Playground Pet Peeves

Shew-wee, it’s been a hot minute! But my last few trips of to the local park and playground have irked me enough to blog about it. It was KA-razy, trust me. I mean, I’m kind of ‘old-fashioned’ now that I’ve had a kid and all, but still, I think you’ll find some of the things on the list to be quite timeless and common playground etiquette.

1) Watch Your Children I’m all about some ME time. Trust me. A nap, some computer time, a good book, a nice lay in the sun. I fully support all of that, but not at the park.  When your children are pushing mine down the slide, throwing sand on the general public, and screaming obscenities, it ticks me off. The park is not mommy-speak for zoo, it’s not a daycare, and I’m not there to discipline your child, but I will if his or her behavior is endangering my kid.

2) Don’t Sit in the Parking Lot or Shelter Area Blasting Wholly Inappropriate Music It’s a playground,  not a place for you to jam and booty dance to Lil’ Wayne’s “She licked me like a lollypop.” With a three year old who repeats everything she hears, that’s not a phrase I’d like to be in her vocabulary. Now or ever. And what’s with the man who just sits in the parking lot blasting his gangster rap? And then leaves suddenly with no children in the car. What exactly is going on there?

3) Don’t Smoke at the Playground. You’re Way Too Old for it to be Cool I’ll never understand this. I’m all about ADULTS being able to make decisions for themselves, including those that harm their health (kind of, but that’s not my point here), but don’t bring your harmful, dirty, gross (and yes, I used to be a smoker, so I can say it) habit to my child’s face. It’s a PLAYGROUND for KIDS, do you really need to light up? At the very least, could you please go (and take your children so they can be properly supervised by you, the parent) to the parking lot and smoke? I mean, I just don’t see the necessity. And then there is the joy of finding cigarette butts in the sand area and explaining to your child that it’s not something with which they can play.

4) When My Child is Being a Goober and Not Willing to Share Her Toys, Don’t Make it Easy on Her by Snatching it from Your Child to return to Mine This one is tricky. My daughter needs to learn how to share. When she gives your child a toy and then demands it back, please don’t take the toy from your child and return it to my passionate little dictator leader (sometimes). When I’m trying to explain to A that she can’t bring toys and then not share, it’s counterproductive when others give in to her! Especially when I’m not afraid of a little public tantrum! I’m kind of mean and stubborn sometimes, but A just needs to learn that going to the park involves sharing and that’s never going to work if other parents give in to her. I realize that they’re probably trying to save their child from being involved in a skirmish over toys, but I promise, A will be fine in a minute! :)

Alright. So that’s only four, but our last few trips to the park just haven’t been awesome. The six year olds yelling out F bombs was especially exciting. Then there was the picnic with the boom box and the dancing. And the kids covering the bottom of the slide with sand and not allowing anyone else down. Then there was the sweet little girl who just wanted to play with A, but she was having none of it :( Her mommy took the shovel and gave it back to A :( I felt bad for her, but I was all about making Abby use the perfectly good other shovel. Oh well. Maybe we’ll try again next week.

What are your playground pet peeves?


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Annalee on April 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Stacey-sounds like you guys need to try the parks here in the Valley-haha! But I do know what you mean- playgrounds can be rough places when parents choose to act more juvenile than their children!! I actually witnessed a mother letting her son drop kick another kid-& yes, she saw it! I actually had to tell her son to stop hurting the other boy & she looked at me like, “what’s wrong with you?!” I was mortified!
    I would say my #1 pet peeve is parents asking to take pics of my kid-yes, she’s cute-I’m partial!-BUT it creeps me out when some other parent starts snapping away with a phone or camera @ my daughter-GROSs! Where are those pics going & do I know you?! FYI-I don’t mind my friends & family snappping pics!
    So yep, I feel your playground pain- there should be rules for parents!


  2. Posted by Dixie (mom) on April 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Well pet peeve is definitely “parents not watching their own children” and then “not caring what they are doing when they see it.” Not a whole lot we can do about this, but just watch our own kid and make sure they are not killed by the other children.

    My other one is chewing gum – anywhere – but especially at the playground. It ends up on swings, tables, the ground and eventually on your shoe. I hate chewing gum for all children under the age of 18.

    On the smoking issue, I say smoke all you want outside as long as you are not blowing smoke down a kids throat. Certainly be polite about it and don’t throw your butts on the ground.

    Unfortunately, we only have control over ourselves and sometimes our children, so that is what we have to focus on.


  3. Posted by Michelle on April 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I think you should take #1-3…nothing personal about #4, I agree; however, it’s more of a personal note….anyway, write a letter to the editor of the Herald-Dispatch. They will probably edit it down, but send it to the paper. SERIOUSLY!!! I’m sure a lot of people agree with you, parent or not. I’ll never understand why someone will blast disgusting music or smoke in a family oriented place!!!! I also don’t understand why some parents or babysitters don’t watch children more closely…I do understand sometimes you can turn your head for a moment and then something happens, however, it’s not a time to relax and let your child run wild and possibly hurt others.


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