By Tiffany MacKay
Okay moms, I have a question for you. How do you define proper playground etiquette when your children are playing? Now that Iain is mobile and loves being outdoors, we are spending more time at various playgrounds. Iain loves them, and I love the fact that I can let him run around and explore in an area that is geared for child’s play. However, along with the joys of this new activity I have found that parent’s do not all engage in what I feel is proper playground behavior. Granted, I know that everyone has different ways of raising their child and what is okay for one kid/family may not be okay for another. But I do think there are some basic rules that if everyone followed, the playground experience would be richer for all involved.
1. Many playgrounds have clearly designated areas for big kids and little kids. An 8-year-old should not be rough-housing in the toddler area. Keep your child to their age appropriate areas for the safety of all around.
2. A playground is not a babysitter. Parents and caretakers, you do still have to keep an eye on your child.
3. Public playgrounds are for the public to enjoy, not a personal playground.
4. Kicking, pushing, hitting, name calling, throwing sand/wood chips, spitting and biting are not acceptable behaviors. These are just a few, but moms and dads I am sure you could come up with an entire list.
5. Take your turn! Waiting in line to do something is a part of life and it holds true whether you are waiting to go down the slide or in the lunch line.
6. Playgrounds are for fun, exploring and creativity. Being critical of others is just not cool.
7. Say ‘hi’ and acknowledge the other parents and caretakers around you. It’s just plain friendly and nice. You never know how you may come into contact with them in the future.
8. Leave the playground the way you found it. Pick up after yourself and your child.
9. Other parents should not be patrolling the behavior of your child. It is your responsibility.
10. Finally, playgrounds are cool and fun places, so enjoy them.
Sitting back and watching how kids interact with each other is a fascinating social interaction experiment. There is much that we adults can learn from the interactions of kids playing with each other with minimal interference and pressure from adults.
What other basic rules or etiquette do you think should be used on the playground?