This post was written by my friend Lindsey, a stay-at-home mom who picks fights with other moms in her head. And never loses.
You know when your kids are running around, getting fresh air, and all is going smoothly? Everyone is getting along, going up and down the slide, laughing with each other and playing without a care in the world. Other kids join in. They’re laughing too. You look up from your phone and smile— you are really nailing this parenting thing today! Then some other kids’ mom comes up and says, “no no. The slide is for going down. The stairs are for going up.” Ummmmm wait. What.
I have no interest whatsoever in intervening and setting up rules at the playground for how the equipment gets used. Use it however you please, just move your little bodies! And don’t fight! I’m sure the mother is coming from a good place around safety, but just because this isn’t the traditional use of the equipment doesn’t mean it is inherently unsafe!
A New York Times article discussed how our playgrounds are too safe and its stunting the emotional development of our children. Playgrounds with tall climbing structures and slides allow a child to gradually build confidence against risks and overcome fears. When they are sheltered from these risks, they are not given the chance to overcome their anxieties that can grow into bigger fears later in life. Plus, safer playgrounds are not challenging and the children are not as engaged. We should be encouraging them to climb the slide!
And what’s the worst that can happen if the child did get hurt climbing the slide? As Alfred says to batman, “Why do we fall Master Wayne? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
Climbing the slide is more than just a physical feat. There’s a whole imaginary game that goes along with climbing the slide. By intervening in their play at the playground, we limit their imagination. They’re climbing a mountain! They’re running on a treadmill at an incline! They’re…. I don’t know, I’m not the one with the childhood imagination. Adulthood killed my imagination… It’s not my place to kill theirs.
We need to give our children more free play, less rules and guidelines. Allow them to reinvent an object’s use and purpose. Creativity is the key to progress. When we raise our kids inside adult constructed boxes with adult imposed limits and adult scripted play, we take away the challenge of them overcoming their obstacles. We don’t allow them the opportunity to problem solve and trouble shoot. A child learns when their curiosity is engaged.
It also allows them to learn how to resolve their own conflicts when we don’t get involved. If this mom wasn’t motivated by safety, perhaps she was doing it out of consideration. Its not fair when one child hogs the slide and no one else gets a turn. I like to stand back and give the kiddies a chance to find a solution on their own, partly because I don’t feel like getting up if I don’t have to… But also because sometimes these kids can come up with some pretty awesome solutions all on their own! And they gain confidence and learn empathy when this happens. When I can see they can’t resolve it themselves, I will go and help them solve the problem, but it doesn’t require a blanket rule ending the game entirely. Climbing the slide has, at times, turned into a game where all the kids on the playground participate.
(When babies and small toddlers are present of course I make an exception. But the rule is to be considerate. And I supervise more diligently)
A key to a strong relationship, any relationship, is to limit the number of battles you choose to engage in. This allows you to have a more enjoyable time together. That goes for parenting as well. Unfortunately, children will push every boundary they can – mine do at least. So if I can limit the number of battles I engage in by even just one, like “don’t climb the slide” let’s say, we will have a more pleasant day, my children will have more fun, and their little brains will have had an opportunity to grow and learn a new skill.
You can follow Lindsey at @daysofourshittylives on Instagram.
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I don’t see a problem with a kid climbing up the slide. I let my 2 year old do this, I really try to sit back and let her play. it gives me time to chill and her to explore and interact with other kids. I only really chime in when I feel she will get hurt, like a slip and fall is fine but she prefers to follow the big kids on the bigger jungle gyms so her falling off a ladder is not worth the hassle to me at this point. Likewise, I only take her away from kids that would hurt her, I don’t tell them to stop unless there is a big safety issue for them, and even then I try not to chime in unless I feel it’s really needed.
My pet peeve is when kids sit on top of the slide canopy/mouth and swing their legs so the kids trying to get down the slide get kicked in the face from the kids above.
Ahhh! Vindication!!! I’m forwarding this story to my husband. It’s like reading my own thoughts on the subject!
