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Playground Vent - Page 2

post #21 of 178
I think it really depends on how old your DS is. When I read your post I thought he was a toddler, until the end when you said that he tells you he likes this park the best. If he is able to say that, then I think he's able to speak for himself on the playground too. ***ETA:Unless your DS is prone to violence, then I'd stick close. But that doesn't sound like the case from your OP.

I've been more apt to be right by my kids at stuff like this too, but having 2 kids I can't anymore and I see it is actually better this way. They have to learn how to handle it on their own sometime. I am always there to touch base with, and I will make sure that the play all starts off okay (like one kid isn't saying noone is allowed on the play equipment or something dumb like that), but generally I let the kids play.

And the sandbox toys - that's asking for trouble. Sorry. I let the kids have one object they can hold in their hand at a playground (sometimes). If they are done with it they bring it to me. We share toys at the community playgroup (but those are community toys too). I don't want to have the job of teaching the ins and outs of sharing to all the kids on the playground.

I have no problem calling kids on dangerous behavior, but most stuff I just find that families and expectations are so different that intervening is not the right route.

Tjej
post #22 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Not IME. All the city parks around here have parents supervising the under 3 set up close and giving verbal feedback to the well-socialized 4 and 5 year olds.
Well, that hasn't been my experience. I live in a borderline area--easy access to rural, burby, and urban play areas--we used to go quite often to all three, and I never saw any real difference in parental behavior between them. Except at the toddler park in an "uppity suburban" neighborhood where people were helicoptering like whoa. I think though that had less to do with the usual people who hang out there and more because there seemed to be a large group meeting there so maybe they were showing off for people?

People are people. I don't think that the neighborhood they live in makes a difference--especially since a lot of people travel to different parks that may not even be in their home neighborhood in the first place, unless it's a private park.
post #23 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjej View Post
I think it really depends on how old your DS is. When I read your post I thought he was a toddler, until the end when you said that he tells you he likes this park the best. If he is able to say that, then I think he's able to speak for himself on the playground too.
Well, that might've been a translation. He might've actually said something like "NOOOOOOO baby park! baby park! booooo slide park!!!" Which my dd would be capable of even though her ability to ask "would you like to play?" is limited to taking the other person's hand and her ability to say "I'm still using this toy, you can have it in a minute" is limited to "Noooooooooo! Mine!!!!" and wrenching the toy well out of reach of another hand.
post #24 of 178
Playground dynamics fascinate me, actually. I have been to playgrounds with my son in multiple countries, and have often thought you could write an entire dissertation on how playground interactions reflect the society at large.... (I was a sociology major )

Basically, though, play grounds are huge social learning grounds in many ways. There is a lot to be learned about sharing, taking turns, getting your way (or not) in a group setting, how to handle other kids saying "mean" things or bad words or being "mean", other people's toys and food...I could go on and on. I think what you have to do is model for your son the behavior that you want him to have and not really worry about the other kids. In our case, I encouraged sharing, but never forced it. I accepted when another kid didn't want to share sand toys and talked with my DS about how he felt and then reminded him of that the next time he didn't want to share his sand toys - and talked to him about how nice it felt when someone did share with him. We also talked about alternatives and finding ways to make it work for both kids. I modeled what to do when a kid isn't taking turns or is filling a hole he is digging up with sand as he digs it. I feel that kids are learning so many social skills, and that the lessons aren't always nice or fun - but that a kid needs to learn those social skills even when the other person isn't being "nice". And a few times I have also gone over to the mom or nanny and said, in an easy-going way, "Hey - we seem to be having a hard time with XYZ...." and they have always responded by getting up and coming over. I have only done that for pretty major stuff.

I also live in an area where there are usually mostly nannies at the park with kids. I also often see the social dynamic amongst the adults that you describe. You can't really do much about it. But try not to let it stress you out, especially if your kid is enjoying going to the park. And remember that you don't really have to supervise the other kids - you just have to help your son learn to deal with whatever comes his way.
post #25 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Well, that hasn't been my experience. I live in a borderline area--easy access to rural, burby, and urban play areas--we used to go quite often to all three, and I never saw any real difference in parental behavior between them. Except at the toddler park in an "uppity suburban" neighborhood where people were helicoptering like whoa. I think though that had less to do with the usual people who hang out there and more because there seemed to be a large group meeting there so maybe they were showing off for people?
Or maybe they just recognize that a larger group requires more supervision for a possibly overwhelmed kiddo? And that a larger group makes it necessary to stay closer to maintain line of sight? And maybe the large group had older kids ganging up together to take control of the playground? (Which is why I hate going to the CMI on field trip days, they clique up in their groups and don't seem to notice or care that anyone else is using the museum.)

