7 Types of Parents You'll Meet at the Playground

7 Types of Parents You'll Meet at the Playground

moms at parkPlaygrounds can be a lot like high school in the sense that there are very specific types of parents who hang out there. Go to any park, in any city, and it's pretty much a given that, just like in high school, the same types of people will be spotted there.

You've, without question, seen them. You're, without question, one of them. Here are the 7 types of playground parents.

Which one are you?


Image via Hero Images/Corbis

  • Loner Mom

    1

    Loner Mom typically wears sunglasses -- even if it's cloudy. She sits on the end of a bench, futzing around with her phone, making it clear she does not want to chat about organic snacks or the latest episode of Dora.

    Loner Mom trusts her kid(s), and even though it doesn't look like she's paying attention to them, she is. (You just can't see through those glasses.) She's secure in herself, her parenting style, and relishes the hour she gets to mess around with her phone or just zone out.

  • The Chatty Kathy

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    Jason Weaver/Flickr

    The Chatty Kathy's sole purpose in going to the park is to B.S. with her friends. She's likely a SAHM and craves adult, human contact. If her kid is hanging upside down on the monkey bars, giving someone the finger, she's cool with it. As long as it doesn't interfere with the latest gossip she's getting.

    Chatty Kathy's kids often have great childhoods, as they're always doing fun things with lots of other kids. Also, if you need anything -- sugar, a ride, a hug -- CK is your woman.

  • The Unofficial Playground Police

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    Tetra Images/Corbis

    Moms are a little nervous to bring their kids around Playground Police Mom, as she will call your kid out if they're doing something they "shouldn't." Son trying to climb up the slide? It's going on his record. Daughter taking too long on the swings? It's going on her record.

    At the end of the day, though, most moms feel comfortable leaving their children in the hands of Playground Police Mom, albeit a little self-conscious. They'll definitely be in great hands, and when they return to you, don't be surprised if they've magically learned the words "please" and "thank you."

  • Two Steps Behind Mom

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    Two Steps Behind Mom is typically, well, two steps behind her kid at all times. She isn't necessarily a helicopter parent but instead likely has a younger child, who can't yet navigate the park equipment by themselves despite them thinking otherwise.

    The park isn't a relaxing experience for Two Steps Behind Mom since she can't sit and relax at the park, like some of the other moms. But on the flip side? She probably burns about 2,000 extra calories every time she goes.

  • Cool Dad

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    Cheriejoyful/Flickr

    Cool Dad is one of the few dudes at the park with their kids. He likely has some sort of "alternative" set-up, being that he's at the playground in the middle of the day, and he's not very interested in talking to you. Well, he might be, but he's not.

    Cool Dad likely has a tattoo or two, shades on, a baseball cap, and a 5 o' clock shadow. You, as a mom, kinda want to talk to Cool Dad, because you think he and your husband would get along great. But you don't want it to seem like you're hitting on him, because you're so not!

  • Question Mom

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    Colin Kinner/Flickr

    Question Mom likely just moved to the area, so be nice to her, okay? She's a little nervous to go up to you and your cool mom friends, but she has questions! So many questions! What's the best pediatrician? Where's the closest Whole Foods? Are there any playgroups around that are accepting applications?

    It can be hard to open up your group to new people, but you should definitely give Question Mom a chance. She might be a pain at first, what with all her inquiries, but let's get real here: Who loves dispensing advice more than moms?

  • Could-You-Be-My-Friend Mom

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    H D/FLickr

    CYBMF Mom looks pretty cool to you. In fact, you're dressed somewhat similarly, and you seem to be on the same parenting philosophy page. Even your kids are close in age. Is it fate?!

    CYBMF Mom is usually at the park alone and seems pretty laid back. You guys kind of chat with one another, but you feel like it would be weird to blurt out, "Wanna exchange numbers?" -- and you think she's thinking the same thing. You'll likely only run into CYBMF Mom a few times a year at a playground, four, tops, so when you see her, you really should seize the opportunity. And she should, too!

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