Okay, I’m gonna be the bad guy and take the Anti Slide Climbing position. I’ve totally been that mom. To me, it’s totally cool if your kid is being creative and climbing up the slide when he or she is the only kid there. But when other kids can’t go down the slide when it’s their turn because some kid insists on climbing up the slide, and you’re also worried your kid is going to go down the slide anyway and nail that kid in the face, I think it’s justifiable to ask the slide-climber to go up the stairs.
If every mom is on her phone and letting their kids do whatever they want, then only the most assertive kids get to play on the slide (both up and down) and the quieter, rule-abiding kids are left to wait their turns forever. My kids have been in both positions, so I’ll yell at kids indiscriminately to stop climbing up so other kids can go down.
Exactly! Not all kids are assertive to work out a compromise, not to mention most of the time it is the bigger kids trampling over the smaller kids. It’s not right. If you don’t want me to “parent” your child and tell them to stop climbing up the slide then do your job yourself and tell them to stop. Or you better not say a word to me when my respectful, rule following kid goes down the slide and takes your kid out.
Wow what a shitty article. This is exactly what we need, more jerk kids that think rules are to be interpreted.
Just another excuse for being lazy and unaccountable. Teach children rules and respect.
in a public place, you go up the stairs, down the slide. you can buy your own slide and have your kids climb up all they want. I will always tell your kids to get their little butts down the slide and use the stairs.
Just a thought… I have a 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter who go up and down the slide daily. My son started out as one of those shy and timid kids who sometimes didn’t get as many turns on the slide as he may have liked. I’m sure we have a difference of opinion here but have you ever considered that stepping in to solve such a simple problem on your child’s behalf limits their ability to develop simple problem solving skills for themselves? In my experience I have found the most timid and quiet children on the playground are the ones whose parents constantly speak for them. I guess the way I look at it is there are a handful of teachable moments that arise in your child’s life each day. It’s my belief that if your child is quiet and unable to speak up for themselves you are doing them no service by stepping in. Take the opportunity to encourage them to communicate in order to get what they want so they can develop into Independant adults. My son has since become much more confident on the playground and in life in general. I am confident this would not be the case if I didn’t teach him he has to stand up for what he wants. I have to admit my Mom was a step in and solve all my problems helicopter parent when it came to issues like this. It did not serve me in the least. As soon as she wasn’t around all the other kids knew they could walk all over me. You won’t always be there and there’s something greater than a black eye or broken bone on the line here. It’s your child’s confidence and ability to function in a social setting. Growing pain is the best kind of pain.
Chris, I love this.
Chris – you would be right if you are talking about kids that are similar in age. If this was happening to my 10 year old I would totally allow him to handle it. But a 2-1/2 year speaking to a 5 year old kid pushing her out of the way is not realistic. All I’m saying is if your kid is not being considerate of the other kids or pushing other kids, especially smaller kids, I’m going to step in and tell them to stop. I shouldn’t have to, but unfortunately a lot of times I don’t see the parents of the kids going nuts doing anything about it.
As a 4 year old I was a shy rule-abiding kid. Any time I felt that bigger kids were being mean, I would go to her and she would tell me how to stand up for myself. Then I would. Once a 10 yo took my pool noodle when I was 4. I told my mom that he made me share and wasn’t letting me have it back, so she told me to take it back. And I did. Giving your kid the permission to stand up for themselves is, in my experience, the best way for them to develop confidence and problem solving skills. Wait until your kids are frustrated with the kid hogging the slide. Coach them through the process rather than fighting their battles for them.
In the end it’s just a slide.
I thought we were talking about kids going up the slide. You brought up kids pushing smaller kids. Two different ball games.
My opinion on this matter is that every situation is different, if some kid wants to climb the slide and he is taking turns than it is no bother to me. If the kid is dominating the slide by doing this while others wait exceedingly long periods then it becomes a problem. Also take into consideration the potential for younger kids that do not know to take turns.
