Telling a child not to play near their little kids at the playground - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK so this is partly a vent but partly to see if I'm crazy and my opinion is clouded by bias of love for my kid or something.

I was at the park with my very tall and solid 3-year-old. She was running around on the playground equipment, having a ball. While we were there, a group of 5 moms, each with a kid roughly 18 months old, showed up, all together. Their kids were toddling around, but as you can imagine were much smaller than my kid. One of the moms told my daughter to not play in the areas were any little ones were so she wouldn't accientally push against one of them. And they were all over it so basically they wanted her to sit out I guess. I was there and said she could play on the equipment too, wherever she wanted, and the moms glared and whispered for a while and then left with their kids.

So was their expectation that my kid not play near any of their kids reasonable? Was I rude to not accommodate this? They obviously thought I was rude, but I thought they were rude to think all activity at the park should stop because they showed up with their kids.
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#2 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I should add that I had earlier told her to be careful around the babies because they were littler than she was, and at least one of the moms was right there when I said it. Also, she had not been being at all rough with or around them. She was acting like a 3-year-old though.
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#3 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 10:15 AM
 
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I'd have a hard time not feeling a bit slighted at the request either.  Playgrounds are for everyone.  I don't think you were rude - if you show up planning to play & run around, you get to do so.    

 

If you'd thought of it, shoot a 'Don't worry, I'm planning on helping her remember to be careful around your kids' with a smile may (or may not) have helped.  I mean, I've been there with little kids and other rude kids who weren't watched carefully, and that's not fun either.  I'd assume that's where they're coming from. . . but being there first doesn't mean you get to make the rules, yk?

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#4 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 10:30 AM
 
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Especially given the ages of the children involved, I would say that you were totally in "the right."

 

Toddlers are not meant to be given the run of public playgrounds on their own.  Now, they are totally welcome to be there, but people need to be aware that the play equipment is not designed for 18 month olds.  My kids played on it at that age but I considered it my responsibility to keep them safe, just like once my kids are older I consider it their responsibility to watch out for younger kids.  A 3 year old cannot be expected to keep younger children safe in any way.  A three year old has the right to play normally without worrying about it, IMO.

 

Now, if there were age designations that were outside of normal conventions that would be a different matter (our children's museum has an under 2.5 play area, so if a three year old was there I *would* expect the parent to keep them out of the way of the toddlers playing).  In just the same way, if there was a play facility for kids say 10 and older, I would understand them taking less concern than usually expected if there was a young child also playing there (I'm not saying they should be rude, but older kids are just faster and rougher--- I wouldn't expect them not to play tag or something like that while in place that was more aimed at 3-8 year olds I would expect them to slow down their activity enough to be safe for the younger kids).


 

 

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#5 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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I would have done exactly what you did OP. The other moms were being pretty rude, although I do know how big a 3yo looks compared to an 18mo!

I used to live near a playground that had 2 play structures. One was very obviously meant for toddlers and young kids, and the other was meant for older kids. The toddler one was occasionally overrun by older kids playing tag, and I didn't have a problem asking them to play on the other structure - and mostly everyone was very nice about it. But I only asked kids who were very clearly elementary school age and up, never the 3year olds, or even the 4 year olds. Even though they looked huge to me!
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#6 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 12:12 PM
 
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I agree with pp.  When I had a small toddler like that and there were bigger kids at the playground I used to shadow her on the equipment to keep her safe.  My kid, my job.  Not the responsibility of the 3 y/o to look out for my toddler for me.


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#7 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 01:42 PM
 
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I agree with everyone else.

 

I also suspect that you'll find more of this as your child gets older. Many people believe that no child who is older than their child has the right to play, run, swing, etc.

 

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#8 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 02:20 PM
 
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I think you were in the right. If the parents were hovering over their little toddlers, which they should be doing when they take 18 month olds to a playground then there wouldn't be a reason for your three year old to stay away from them. It's inappropriate, imo, for an adult to ask anything of a three year old (they should say something to the parent), let alone ask them to understand to stay clear of toddlers who have taken over the playground.

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#9 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 02:40 PM
 
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It's utterly bizarre! If they had been their first, and your child came trampling all over their kids, then it might make some sense, but ti come in and expect another child to vacate the equipment so that yours can use it is just poor manners regardless of age!

The only other possibility that makes any sense to me is if it was specifically toddler equipment as mentioned by a PP, but in that case, I still feel it is inappropriate for them to address your dc while there is clearly an involved parent standing by. If that were the case (which it doesn't soung like it was) one of the moms should have gently approached you about whether or not you might mind taking your DD to play on the bigger kid equipment since that would be too dangerous for the toddlers.

