It’s a playground (err, battlefield) out there!

Am I the only mum that thinks playgrounds are very often akin to battlefields? Children at their most excited (wildest) frenzied best worst; older kids almost stampeding the poor little toddlers who are taking their time to go up the slide then slide down it; each fighting for his or her place on the jungle gym or to pretend drive the big tractor. I might sound crazy but I am often afraid to enter a playground with Little Man… for fear he get hurt or bullied. Or fear that I might want to hurt the kid that hurt my kid (only theoretically speaking, of course!).

It’s not all that bad when its a cold, dull day (most days in UK!) but when the sun does make its presence felt, well so do the hounds of children. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying ALL kids are rough/ bullies, or that Little Man have sole rights to the slides and swings, but the fact remains that kids have to fight their corner in a playground on a bright, sunshining day! And as the (unfair) law of Nature goes, the bigger, stronger, pushier kid almost always gets his way.

He will slide down the slide after a toddler, and ram right into him at the bottom while the poor toddler is still in the process of getting up (happened to Little Man – he didn’t seem to mind although he did get a start at first, but I was seething). Here was this big-built five or six-year-old who could see a two-year-old at the bottom of the slide, but still came down on him with all his strength. Or the obviously spoilt four-year-old girl who pointed a finger at my innocent son (when it was no fault of his AT ALL), and screamed to her companion that he had interrupted her climb up the slide. Firstly, dear Spoilt Girl, the slide is to be climbed from the steps, not from the slide; and secondly, you could SEE he was sliding down so if you really wanted to break the rules you could’ve waited a few more seconds. After all, he did have right of way!

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I’ve seen kids push other kids off the climbing bar just to get to the top first. Or just push other kids out of their way. Or refuse to share the driver’s seat on the much-coveted tractor/bus/train in the park.

Before other mommies lash out at me, I understand that it IS a playground, after all, and that the occupants are CHILDREN after all, with no solid understanding of patience or right of way, but what about the mums/ dads of these kids? Do they choose to turn a blind eye or do they just not see what’s happening, being so fixated on their phones? If you want your child to turn out polite and understanding and kind, a good place to start would be here, at the playground, which is primarily their domain. Correct them when they push another child, or teach them to ‘share’ the tractor. Fun doesn’t mean being mean. Otherwise, at least make sure your five-year-old isn’t on a slide meant for a two-year old!!!

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Mummuddlingthrough

14 Responses

  1. Absolutely spot on! Love it!

  2. As always, I am a fan of your blog as you say things as they’re meant to be. And this time around you’re bang on again.
    Parents of older children DON’T give a damn. They’re many who are insensitive. I’m not saying all. But children’s behaviour day by day is getting worse, especially since they aren’t corrected when they’re wrong.

    • Thanks Tina. That’s such a nice comment:)
      And you are correct, sadly most parents (especially of older kids) don’t give a damn!!!

  3. Bang on .. And not to mention the turf wars where a bigger kid tries to intimidate a younger one from playing on “his” slide.. It gets more crazy when children are accompanied by maids. Maids only watch not reprimand

  4. firoza dalal

    IS IT REALLY SO BAD? BAPRE! THE PARENTS ARE AT FAULT FOR NOT CHECKING THEIR KIDS.

  5. Aakanksha Naval-Shetye

    What a well written piece Nicole.. totally agree wid u… that’s where it all starts and unfortunately most parents seem to ignore it until it’s their child being bullied… although at some level it might seem healthy cause that’s how the world is… really unfair but then our little men always can be taught the bigger things in life like living caring and sharing…. these little things do go a long way in making it a bigger change

    • Thank you Aakanksha! You’ve got a valid point too… they learn how to protect themselves and face the big, bad world! But at the same time, it is very important to teach them good manners and values from a young age, and as you said most parents don’t bat an eyelid until their child is the victim.

  6. My childrens behaviour isn’t always impeccable, and I probably don’t always see every scuffle…BUT if I do, I always try and intervene calmly and clearly. No one likes seeing their kid bashing another child, in fact it’s almost as bad as seeing your own child take a shove.
    Guess we’re all just doing what we can, muddling through!
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    • Agree with you; I wouldn’t like to see my son bashing up another child either. It is best to intervene, and make the child in question (ours or anothers) realise his or her mistake. Unfortunately, I’ve seen some parents/carers turning a blind eye and this post is primarily about (for) them.

  7. agentspitback

    I totally agree…kids will be kids but we cannot ignore bad behaviour. We are not doing them or ourselves a favour if we don’t guide them. Interesting post. #coolmumclub

    • Thank you for your kind comment. Yes it is ultimately our responsibilty as adults to show them the right path… thanks for reading:)

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