Not really – you can show your timid kid that he can speak up. I have a shy chappie and I’ve stepped in in cases of glaring injustices and helped him by telling the other kid(s) that no, actually that is unfair. He sees this and is now defending his rights by himself more and more. You may call it helicopter mothering, you can also call it support and example.
I have the shy (rule-abiding) 2 1/2 year old. When a bigger kid is climbing up, I would step in to have my child say “excuse me, it’s my turn”. If the kid won’t move, I step in. If it continues without the other parent actually parenting, and not intervening, I tell my child to go down the slide anyhow. I know, one day, this is going to get my ass sued, but how else do you teach a bully?
I say this because I have also seen said children stand in front of the ladder telling kids they can only go up if the say the entire alphabet or reach high enough to “high-five” said brat. That’s a bully, and I’m not going to stand for it.
Paige is right. Maybe you have nice polite kids at your playground Chris; but that is not all playgrounds. There is a BIG difference in a 2 1/2 year old, a five year old, and a ten year old. Plus many two year olds are not fully verbal. The job of the parent is to actually parent. Yes, that does mean standing up for their child. They learn by example. If you stand up to a bully child, then they will too. But often they need to see you do it first.
The article clearly states all bets are off when there is a toddler on the play ground. So all the counter arguments to Chris regarding the 2 year old versus 5 year old scenario are meaningless. Personally, I like to see the kids work it out among themselves. But if you can’t handle waiting, perhaps you should talk to the child’s parent. Don’t talk to my kid. I’d rather the opportunity to talk to my kid about sharing, then have you destroy his creativity.
Chris brought up the two year old.
Then you better make sure that you are an involved parent that is paying attention to your child rather than sitting on your phone, and get to them first to “not kill their imagination”. Because if not, I am most definitely going to SPEAK to your child and ask them not to kick mine in the face. Instead of being so concerned about teaching kids imagination and creativity, maybe we should start with a little RESPECT. And letting another ADULT correct your child (in a kind but stern way) is not going to kill them. In fact, maybe it will teach them to respect all adults. It takes a village.
Oh give me a friggin’ break…have a glass of wine and settle down over thinkers…geeze
Who are you to say that gentleness and reluctance isn’t a beautiful thing worth protecting. Some kids need a little extra help at the start and catch up in there own time. They don’t need it bashed into them at five. The parents know who they are and how they’re developing and sometimes need to step in to allow them safety in that process.
Chris, you’re getting cause and effect mixed up. I have totally been that timid kid. My parents followed that philosophy and NEVER stepped in for me, and guess what? I didn’t magically become assertive on my own. I got the pain without the growth. Yes, kids need to learn to sort things out for themselves, but the more aggressive, pushy ones also need to be held back if the timid are ever to get a chance. They need to learn to take turns as a matter of courtesy, not only surrendering when someone else beats them to the punch.
It’s a bit of a crappy parent who lets their kid learn that taking the steps, i.e pushing in, is okay. You are raising the a hole who will take someone’s taxi because hey, I can climb up the slide. You may have been waiting, but if I stand in your way you can’t take your turn. These are public playgrounds that your kid has no more right to play in than anyone else’s. Sure no rules makes for a cool parent, it also makes for a child who doesn’t learn responsibility for their actions. If I intervene in a playground it’s invariably not because my kids are playing up or because they can’t tell your spoiled kid to get “out the way or I will knock you over”. It’s because the parent with his face in his paperback/phone/taking a nap hasn’t notice his kid is stuck/hurt/scared etc…
Don’t pass the buck on parenting. If you can’t be bothered to talk to your kids don’t be pissed when someone else does your job.
Totally agree!! I will not let my child be that a-hole on the playground!!
I am the bad guy also, I do not let my kids go up slides just as a courtesy to others. I definitely think it would be 100% easier to just let them do whatever their hearts imagine. I just tell my kids and hope the others listen., I don’t to others. Taking turns and sharing is a very important part of development socially, especially because eventually they will not be allowed when they go to school, etc. I think kids can have places to climb, imagine, etc. on their own personal equipment when it doesn’t keep others from being able to use it correctly. It makes it so much harder to teach them how to respect others property and be courteous to others when your kids are climbing up, just sayin.