Oh, wait, I see it's a toddler playground, so not the last bit. But definitely the first then. Especially, as I mentioned before, if you're talking about kids in the prime time for a hitting phase.
post #26 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Seeing as they're sitting away from the nannies, I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
I don't know if that's a fair judgement. My guess is that the nannies know each other very well and probably spend most days at the park hanging out with each other. That can be a hard dynamic to break into. One park I used to take my kids to was occupied almost exclusively with nannies during the week days, and it was difficult to engage them, as they seemed to all know each other and frequently were speaking to each other in a language that I don't speak or understand well (not saying this is the case for all nannies, but this particular group at this particular park were mostly the same ethnicity and spoke the same language). It's probably also the case that most of the moms that are sitting together are also friends.
post #27 of 178
I agree with a lot of the OP's post. Those are some of the same reasons I try to frequent parks during non-busy hours. My son is 18 months old today and between older children mowing him down and DS not understanding his own physical limitations (he really wants to follow 7 year olds across the big equipment) I have a lot of safety issues to look out for. I don't try to play park police with other kids but I will quickly remove my son from a situation that is not safe for him, and that includes other children hitting, throwing sand/toys, etc.

I expect to become less of a "hover-er" as he gets older but I don't think I'll ever be one of the moms who sits oblivious on the sidelines either - that seems to be par for the course around here as well. I understand letting kids roam and explore but a mom burying her head in an iPhone while barely glancing at her kid, who is busy pushing my DS off the slide because he doesn't want to wait, really bothers me.
post #28 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Seeing as they're sitting away from the nannies, I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
Just curious - how is one able to tell a nanny from a mommy by just looking, especially if they aren't interacting with the children they are there with. And isn't it also possible that the bench of "mommies" isn't sitting with the "nannies" for reasons that aren't ugly or catty?
post #29 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Seeing as they're sitting away from the nannies, I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
IME, nannies often want to separate as much as the mothers. I wouldn't assume the moms were being snotty, but then, I have a nanny.
post #30 of 178
Thread Starter 
OP here

FYI- my son will be 3 in July

First, I've been going to the park for a while and I'm fairly certain who is a nanny and who is a mommy.

Second, when another child is speaking in a not nice way TO MY CHILD I'm going to say something. This girl digging the hole was shrieking at my son to "stay away from her, get away, leave me alone" simply when my son turned in her direction making him stand still stunned wondering why this girl is yelling at him. What had he done wrong?

Sand throwing is not safe. If your young child is in the sand box I think parents should be within viewing distance to make sure everyone is playing safely.

Regarding toys- when kids bring toys to the park I think the assumption is that they will be shared. BUT- I always insist that DS ask before he picks up some toy and plays with it. And if brings toys, he understands that he needs to share too. What i didn't like was the child who would not share HER toys, but had no problem taking DS's shovel right out of his hand and using it while her stash of toys sat gaurded behind her. That is when a parent/nanny should have stepped in.

I think parents and nannies should be responsible for their children at the park when they're young like this. They can't work everything out on their own yet and it's the less agressive children, like my son, who get the short end of the stick.

Oh and we've gone on more than occasion to two other parks int he area and DS doesn't like them. He's 3 but he can talk, he's perfectly capable of telling me which park he wants to go to.
post #31 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
It's 18 month olds to 5 year olds. There is a safety issue, period. Especially if you've got some 2-3 year olds in the phase of hitting to ask for a toy stage.
I agree. I don't think it has anything to do with "hovering" or being a "helicoptor", I think it has to do with looking out for your child's well being. My son is 2 and when I take him to the park, there are often older kids there who run ver fast and are in crowds. and they will run right past ds and knock him over because they just don't seem to know to watch out for younger kids and their parents are off somewhere "letting them play" and not showing them that there are children of all ages and that some of the younger ones aren't able to play in the same ways. And, I don't agree that you take kids to the park to play with kids, and not their nannies or parents, I take him to the park to play with him. to push him on the swing, catch him on the slides, or go down the slides with him, kick a ball around, etc. does that make me a hoverer because I like to play with him? anyhow, to the OP, I would probably continue to do what you are doing, but maybe be a little more blunt about it it as someone else said. and, if someone wouldnt share their toys with my ds, then i wouldnt try and get him to share his regardless unless he wants to and is totally fine with that.
post #32 of 178
"They can't work everything out on their own yet and it's the less agressive children, like my son, who get the short end of the stick."

