Playground Etiquette for Adults

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Lately I have noticed the emergence of playgrounds or playareas almost anywhere, even in places where you least expect it: in the malls, in restaurants, in offices (parents talk business while kids play).  It has become very important for kids to have fun and for adults to adhere to the unwritten rules and etiquette while their kids indulge in fun play.

Unfortunately, as a parent, I have unwittingly encountered and personally experienced and witnessed adults who are not aware (or who choose not to know) of these rules.

Rule 1: You are not a kid anymore!

Please do not use the playground toys as if you were reliving your second childhood.  In case you haven’t noticed, only kids are allowed on those toys and machines. 

Rule 2: Tit for Tat (specifically applicable to paid rides, like merry-go-rounds)

On the merry-go-round rides in the malls, only 3-4 kids are allowed per ride, and each ride costs around RM2 usually.  If your kid is on one of the horses and you pay the RM2, and then someone else’s kid comes on another horse, it is good etiquette and EXPECTED that the other kid’s parent/guardian pay for another merry-go-round ride, where your kid can ride along too.  It is not compulsory, but it is a nice gesture and a polite one.

We never had this problem when we were in the States.

Unfortunately, we encountered a sad and sorry incident here just last weekend.  Ethan and Hannah wanted to go on the merry-go-round in Queensbay Mall, and Hannah wanted the purple horse.  She ran towards it, but all of a sudden, a much bigger boy rushed to the purple horse and sat on it.  His brother got on another horse and they both poised themselves, waiting for me to put in the tokens.

My hubby told them no, we were not going to ride on the merry-go-round because Hannah wanted the purple horse.  We then took Hannah to another ride (for one person).  The rowdy boys rushed to that same ride and attempted to *cut queue* again.  And again, my husband told him off.

Finally the two boys ran off.

Then we put the tokens into the merry-go-round and Ethan and Hannah started having fun on it. 

But only for 2 seconds…

Out of nowhere, the 2 boys ran towards the merry-go-round and climbed on the horses.  Hannah got really scared and wanted to climb off!

After the ride, the two boys ran off.  I could see their parents were about 50 meters away, just watching and not reprimanding them for not behaving at all.

…which brings me to Rule 3.

Rule 3: Keep and eye out for your kids

When kids play with other kids, make sure they do not bully other kids.  If they do something wrong, like pushing or screaming, stop it right there and tell them it’s not right to do so.

I do that all the time with my kids and even when I see other kids doing something which is not right, I will not hesitate to tell them so.

And of course…all the rules apply provided Rule 4 is followed.

Rule 4: Do not make yourself invisible

Make yourself present at all times.  I have seen kids running around in playgrounds unsupervised, and this is totally uncalled for.  What if they get hurt, or what if they hurt other kids?  Or what if something *else* happens to them?

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2 Responses to Playground Etiquette for Adults

  1. simon says:

    a few years ago, b4 i had kids, i was chatting with my friend near a playgrd, we went to sit on the swings. she started swinging and followed, and then i realized i didn’t know how to swing myself without pushing my legs on the ground!

  2. Adino says:

    Good tips… sometimes get so irritated with inconsiderate parents / kids

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