How weird! I for one have never experienced the "mommy-cliques" that I've read about in magazines, but this sounds like one in action!
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#10 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 02:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chenchen View Post
The only other possibility that makes any sense to me is if it was specifically toddler equipment as mentioned by a PP, but in that case, I still feel it is inappropriate for them to address your dc while there is clearly an involved parent standing by. If that were the case (which it doesn't soung like it was) one of the moms should have gently approached you about whether or not you might mind taking your DD to play on the bigger kid equipment since that would be too dangerous for the toddlers.

 

You're right--- if there is a parent nearby people should generally not instruct random children!  Sorry I forgot that earlier.


 

 

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#11 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There were two pieces of equipment, both small - one for ages 0 to 5, and one for ages 5 and up. So, at 3, she was OK using the little one, though she ran back and forth between the two - and the babies were using both as well.
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#12 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 03:43 PM
 
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I think you did the right thing. It is a public park and if their kids can't handle the play area in a public park they shouldn't be there
They sound like overprotective new mothers. I think their kids were most likely in more danger of being run over or hurt by another toddler than by a three year old.
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#13 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 04:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chenchen View Post

It's utterly bizarre! If they had been their first, and your child came trampling all over their kids, then it might make some sense, but ti come in and expect another child to vacate the equipment so that yours can use it is just poor manners regardless of age!

The only other possibility that makes any sense to me is if it was specifically toddler equipment as mentioned by a PP, but in that case, I still feel it is inappropriate for them to address your dc while there is clearly an involved parent standing by. If that were the case (which it doesn't soung like it was) one of the moms should have gently approached you about whether or not you might mind taking your DD to play on the bigger kid equipment since that would be too dangerous for the toddlers.

How weird! I for one have never experienced the "mommy-cliques" that I've read about in magazines, but this sounds like one in action!

To clarify, I still think 3yos are very much toddlers and should be able to play on the toddler playground (although my 3yo prefers the big kid playground much to my chagrin), because even though 3yos look gigantic compared to 18mos, they are still liable to get trampled when playing with 8-10 yos (not the fault of the older children - kids aren't always looking out for much younger children so having separate equipment is a really good idea to prevent problems).
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#14 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 07:25 PM
 
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You did nothing wrong. Just throwing it out there that often moms have no idea about children any older then their oldest. So if all the kids were 1.5 then in their mind, your 3 year old is a giant and SOO mature when all the rest of us know just how immature a 3 year actually is. I would of done the same thing that the OP did. I will gently remind my kids to be careful around the babies but then as the mother of a toddler, it is my job to protect him. 


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#15 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 09:32 PM
 
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I would guess that they were all first time moms who haven't figured out yet that the world does not revolve around their precious one and only. Even if it was the type of playground that has one big kid and 1 little kid section, at 3 you should definatly be able to play in the little kid section. It's not like there were a goup of  8 year olds tearing around playing tag. I understnad how you feel. I belonged to moms group at one point and I was the only one with a 2 year old and a baby, the rest all first time babies and there were a couple of moms who didn't like my 2 year old coming within a 10 foot radius of their child. I thought, just you wait until you have more that 1! You were completely in the right. 

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#16 of 18 Old 06-03-2012, 08:08 AM
 
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I would guess that they were all first time moms who haven't figured out yet that the world does not revolve around their precious one and only. Even if it was the type of playground that has one big kid and 1 little kid section, at 3 you should definatly be able to play in the little kid section. It's not like there were a goup of  8 year olds tearing around playing tag. I understnad how you feel. I belonged to moms group at one point and I was the only one with a 2 year old and a baby, the rest all first time babies and there were a couple of moms who didn't like my 2 year old coming within a 10 foot radius of their child. I thought, just you wait until you have more that 1! You were completely in the right. 

 

 

Agree, at least some of those moms will have a new perspective in another year or two when they've got a 2-3 y.o. and an infant/toddler and have to take them out to play in the same park. It's a time-limited problem, although that doesn't help you out now.

 

OP, you handled it fine. 

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#17 of 18 Old 06-03-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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This is a little off topic, but I have found that age dropping works wonders in situations like this. My dd is frequently taken for a child a few years older and this has smoothed a lot of situations out. In the playground scenario you could say something like "you are fine dd that playset is for three year olds too, just try to be careful of shorter children." Even now that my dd is nine I still have to drop her age into conversations a lot and it still works wonders.
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#18 of 18 Old 06-03-2012, 08:09 PM
 
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I agree with all the pp's and would have done exactly what you did OP. My DS is only 2 but I've already run across this a couple of times. It really is baffling how some parents can think that if your child is older, the older child doesn't have the right to run around and play and for some reason has to "stay away" so that their younger child can play. In my case my DS was holding a paper mache flower and a mother of a younger child who was maybe 19 months told my son he needed to leave the area because him standing there with his flower was "teasing her" and the toy wasn't age appropriate for her child. I was there watching him and he had done nothing with the flower that was wrong (i.e. waving it in her face) -- he was just happily playing with it by himself. I was floored by that.


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