I don't think it's fair to ask the other minders / parents to suddenly turn into helicopters because your child is sensitive. He's your sensitive kid so you are going to have to be a buffer for him.

If I were there, here is what might happen with our kids. Now my child is not generally aggressive, but she is assertive and she can get possessive, which we work on. But the park is HER domain so I try not to hover.

My child: Can I use your shovel?
Your child: Okay.
My child: Can I have your bucket?
Your child: Okay.
My child: No, you're doing it wrong, do it THIS way.
Your child: Okay. (Not because he's a pushover, he may just be trying to please her, thinking that enough "okays" will satisfy her.)

A minute later...

My child: I WAS PLAYING WITH THAT!!! (She has set down his shovel and your child picked it up.)
Your child: Keeps digging quietly, not sure what to do with the banshee.
My child, screeching: I WAS PLAYING WITH THAT!!! (Throws down something, sand flies, but no hitting, kicking, or throwing at people.)

I am probably still not going over there. I want her and the child to work it out. I know she's upset but my intervention will make her more upset. I am spotting the baby on the slide, or eyeing her from behind my book as the baby eats grass.

You, on the other hand, feel the need to intervene. You feel your child is being unfairly attacked. You intervene. You feel slighted that I'm "not watching" my child.

The reality is that we have different limits and different parenting styles, each of which is adapted to the needs of our own children.

You need to appreciate that we need to do what our kids need as well. And there are going to be parents who let their kids have more free reign and kids who are, quite simply, rude. If you don't want your child to deal with that at his age, the way to avoid it is to leave or to buffer him.

Not to ask someone else to do that for you.

ETA- I read my post and it sounds really harsh. I do not want you to think there is no point where I would go over there. Physical violence is a limit for me. But I do believe that kids between three and five are learning self-control and I'm not going to stop it before it happens unless it's a pattern. My child has never hit or kicked or pushed another child at the playground so I trust her not to cross that line. If I had a hitter or biter, it would be different.
post #33 of 178
There's a huge difference between 18-month-olds and 5-year-olds at a park. Up until they turn 3 or there abouts, they need closer supervision. I wouldn't expect the preschool-aged kids to need a lot of supervision, though. Sitting on the bench is fine for an older kid, but for my kids anyway I have had to be really close or they'd try to climb something a bit scary and needed a spotter.

I wouldn't bring toys to a park sandbox unless they're old and you don't care too much what happens to them.

I don't oversee every playground interactin between about 3 and 5 either. Kids can work a lot of stuff out on their own, and IMO that's a valuable thing they learn from playing with other kids. If it gets violent or mean, I get involved, but that doesn't happen often.
post #34 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
"They can't work everything out on their own yet and it's the less agressive children, like my son, who get the short end of the stick."

I don't think it's fair to ask the other minders / parents to suddenly turn into helicopters because your child is sensitive. He's your sensitive kid so you are going to have to be a buffer for him.

If I were there, here is what might happen with our kids. Now my child is not generally aggressive, but she is assertive and she can get possessive, which we work on. But the park is HER domain so I try not to hover.

My child: Can I use your shovel?
Your child: Okay.
My child: Can I have your bucket?
Your child: Okay.
My child: No, you're doing it wrong, do it THIS way.
Your child: Okay. (Not because he's a pushover, he may just be trying to please her, thinking that enough "okays" will satisfy her.)

A minute later...

My child: I WAS PLAYING WITH THAT!!! (She has set down his shovel and your child picked it up.)
Your child: Keeps digging quietly, not sure what to do with the banshee.
My child, screeching: I WAS PLAYING WITH THAT!!! (Throws down something, sand flies, but no hitting, kicking, or throwing at people.)

I am probably still not going over there. I want her and the child to work it out. I know she's upset but my intervention will make her more upset. I am spotting the baby on the slide, or eyeing her from behind my book as the baby eats grass.

You, on the other hand, feel the need to intervene. You feel your child is being unfairly attacked. You intervene. You feel slighted that I'm "not watching" my child.

The reality is that we have different limits and different parenting styles, each of which is adapted to the needs of our own children.

