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Have you ever found yourself "parenting" strangers' kids because they are so in need of adult attention?<br><br>
I don't mean disciplining kids whose parents won't do it, I just mean kids whose parents pay them so little attention that they glom onto any adult who talks to them?<br><br>
DD (4 1/2) was playing with two really sweet kids at the playground today. There was Antonio, who was 5, and Raquel, who looked about 3. They were having a great time. Antonio and Raquel's parents were SLEEPING on a blanket waaayyy on the other side of the park. At one point Raquel fell and hurt her ankle; I had to bring her over to her mom. Then Antonio wanted to ride his skateboard down the slide, and I tried really hard to convince him that it wasn't a good idea. When Raquel wanted to take off her jacket, I kept an eye on it for her. You get the idea. They were really nice kids but clearly starving for adult attention.<br><br>
When I decided to take DD for a bike ride, Antonio got so sad that we were leaving. When DD asked if we could play some more in the playground after the bike ride, I said yes even though I was tired and ready to go home...partly because of those kids! They were thrilled when we came back.<br><br>
They made me so sad. They seemed lonely, and it made me want to take them home. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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That really is sad. It's too bad their parents can't be bothered to play with their own kids at the park. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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That really is too bad. I had a park experiance recently where there were 3 kids at the playground and mom & dad (I think) with a group of friends were on the other side of the park "hanging out" The kids loved playing with my dd and I and getting my attention. At one point one of the kids said to the other "don't get sand in your hair or mama's gonna spank you!" How awfull!<br><br>
I am happy that I have this chance to talk with mothers like you who love and respect there babies and that our kiddies never have to experiance anything like this.
 

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I've seen this kind of thing pretty much every time I take my kids to the park. There are always some little ones who will talk to any adult since their parent is too busy for them, and just that freaks me out!<br>
You're a nice person to pay attention to the other kids that were there.
 

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Almost every time we go to the park. It's the evening crowd and my dh is the one that it happens to mostly, because now I usually refuse to go to the park in the evening. I just get so mad/disgusted/annoyed.<br><br>
While I feel bad for these children, there are at least three to five children that want/need to be parented/played with every evening. It's the same kids every night that need attention. Here's the thing: in the evening we go to park with my dss to play as a family and it always ends up about other peoples' children. Selfish or not, I'm sick of it. Our yard is not fenced in and it's a bit small for ball games, so we like to go to the park.<br><br>
There is a field and a baseball diamond and my dh will take a ball and a bat for my 3 year old and 1.5 year old and take turns playing with them. What almost always happens is that a child (who is always at least five-seven years of age) will come over and ask to play. They always try to take my 1.5 year old's gear. Dh ends up with my 3 year old and the other kids and my 1 year old wanders around aimlessly. I have kids asking me to help them on the monkey bars and push them on the swings while their parents sit on their a$$ and do nothing.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><br><br>
LunaMom, I hate to seem heartless, but I have to say that I am becoming pretty numb to it, because I tired of all of our park visits being about other peoples' children. If I go, I end leaving angry and sad. Plus my dh is such a sweety and he feels so bad for the kids that he gives them more attention then he gives his own kids who have been waiting to see him all day long.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Have you ever found yourself "parenting" strangers' kids because they are so in need of adult attention?</td>
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Yes, all the time. I find the lack of parenting I see at the park to be quite depressing. So much so, that I usually go to a park that I know of where the playground is usually empty. Ds is only 19 months anyway, so it's not as if he misses out. His favorite playmate is mommy, anyway.<br><br>
lisa
 

