For the relatively new mom who is just emerging from the dissociative fugue called being a 'new mom' and trying to figure out what the hell just happened to me and who am I now. So, grab a drink and we'll dish, divulge, discuss, debate, disseminate and document these experiences and somehow come out on the other side, sane.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Wednesday's Momvos - Playground Etiquette
The list of areas in which I don't have control is long and growing, but one of the challenges in which I feel I have the least control is what happens at the playground.
The thing is, the problem isn't the children, it's the parents! Maybe it's me, but I think our daily outings would be a lot more pleasant if I could post rules for parents at the playground.
They would read as follows:
10. We're all neighbors. If someone says hello and tries to engage you in conversation, please respond. It is not only is the polite thing to do, but it sets a good example for the children.
9. If you are engaged in a conversation with someone and his/her child bolts out of the gate, stop talking and allow that person to disengage. Talking louder will not elicit a response from someone who has a child running towards the street.
8. When you come in or out of the gate, close it! What is wrong with you?
7. If you see a child about to take a nose dive off of the jungle gym, stop him/her. Yes, we understand it's not your child and that maybe the parent is chasing another child, talking, being neglectful or drunk in a corner. Either way, you are superior but don't need to prove it by letting a child get hurt.
6. Nobody cares that your daughter/son has never been allowed to watch a minute of television, never screams at the top of his/her lungs, has never tried candy, certainly never hits/bites/takes toys, and was just shocked when he/she saw the other children doing these things.
5. When you see a piece of garbage on the ground, pick it up. It's gross but who else is going to do it? Most communities do not have a daily maintenance crew. Nowadays most communities don't have a parks department! This is your community, you come to the park, treat it like your yard.
4. Boys are loud and rough. It is unlikely that their boyishness will rub off on your daughter. If she is gets knocked over by accident or joins in the rough housing she will probably live.
3. On sharing: If a child is playing with a toy that he/she brought to the playground, your child does not have the right to come up and "share" it. Nor does a parent have the right to insist that the child
"share." It is his/her toy. If you want your child to have a ball at the playground, bring one.
2. Try not to judge other parents and especially other children. You do not know their stories.
1. Yes, that is wine in that Mom's hand and yes, you should grab a glass too!
Love the rules!
The playground is a microcosm of society. You get all sorts of people on the playground. People of varied ages, cultures and parenting abilities. The problem with the playground is that you don't know what you're dealing with until you have to talk to that parent. And whoa, is there a range out there. While rules would be great and it would be even greater if everyone followed them, there will always be someone who doesn't. Isn't it the same in life. There is always someone who thinks the rules don't apply to them. You know who I'm talking about.
Wouldn't it be great if we could give out playground citations.
- Being rude, obnoxious or ignoring another parent = Must sit in parent time out area of playground to reflect on actions and write an apology note to be delivered to the other parent. In extreme circumstances attendance to "Parental Aggression Management" will be mandatory.
- Not closing the park gate = Gate duty for one day instructing all entrants on the importance of 'gate closing.'
- Not helping a child (not your child) who falls flat on his face right in front of you =Fair game. Any Mom on the playground can push you over at anytime they choose on the day of the offense.
- Know it all Mom, Better Than Mom, Smug Mom = must volunteer all day at the community carnival dunking machine.
- Helicopter parents = must provide their own playground
-Judgmental parents of misbehaving children = must spend a day with THOSE children.
-Judgment of Moms drinking wine on the playground = if they didn't drive there, shut up.