You need to appreciate that we need to do what our kids need as well. And there are going to be parents who let their kids have more free reign and kids who are, quite simply, rude. If you don't want your child to deal with that at his age, the way to avoid it is to leave or to buffer him.

Not to ask someone else to do that for you.

ETA- I read my post and it sounds really harsh. I do not want you to think there is no point where I would go over there. Physical violence is a limit for me. But I do believe that kids between three and five are learning self-control and I'm not going to stop it before it happens unless it's a pattern. My child has never hit or kicked or pushed another child at the playground so I trust her not to cross that line. If I had a hitter or biter, it would be different.
I agree with the above. I am one of those parents who go to the park sit down with the baby and chat with another mom or read a book. Meanwhile my young two and four year olds go off to play. I give them WAY more freedom then most parents I know because I believe it is crucial for healthy development. I do this even at older kids playgrounds. They have become very adapt and confident. Ex. My 2 yr old climbs up 12 foot structures, barrels down slides, plays near 7 year olds, and mostly has fun. Sure she has gotten knocked down, sand thrown at her ect but she is mostly fine. If she comes crying to me, I brush her off, hold her and soon she hops down to go play again. She is a small petite sensitive child too. BUt she is learning how to confidently navigate her world and relate to others.

Believe it or not I DO know where they are and what they are doing even if it seems I am not looking though if they go out of my view for awhile that is fine. My 4 yo ds can be aggressive at times so of he gets really out of line I do call him to have a talk/ regroup. As mentioned my dd is small so I have to "rescue" her the odd time. But unless I want to push them in swings I am almost always chilling in the background.

To be perfectly frank what bothers me is when other parents expect me to step in more. I KNOW my children and their limits and I wish that people would let children be children and just play unless it really is dangerous or mean. It stresses me when another parent keeps expecting me to step in. A few things I am totally OK with and do not intervene for- child puts sand on my child's head, child grabs toy, my 2 yo leans out while up on e 10 foot platform, child rushes past mine knocking them over, running far across a field by themselves, child screams at/ yells at another ect.

If my child is really upset or hurt of course I will go over. If someone is really bullying another (my child doing or receiving) I will go intervene. If my child comes to me whining about another child I will usually not get up but talk with them how they can deal with it the problem on their own. It is not a free-for-all philosophy. I am constantly focusing on teaching my children empathy and respect for others which I believe are crucial. But I do not do it by micro-managing their play.

That was longer then I meant. But I wanted to give you another view to think about I am NOT a lazy or neglectful mother- in fact I am the opposite. My children- whom have very different personalities- are very warm, outgoing, awesome little people too as I am sure your ds is.

Really I think the key to your problem is seen in your statement "MY ds likes to go to this park and chooses it over others". He is fine
post #35 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
"They can't work everything out on their own yet and it's the less agressive children, like my son, who get the short end of the stick."

I don't think it's fair to ask the other minders / parents to suddenly turn into helicopters because your child is sensitive. He's your sensitive kid so you are going to have to be a buffer for him.

If I were there, here is what might happen with our kids. Now my child is not generally aggressive, but she is assertive and she can get possessive, which we work on. But the park is HER domain so I try not to hover.
It actually isn't YOUR child's domain at all. It's everyone's park to share, and if you happen to have a child that is making the park an uncomfortable or unpleasant place to play for others, then isn't it your job to teach her otherwise? And it doesn't sound like the OP's child is really sensitive as opposed to polite and easy going. And also, stepping in when your child is beng unfair to others isn't being a helicopter at all, it's just plain parenting.
post #36 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
It actually isn't YOUR child's domain at all. It's everyone's park to share, and if you happen to have a child that is making the park an uncomfortable or unpleasant place to play for others, then isn't it your job to teach her otherwise? And it doesn't sound like the OP's child is really sensitive as opposed to polite and easy going. And also, stepping in when your child is beng unfair to others isn't being a helicopter at all, it's just plain parenting.
Thank you. This was kind of the point of my post although much more succinct.

And yes, maybe sensitive was the wrong word in this instance to describe DS. He is very easy going and polite. But polite is not an accident- I've really worked with him to show him HOW to be polite.

AndI don't think I helicopter. But there is a big difference between letting kids work out their little squabbles and learn to compromise on their own and just standing by while one child screeches/hits/plays unfairly at or with another for no reason.
post #37 of 178

"I say, go sit on the bench and meet those other mommies, you might discover they are a lot less uptight than you thought ."