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My dh doesn't like to go to the park for this very reason, well, actually neither of us mind giving attention to other people's kids (who clearly need it). It's the keeping track of their safety that gets dh upset. He is a paramedic, and so he feels (and rightfully so) that wherever we are, if someon gets hurt, or is about to, etc. that he must tend to them, in more than a "honey are you ok?" kind of way. We see kids falling from high places, or getting kicked in the head and bleeding, etc. their parents are usually sitting in the car quite a ways a way, and even if they see it, they don't come down to do anything when they see dh taking care of it all. Now, if one of my kids fell, and I saw it I'd be right there first of all, secondly though- I wouldn't want a strange man going anywhere near them, YK? These people don't seem to mind a bit, my dh once took one child for a wagon walk around the park with my son (this little girl was maybe 12 months) and the parents were totally asking dh to take her with him WTH? I guess I'm not very trusting but I am on top of my kids for many reasons #1- I love being with them, #2- make sure they are safe from falling.etc, #3 to make sure strangers don't go near them. These people seem to have none of that going on and it is so very sad. I often wonder what I could do to influence these parents, or help them, to see what they are missing. I try not to judge them-but it is hard, and the poor kids<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">
 

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Timely post. Lately my ds1 (turns 5 in Nov) has been asking moms, dads, adults, etc. who are near the hand-over-hand bars to lift him up and let him have a go. I'm generally with my 17 mo within sight (and never more than 50 feet away--again, with straight view of him) but helping the little one. These adults are always gracious and give ds a turn or two. I used to do the same when it was just me and ds--help other kids--before ds2 came along. I feel like what goes around comes around.<br><br>
I feel conflicted about it, and I NEVER let ds do more than 2 turns from another adult, because I don't want to monopolize their time or to seem like, well...one of those moms who isn't interacting with her kid <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> . It's just that my boys have totally different interests on the playground and ds2 needs more direct, with him every second, supervision.<br><br>
What I get quite often is the five or six year old girl who desperately wants to talk to me and who plays with ds2 as a way, frankly, of getting MY attention. I've had three or four girls do this lately--with no parent in sight--and while I'm happy to give a child attention, after a while ds2 wants to go to the sandbox, or walk a trail, whatever, and the little girls seems to get jealous of ds2 coming over and getting my attention. We've had little kids ask if they can come home with us for dinner (when I tell them we have to leave to go home and eat). Yikes!<br><br>
My DH is like the nice ones described here, and I think nice father figures are rare in these kids' lives, so they glom on whenever they can. My DH can easily get a group of five or six kids chasing him and a soccer ball within 10 minutes at a park.<br><br>
MaqmaOui--Groff Park in Amherst is great, and I don't have this problem there. It's on 116 in Amherst.<br><br>
Mel
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by MamaOui</i><br><b>LunaMom, I hate to seem heartless, but I have to say that I am becoming pretty numb to it, because I tired of all of our park visits being about other peoples' children. If I go, I end leaving angry and sad.</b></td>
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I totally understand what you mean, as I have felt this way myself, especially when the kids are not very respectful. Fortunately, these kids were sweet and not much trouble. But I have been in situations where kids started to make me uncomfortable...asking if they can come to my house, wanting to have some of dd's snack, smothering either me or dd to some extent. I've never done this, but I guess the best thing to do would be to walk the child over to his or her parent or caregiver and say, "Your child has been asking to come to my house/asking for a snack/asking me to push her on the swing, and I think she probably needs you instead of me."<br><br>
Speaking of snacks, did I mention that in the 4 1/2 or so hours these kids were at the park, I did not see them eat or drink one single thing? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Um..actually, no, I've not seen this yet. Although I think people think I am a terrible mom at the playground because I let Goo explore. She was on the big side of the playground playing with the tire swing and she swung it, and then saw something else and forgot about the tire. Well, just because she stopped, doesn't mean the laws of physics stopped and it whomped her in the head. I saw that it didn't hit her hard and waited for her reaction. Two other parents saw it and immediately called out to ask her if she was ok. She got startled by them and she looked at me. I just said" are you hurt?" she looked at the other parents and decided to smile and wave!<br><br><br>
I also let her climb the slide (on the slide side) and a little boy saw this and did it too and his parents told him that you aren't allowed to climb on slides....Sigh....13 months old and I'm already letting her get other kids in trouble,
 