My child is one of the ‘quieter’ children who will often lose his turn to the more dominant. He is is big for his age but has developmental issues which may not be obvious to parents and children who have just met him. No one likes to use labels for small children but it is looking more likely that he has high-functioning autism. Please don’t assume that every child has the same coping abilities as your children or judge other parents by what works for *most*. You may be right in some cases but in others, the children involved may have completely different needs to what you have assumed 🙁
Btw, this comment was mainly in response to Chris (above).
Why don’t you go get involved in your kids lives, play WITH them, and stand by and teach them words for standing up for themselves. One doesn’t have to solve a kids’ problems by doing it for them…you can stand by as q role model and responsible adult, or even a teacher (though I know many parents would like to abdicate this role)–and say things like, I saw you giving turns to someone who was younger than you on the slide. I’m proud of you! Or to the shy kid, stand next to them and say: tell that kid you would like a turn. Or even : tell that kid to stop bumping you. Or model, that really hurts when you shove someone off like that! (Say to child: tell them how it feels when you get pushed off). I believe the original poster shows a lack of motivation and also carelessness regarding her children’s rearing and it sounds like she would prefer that they mostly raise themselves, except when they can’t. Relationships take time and presence–real, active, engaged presence, and not only when things go wrong. there are parents who helicopter and speak for their children, but the best parents stand with their children, model, teach, and encourage them to speak for themselves. What if you were next to your son who was rushing on the monkey bars–think he might slow down and so it with great care and pride if he knew you were watching, I mean actively watching, admiring, cherishing? And also guiding? (I see someone who is more nervous than you is trying to learn the monkey bars. Good for her. I bet you two can both find a way to use the bars safely. Then don’t walk away. Stand there with a supportive presence while the kids work things out.)
What are the more outgoing children learning by not waiting their turn though? That pushing in by climbing up the slide pays off? If so I think there are some important lessons in respect where parents should step in and teach.
THIS IS MY EXACT OPINION. ITS NOT ABOUT THE KID GOING UP GETTING HURT ITS ABOUT MY KID WANTING TO GO DOWN THE SLIDE AND USE ITS PURPOSE BUT CANT WHEN YOUR GLUED TO YOUR PHONE WHILE YOUR LITTLE ONE CLIMBS UP THE SLIDE. GO BE CREATIVE ON YOUR OWN TIME BUT WHEN GOING TO A PLAYGROUND WHERE OTHERS SHOULD LEARN TO TAKE TURNS ON EACH EQUIPMENT AND USE THEM PROPERLY
To be fair I don’t actually sit on my phone at the park. I was being cheeky when I wrote that. And I do intervene when I see help is needed.
Oh I am quite sure you do in fact play with your phone at the park. I rarely see a mother who doesn’t. And I hope you realize it’s your fault when your kid takes a boot to the face, but yay! Lessons!
It would not be my fault if my kid gets a boot to his face. It would be his fault. If I’ve told him slides are for going down, not climbing up and he still climbs up, he will learn a lesson on using things the proper way, and paying attention to his surroundings.
I wasn’t going to get involved in this debate at all, but I have been involved in several conversations this week about “mommy-bashing” and felt the need to address this. When moms have a disagreement about parenting, it is so unhelpful to put each other down. I am just curious about your need to reply so rudely to Lindsey. Saying “Oh, I am quite sure you do in fact play with your phone at the park,” after she just stated that she doesn’t, was a snarky response to Lindsey’s comments, none of which were rude. It’s a sad, and very pervasive issue, that moms deal with frequently these days. It is fine to have differences of opinion, but why can’t they be respectful? Isn’t it more helpful when strong women, trying to parent the best they can, build each other up, support each other, and hopefully learn from each other – even if it is just learning to see things from a different perspective? Do you find that it serves any positive purpose to belittle other mothers?
