Alright parents I get it. I know when you get to the playground or the indoor play centre you want to sit down with a cup of coffee and hopefully some adult conversation.
It’s a craving that never leaves me. I try to get in snippets of gossip here and there and the coffee never leaves my hand, but it follows me as I chase the girls around.
Most of the time now I don’t bother to meet up with other adults at the playground, I just take the kids and run around with them.
Because as much as we want to, we can’t check out.
We signed up to the parenting role and part of that is teaching our children how to effectively participate in society.
i.e Be nice, use your manners, treat others with respect.
I’m finding a gaping hole in our society, respect is on the downhill slide and the playgrounds of the world are exacerbating the problem
It’s pretty simple really. Teach a child manners and respect from birth and they’ll progress through life naturally using them and considering other people.
I know its bloody tough to constantly drill in the “Say please and thank you. Wait your turn. Answer when someone speaks. yada yada yada.”
It’s exhausting, but what part of parenting isn’t. This is our JOB!
So to make it easy I have created four very simple playground rules for parents to follow.
1. Under no circumstances are you to let your child push in. This teaches them they are the centre of the Universe and there is no such thing as patience or respecting those who believe in following a certain order for the GREATER good. They don’t know any better, but you do. Do not stand there and smile and let them barge their way to the front. My 18 month knows how to stand in line so your 3 year old should.
2. Playgrounds are full of cool rides, like flying foxes and racing cars, which means lots of people want to use them. Don’t let your child hog the ride for 30 mins. Look up from your coffee every five minutes and if they are still racing down the plastic hill on a car, get up and go teach them the principle of sharing. “You’ve had your fun now move to let those patiently waiting have a turn.”
3. Watch your child so they don’t run up to an 18 mth old baby and crash tackle them like they are in a rock n roll wrestling match. If they do, rRun to your child, act appalled and embarrassed, pull them off and remind them about appropriate behavior. The traumatized mother of the injured child should not have to do that.
4. If you see your child crying and distraught because she thinks you have abandoned her in the playground, don’t let the strange lady comfort her and try to find you. Get up off your arse, put down the coffee, yo yo out of the conversation, run to your terrified child and reassure her that she is not on her own.
Any other playground rules you think should be added?
P.S This topic makes me so hot I wrote about it over on Kidspot