minutes, your kid won't notice the difference. I think these rules should be posted at all playgrounds!

<3 Melissa @ knit purl baby

Ashley said...

ugh just wait until Bennett starts preschool, then the snotty thing gets 10x worse. I get that parents work and have a hard time staying home with a sick kid but it's SO bad when they are cooped up in a small room all day. The park has become a nightmare for me. Nate is 4 and needs so much watching and guidance and then there's Mia at 20 months launching herself off the big slides and climbing to the top of the big kid structure. It's so hard watching 2. Great post!

kaley said...

BAHAHAHA! i know i'm a few days late on this post but i couldn't resist commenting! i feel the exact same way about the playground! in fact, it usually stresses me out [the thought of even GOING] because i know i'm going to get mad/annoyed/frustrated with other peoples children! & i know mine isn't perfect, but at least i ATTEMPT to keep him in line!