Why say you are on your phone if you are not? Your whole article makes you seem inattentive to your child. I imagine if it was your child waiting at the top but never getting to slide you would intervene. Better yet put your phone down and go play with them…
Totally agree with Maya, it’s a general issue with women bashing women in the first place. We should be trying to strengthen each other and be respectful. Everyone is so crazy with meanness, just don’t agree, state a respectful reason why and move on, it just adds hurt feeling and stress to the mix for no reason. She probably stated that as a additive to the flow of the article. We would never read anything if it was all bullet points. So now she knows that maybe that’s a point people focused on too much and won’t use it again, or who knows, the point is we should learn from each other and not be nasty about it the best we can. Not everything is roses but you know pick your battles. Also I really don’t give a rip if some mom is on there phone at the park, you know why? Cause I have no idea who that person is and what they have to handle on a daily basis. So I have no right no make some snap judgement, short of absolutely ignoring them 110%. Maybe that mom plays with them and engages with them for literally every minute of the day and likes to take the park time to let them enjoy just engaging with other kids instead and takes a couple of minutes to herself to get on her phone and catch up with friends or family or just take a moment to themselves. You don’t have to be on all the time to be a good mom, you just have to try your best.
Give me a break! The article was written to have a little humor in it!! If you can’t lighten up and see that then slides and their intended use are the least of your problems!
Whoa, I totally posted and never checked back and now I see all these responses. Lindsey, I totally figured you were being tongue in cheek, and if I’m totally honest, I’ve definitely been guilty (human) of being on my phone at the playground.
I agree. My issue has always been the kid climbing up and not letting my 2 and 5 year old go down. Now, instead of me telling any other kid to stop climbing up… i tell my kid to give them a 5 second warning that you are coming down. And ill tell my older kid to not go slow so if it does hurt the other kid.. so be it!
Is it wrong… maybe but if one lesson is learned to allow others to slide down… it will be a lesson of sharing appropriately. I have had the parent yell at me for giving my child this personal advice but I attempt to respond calmly by saying “how long should my child wait?” Since its obviously his/her turn to do their thing.
That’s a good idea actually… both for when my kids are the ones waiting, and when they’re the ones climbing up 🙂
Eric I tell my kids the same thing!! If a child doesn’t know enough not to climb up the slide, let them know you’re coming and then down you go! When the climber gets a face full of sneaker that will get his mom off her phone! FYI no one is telling anyone’s kids not to climb up because of safety concerns, it’s because they’re making a nuisance of themselves to other children.
You are not the bad one. All these parents that are saying it’s not a problem are. If another child was to slide down and slam their child they will be wanting to jump on that kids parent. If your children are the only ones on the slide it’s fine. I used to let my boys do it when they were younger. But if other kids are playing some one is going to get hurt.
I totally agree! I get a little sick of the ‘don’t squash my child’s creativity’ argument, when it’s often code for allowing them to be inconsiderate and do what ever they like regardless of the impact on others. Of course if it’s not affecting anyone else, or if the children are old enough to figure it out, no problem. Leg them have at it. But if there’s a packed playground and most kids have figured out to line up to give each other a fair go and your kid is the one messing up that self made system and acting like they own the joint, get off your phone and pull them up on it, or accept it whole heartedly when they get a boot to the face.
You beat me to it – exactly. When there’s a whole line of others waiting for one kid to enjoy their climb up (and usually they slide down and begin their ascend up the slide again), then it’s time to interfere nicely. Totally with you.
I’m with you. If its just your kid, whatever, but when there’s otherkids around around trying to go down, just don’t. I don’t tell other kids not to, but I tell my kids “I don’t care what foolishness other kids want to do, you slide DOWN”. Isn’t that why it’s called a slide, not a climb???
Totally agree! Of course it’s about safety! Not all slides are straight up and down. The kids at the top can’t see the kids at the bottom. If they come down the slide feet first, they’re going to kick the climber in the face!
Can’t express how much I disagree with the article author.
