10 Things Never to Do at the Playground

At first glance, playgrounds may look like idyllic places where everyone is smiling, happy, and having fun... parents, however, know better. Every grabbed shovel at the sandbox, every child breathing down another one's neck for a turn on the swing has the potential to turn ugly -- and parents are just as prone as their kids to end up in tense altercations or tussles.

To help you navigate this treacherous terrain and not get sucked into petty playground battles left and right, here's a little advice on what NOT to do at the local park.

Mom rules for the playground

More from The Stir10 Things Never to Do on a Playdate

What behavior annoys you at the playground? Would you ever do #8?

Images via Brittany Randolph/Flickr; © iStock.com/rinajodk

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nonmember avatar sarah

leave your kids there and go to work is not on the list?

NatAndCo NatAndCo

Conversely, if you have an older kid, don't let him play on the equipment meant for the little ones. My 1.5 yr old got knocked down in the 1-3 yr old section of a Lego discovery center by some tween who was running around with some friends. Not a happy mama.

Tracys2 Tracys2

This is confusing.

For a younger kid, yes I WILL spend some time at your mulch "ice cream store" and help you climb something or push you on a swing, attempt to get you not to throw mulch, and hold you as you cross the monkey bars.

But, if you have older kids (4+), what IS your role at the park? Push them on the swing maybe, and then what? Watch them climb around for a minute, otherwise stare into space? Some times, they really DO want to play by themselves or with friends, and parents are almost completely pointless, as they run around playing tag, go down slides, hide in the "fort" under the slides or in a tunnel and laugh with friends or siblings....

I can't slide with them, I'm not part of the pretend games any more, and they've been able to cross monkey bars since they turned 5, and realy, they don't need me to cheer every time they make it up the rock wall they climbed at 2, or interrupt their secret-telling session with their new friend.

That cries, "Drink some coffee, read your book, and occasionally look up and wave, till someone has to be waked to the bathroom or needs a band-aid" to me. (I don't have a smartphone)

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I would like to take a moment to express how much I hate these slideshows! I usually like the little "list" articles but I skip them now because of these infernal slideshows! >.< Just do a dang list! lol

TheSi... TheSilence

Your post says you should hover close to your kid so they don't get hit by swingers but the next slide says to not hover near kids and let them play. Do you even read what you post?

Anyways, at the park we attend it seems that there are a lot of kids that like to take other kids sand toys. If someone grabs my sons toys I will grab it back and tell them it isn't theirs.

If a kid throws sand in my child's face I will tell them to stop and go away.

Get mad? I don't care.

craft... craftycatVT

Ditto Silence. Mess with my kid and I WILL get involved.


I think the last person to give advice on any kind of child rearing is someone who has no problem with their child being an animal abuser.

P.She... P.Sherman

And yet, doing any of these is not nearly as bad as allowing your daughter to torture animals.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I don't judge parents who wait in the car. There's one woman who frequents our neighborhood park who has mobility issues and getting across mulch would be next to impossible for her so she watches from the car. I have sat in the car a couple of times myself when I've had a napping toddler in the back seat and a big kid who needs to run off steam. 99 % of the time I'm out there playing but I'm not going to wake the baby just so I can carry her around all cranky until we both get fed up with the situation and I'm obviously not going to get out and leave her in the car unless the big kid breaks his leg or something. 

Belinda Anne Clem

 I don't do number 4 but I do number 8. In my defense I had two sleeping kids in the car and I was at the school playground. I was right outside the gate watching them while the other two took a nap, if I had moved them to a stroller I would have woken them up!

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