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i also feel very sad when it happens.<br><br>
it happens a lot<br><br>
the park,<br>
stores,<br>
zoo,<br>
museums.<br><br>
everywhere!<br><br>
kids that just walk up and start talking to you and also are not being supervised at all.<br><br><br>
in MEXICO there was a boy there in the pool in our hotel....his parents were NO WHERE around. he was starving for attention....when me and my two boys played with him he was thrilled he told me his life story. about an HOUR later his parents came to the pool area.<br><br><br>
ps. please do not let your kid climb up the slide. as your child could get very very hurt and could also hurt another child. that is very dangerous. i always stop kids that are doing that. i hate that so much.<br><br><br>
 

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Well, I tend toward the same direction as Foobar, though I don’t have any children as young as your ones at this point. My DS is 15 and developmentally delayed, and I hate it when people feel like they need to make up for some perceived “lack” in my parenting. I think I may have told this story before:<br><br>
DS was a bit sick one day this summer, and I took him home after he made a failed attempt at convincing me he was “all better.” The next morning, though, when I woke DS up to go to his little summer day camp thing, he looked much better. I asked him how he felt, and he said “fine.” He got up, danced around the house, got ready for day camp, ate breakfast, and acted completely energetic and healthy. Well, we start talking on the way to camp about the day’s field trip, and he gets nervous about it and about some of the kids that will be there. We start into the building, and all of the sudden he’s saying he’s deathly ill. I knew he was fine, so I made him come upstairs with me and check in. We got in, and everyone was babying him and acting like I was a whacko/neglectful parent for bringing him even though I tried to explain the situation. I get home and listen to the messages on my answering machine, and there was one of the adults in charge—having called just a minute after DS and I left to get him to camp—to make sure DS wasn’t coming since he was “so sick” (yeah right, even when he was sick it was pretty mild—he totally refused sleep, which is unusual when he is sick, for example). Well, he wasn’t sick, but I felt awful. I think by the time I picked him up everyone understood what I was saying because he had been fine all day (even though before they left he gagged himself to throw up). But in the meantime, everyone was babying him and making these assumptions about what kind of parent I was.<br><br>
It’s hard to figure what might be going on with another family at the park. Except in extreme cases. For instance, I definitely wouldn’t fall asleep (or not be at least mostly watching my kids) if my kids were 5 and 3. Even if I gave them plenty of room to explore (which I think is both necessary and healthy and not done enough) and was perhaps watching from across a good stretch of park, I would definitely throw glances their way every few seconds. There are too many risks. Probably one of the least likely of these risks would ironically be one of the biggest motivating fears that would keep my kids in my line of vision: anyone could just come and snatch them up, especially the 3 year old. If the couple honestly was not keeping a watch of their children, that is pretty negligent, I would say.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by sleepies</i><br><b>ps. please do not let your kid climb up the slide. as your child could get very very hurt and could also hurt another child. that is very dangerous. i always stop kids that are doing that. i hate that so much.</b></td>
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I'm not really so sure it is dangerous...given certain conditions.<br><br>
If a parent is standing right there and another child is not playing on the slide (nor are there children around who may be wanting to slide), this might be fine. I'd let me kids, given those conditions and a good talking about needing those conditions to be met. I haven't looked at the stats, but I honestly wonder if falls are just as likely when a child slides down (ever see a child just miss the slide or get totally off balance <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!">), and if not, then under what conditions are each activities most risky. I've climbed slides, and I always feel more in control climbing than sliding.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/oops.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="oops">T<br><br>
On the climbing the slide issue. I was a teacher, so when I became a parent, some things just followed me, like "kids shouldn't climb slides".<br><br>
My dd, who is not particularly physical, always would try to climb our slide, and I would remind her of "the rule". I kept that up even after I realized that she could climb it just fine, if I let her, and that there were no other kids playing in my backyard<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> , b/c I didn't want baby brother (who wasn't agile enough to do it) trying.<br><br>
Well, now they are both quite agile at climbing up the slide, and ds can't even slide down without help, I think kids actually do better at climbing up than at sliding down, and I have seen many a kid lose balance sliding down, or get a foot caught behind, etc. Ouch!<br><br>
Anywho, I agree that it should not be allowed when other kids are using the slide, but if you are at the park alone, I think it's worth letting your kids climb up the slide <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I let my kids play at the park (3 & 5) I am watching them.. I think it is a good thing that they feel comfortable enough to ask other adults for help.. Help on the monkey bars.. Help up a slide.. Help when they need it.. I am there, but it doesn't mean they can't feel the desire to connect with another adult.. I don't let them monopolise that person... They have children too.. Just as I would play and interact with another child if they were interested in playing or talking with us.. I feel comfortable letting my children play and talk and interact with other adults that I don't know.. To an extent.. I probably wouldn't let them take the kids on a ride anywhere.. I trust my instincts and those of my children.. Perhaps i sometimes seem like one of those neglectful parents you are talking about, but let me assure you this is most whole heartedly not true..<br><br>
Just another perspective..<br><br>
Warm Squishy Feelings..<br><br>
Dyan<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Pynki<br>
I just noticed your location. I think location can make all the difference in how comfortable someone feels letting their children talk to strangers, not that bad things don't happen in the middle of nowhere, cause they do, but lots of bad things happen here everyday. The news this morning had a "story" about our local park and how a 14 y.o. was abducted from their and raped, right down the street from my house, at *our* park. Also, my life experience has unfortunately taught me not to trust strangers. To each their own, I wish I could be as comfortable as you are.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/oops.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="oops">T<br><br>
OH! We have the rule that the slide can only be climbed if 1) no one else is on it and 2) if no one wants to slide down.<br><br>
Why is it dangerous? I am always right there with her. She is learning balence and problem solving skills (she starts to slide on her belly and then she figures out how to make her traction better).<br><br>
Besides, there are so many other dangerous things at the park, she could fall off of any of the toys. I am more scared of the little springy rocking horse at the park (made out of metal that Goo has fallen into) than the plastic kiddie slide.<br><br>
oh well... bad mommy, Foo, bad mommy!
 

