Dads on the Playground Aren't Pervs

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dads on playgroundsIf you're a dad or married to an involved dad (and if so, lucky you!), chances are your baby and his father will be spending some time on the playground, at the indoor play space, or even at a nonjudgmental mommy-and-me group. Yes, I realize those can be hard to find.

If your local tot spot is like ours, dad will be welcomed and the assumption will be that he is the father of the child he brought, and as a father, must be at least partially interested in the health and welfare of children. Maybe even worth chatting up a bit about day cares, snacks, the weather. But apparently not all playgrounds are as equal opportunity, as some dads have been getting the stink-eye when they bring junior out to play. And some dads have been insulted, ignored, and had assumptions made about their sexual proclivities that are not in the least bit flattering.

Some moms think dads on the playgrounds are perverts.

When Motherlode opened up the can of worms that is dads on the playground, bloggers and regular old dads alike chimed in with their own horror stories about being treated like a criminal when they were trying to give their baby a push in the swing. Daddy Dialect blogger Jeremy Adam Smith even told how a grandmother asked him to leave a playground.

What followed Smith's Twitter confession were more tales of dads being treated poorly including: being asked to leave a playground, being excluded because they were a dad and not a mom, and being criticized for their parenting. Dads also report the phenomenon of never being asked over for a play-date, but as soon as their wife takes the kids out, the invites flow.

With the exception of the play-date scenario (my husband doesn't get as many play-date offers as I do, it's true), my husband claims he's never experienced any of the discrimination described above. Whether it's because we're in a urban area and he's not the only dad on the playground, or he's just oblivious to the suspicious looks and whispers, I don't know.

But it does seem really strange that this kind of thing goes on in today's equal parenting society, and with regularity. Why are so many women suspicious of men on the playground, who are there with their own kids? Do we really think men who are interested in children must have something wrong with them to the point of making nasty assumptions about their motives? If so, we all need to get a grip. Dads love their kids too, and have the same rights to entertain them on the teeter-totter as the mom next door.

Have you or your husband ever experienced dad discrimination?


baby activities, childcare, play

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Shanin22 Shanin22

I love seeing dad's on the playground! Maybe it's just me but I feel like all the kids are a little more protected... should some trouble making teens or real perverts show up, lol. My husband has been hassled before. While at the park last year I ran to the swings with our older son while he played in the grass with our then 9 month old daughter. They were tickling, giggling, and blowing raspberries. I saw the older woman starring him down but didn't think much of it till she walked over screaming at him that what he was doing was inappropriate and he should stop and leave immediately! My husband was very hurt by the incident but he still takes the kids to the park... even on his own *gasp* lol

RanaA... RanaAurora

What the heck? I would smile seeing a dad pushing his kid on the swing.

angev... angevil53

i personally wouldn't invite a dad over to my house for a play date bc i don't feel like it would go over too well with my husband, so i can see their points there. but i would never and have never snubbed a dad or uncle or grandfather at a park. i'm not very talkative at all in public but i would give a smile just like any other person.

butte... butterflyfreak

Wow, I guess I never thought about that. I have never made that kind of assumption so I would never have thought about other people's perspective. My husband has taken my daughter out from time to time, not often as I'm a SAHM. He's never said anything about having any negative experiences like that. I think people are just too paranoid these days!

nonmember avatar Anon

There's a dad who brings his little girl swimming at the same time I take my girls. I recognized the girl from my kids' daycare. So at the school Xmas program I went up to introduce myself - and his wife got between us. The next week he didn't show up at the pool. It's not the first time I had the feeling that as a single mom, I was not welcome to approach a dad out with his kid. So it kinda works both ways.

Amber... AmberBrat

I think the other mom's are just jealous.

Ashley Castillo

So people don't stop being territorial, petty, jealous, and cliquish once they grow up and get their own families? Good to know.

nonmember avatar Mekara

I think that's crazy. My dad was a single dad when I was a toddler, I would have gone stir crazy if he didn't take me out side to play. That doesn't make him a pervert, it just means that he loved me. And when I have kids my husband had better take the kids out, I'll be a SAHM and I'll need a break now and again.

Monka Monka

I dont look at dads at the park or where ever with there kids alone differently. I did have a moms group but i wouldnt invite a dad because that wouldnt be right for me, My husband and i dont think the other husbands would be comfortable with that. I had a single  dad ask to join and i spoke with my husband about it and he said he would not be comfortable with men in the group. I know they need playdates too but its kinda of uncomfortable for an all mom kids group to have a man join.:( Sorry thats just the way it is.  But i in no way look at them wrong when there out at places.

jalaz77 jalaz77

My hubby wouldn't be so nice if someone asked him to leave the playground. My husband would care if he wasn't invited to a play-date unless it is with other guys. I love seeing dads hang with their kids. I have heard of single guys wanting to borrow kids to pick up girls...hahaha. Some days I would rather be around a group of men than women...women are way WAY to judgmental. Isn't this why this particular article exists?

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