"Seeing as they're sitting away from the nannies, I wouldn't hold my breath on that one."

Don't assume that the segregation is the "mom bench's" idea. The last thing most sane nannies want to do is sit and gossip with women who are socially acquainted with their boss, and might rat them out to their boss. They want to socialize with their peers.

OP, I can't speak to your son, but YOU are not ready to go to the park at rush hour. If the culture in your park is to let the beasties run free, and you aren't comfortable with that culture for your 5 y.o., then the park is a place for you to go in the off-hours.
post #38 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnMomma View Post

Second, when another child is speaking in a not nice way TO MY CHILD I'm going to say something. This girl digging the hole was shrieking at my son to "stay away from her, get away, leave me alone" simply when my son turned in her direction making him stand still stunned wondering why this girl is yelling at him. What had he done wrong?
I actually hate the park, too.

That said--I wouldn't feel the need to speak to other children not my own if they were being bratty or rude. If they were physical with my child, absolutely, but what you're talking about above is something all kids need to work through. In the instance above, I would probably say to my child "It sounds like Little Girl is upset and doesn't want to play. Let's go to the swings." And redirect my own child.

Your little boy sounds darling, but all kids have their moments, and one day he might surprise you with his own undesirable behavior--I'm not sure I would want some other mommy calling my child out during one of her moments, and I'm not sure how it helps anyone?
post #39 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
It actually isn't YOUR child's domain at all. It's everyone's park to share, and if you happen to have a child that is making the park an uncomfortable or unpleasant place to play for others, then isn't it your job to teach her otherwise? And it doesn't sound like the OP's child is really sensitive as opposed to polite and easy going. And also, stepping in when your child is beng unfair to others isn't being a helicopter at all, it's just plain parenting.
She mean "her" domain, as in the children's domain, not the parents.
post #40 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnMomma View Post
OP here

FYI- my son will be 3 in July

First, I've been going to the park for a while and I'm fairly certain who is a nanny and who is a mommy.

Second, when another child is speaking in a not nice way TO MY CHILD I'm going to say something. This girl digging the hole was shrieking at my son to "stay away from her, get away, leave me alone" simply when my son turned in her direction making him stand still stunned wondering why this girl is yelling at him. What had he done wrong?

Sand throwing is not safe. If your young child is in the sand box I think parents should be within viewing distance to make sure everyone is playing safely.

Regarding toys- when kids bring toys to the park I think the assumption is that they will be shared. BUT- I always insist that DS ask before he picks up some toy and plays with it. And if brings toys, he understands that he needs to share too. What i didn't like was the child who would not share HER toys, but had no problem taking DS's shovel right out of his hand and using it while her stash of toys sat gaurded behind her. That is when a parent/nanny should have stepped in.

I think parents and nannies should be responsible for their children at the park when they're young like this. They can't work everything out on their own yet and it's the less agressive children, like my son, who get the short end of the stick.

Oh and we've gone on more than occasion to two other parks int he area and DS doesn't like them. He's 3 but he can talk, he's perfectly capable of telling me which park he wants to go to.
I actually think all parks should have the parent benches next to the sandbox since that's where most of the arguing seems to occur.

I'm going to kind of agree that a lot of the issues in these specifics have more to do with your heightened sense of fairness and fair play than any actual issue. I don't hear that your child was bit, kicked, pushed off something, or tripped.

To go through these things - I don't agree that there needed to be intervention about the child who was shrieking at your son. You definitely have a role in helping him out by saying "Oh, that girl sounds like she's having a bad moment."

But I don't think it's harmful or crushing for your son to have a kid yelling in his vicinity, even vaguely about him. I get how upsetting it is - my son is sensitive too. But I see my role as helping him to understand, not to get everyone to change. I learned this lesson from his school - there was an autistic child who went there and one day this child was having a very bad day. I was taken aback myself. My son turned to me cool as a cucumber and said "Oh he's just having a bad day. When he knows what will help he will tell us." That's an amazing amount of empowerment in that statement.

Sand throwing is something I'm not a fan of, but I would just remove my child or have him turn around and face the other way. It's really not my job to police the sandbox. I might say something if it lasted a long time or were especially persistent, but in my experience the throwing gets boring fast.

The sharing issue is pretty much entirely your issue. People do not share things fairly in life nor does everyone have the same concept of sharing, and trying to make everyone around your son share properly is only going to stress both you and your kid out. If you don't want to share your stuff, don't bring it.
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