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On the slide issue - I will admit that I have let DS do it occasionally. But it is the soft slide at the mall. DH is totally against it and it is true that it is not a good habit to develop. Or at least allow until they are older. I loved doing it as a child. But I was 7 or older.<br><br>
As far as parenting others children. We went camping this weekend with friends and their families. One family has 4 children (9, 6, 4 1/2, and 1). Their children are constantly unsupervised. And let me just say that if I EVER become that neglectful of my children to lock me up. Last year the 3 yo wandered from the campsite down to the river without his mother so much as noticing much less coming to look for him.<br><br>
And they are such good kids. The 6 and 4 yos loved to play with my DS (13 mo) and the 6 year old said to me, "your son is really famous," which I took to mean popular but he didn't know the word.
 

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We don't go to the park near us during the summer for this very reason. There are so many unsupervised kids there. And many of them are just too aggressive and don't think of the other children who are also using the park. There seem to be many 5 and older children who are just dropped off there. They climb all over the playground (on top of the covered-slide, up the round and round slide, on top of the support poles)-places that are not safe and not made for climbing. They have pushed and walked right over dd (3 1/2). I constanly have to say things like "she's been waiting at the top of the slide for quite a while now, could you please let her have a turn?" or "would you mind not climbing up the slide so she can have a turn to go <b>down</b> it?". It makes me so mad that none of these children have manners or know how to share and get along with other children.<br>
I usually end up leaving angry. DD gets very upset b/c she doesn't actually get to <i>play</i> at the park. Also, there is a big Eastern European community here and they sit all around the playground and smoke, which drives me crazy! I don't think you should be allowed to smoke in a children's playground.<br>
Sorry, this turned out to be much more of a vent than I had intended (and a little OT, too) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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