I agree. Just wait until me kid kicks one of these kids off the slide and that kid gets hurt. Too bad, they weren’t going by common rules.
IF that mom doesn’t want to teach her child that it’s not nice to go up the slide, that it keeps kids that have that next turn from being able to take their turn…then I don’t care if my kid kicks your kid while they have a collision. My kid had the “right of way”.
Let’s apply this to traffic…see what happens when you go the wrong way on the street.
Kids start learning how to follow rules when they are very very small. Not teaching them to follow SIMPLE safety rules is silly. Parents who don’t teach their kids to follow safety rules should not be upset when their kids get hurt for sure.
I have a lot of years in child care and I’d never risk a child’s safety to let them explore their environment. There are safe ways to do it and dangerous ways to do it.
“It’s not nice to go up the slide,”
Going down the slide is nice? Going up the slide is naughty? Have you lost your mind? It’s a playground. The only rules should be 1) Play and 2) Don’t hurt others.
Going up the slide is definitely playing and it doesn’t hurt anyone.
What kind of babble is this? Yes, it’s a playground. Slides were meant to SLIDE ON. Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.
DeVon: “Going up the slide is definitely playing and it doesn’t hurt anyone”. – unless the kid who is going UP gets kicked in the face by the kids going down. I tell my kid not to climb up the slide all the time. I’m afraid he’s going to get a sneaker to the face. I could care less if he climbs up it when no one else is using the slide, but I will speak up to MY kid when he’s not playing fair. When he gives me the “but the other kids are doing it” excuse, I flat out say to him “let their parents worry about them. YOU are my concern” I’m not there to babysit other kids. I’m there to give my child playtime, exercise and fresh air, and while he does this, yes I play on my phone. But that doesn’t mean I’m so consumed in my technology that I don’t pay attention to my 6 year old who is going up the slide…
I love the traffic analogy. Can you imagine explaining to an officer that you were just using the roads creatively? I am a 1st grade teacher and mommy to two boys. I completely agree that climbing up a slide is a nuisance to the other children involved. There are inherent rules on the playground, not just play and have fun. Children must use equipment properly, wait their turn, be kind. Allowing free reign without any intervention creates a sense of entitlement to the equipment. By the time they get to school, they will be forced off the slide for such behavior and that is confusing to them. I’m not saying to stifle creativity but telling your little ones “up the ladder, down the slide” is not exactly the same as living under a Nazi regime. Rules are important to growth. Understanding structure is important to growth. Raising children to believe that their imagination and creativity outweighs that structure is a recipe for disaster.
Brilliantly said! Bravo!
Amen! I hate when bratty kids go up the slide and prevent every other kid sliding down it, and their parents just sit their like their kid is entitled. If your kid is alone, fine..No harm done. But when your creating a blockage, get out of the way. Oh, and parents… Actually get off your butts and pay attention to what your kids are doing, and correct then when they’re wrong. I correct my kids behavior, and because of that, they are great kids…Not little self entitled jerks.
Thank you Natasha that is my thought exactly. I understand wanting the child to “engage in their imagination” but it is a matter of politeness. My oldest is 10 and to this day if another child is going ‘up’ instead of down a slide he will just go to another area instead of speaking up and building confidence as other mom’s have suggested. He just refuses to cause conflict. My two others, the youngest being 3 will simply go down even if another kid is in the way, because hey, it’s her turn. Which 9 times out of 10 will cause one if not both kids injury (shoe to the face, kid on top of the other, etc.). I’ve told all three of them to just be patient and wait for the other child(ren) to be done but they are all different. Also, I expect my own children to go “up the stairs to go down the slide” and sit properly. Why you may ask? Because when I was in about 4th grade I was that little kid who’s parent and teachers didn’t care what was going on as long as we were “exerting our energy stores” so I played incorrectly on the slide, ended up falling off of the side and breaking my arm, requiring a cast. I teach my kids to go down only on the slide, it isn’t because I am afraid they will get hurt like me, it is because it is a matter of proper manners and consideration for others.
THIS^ All of this. I can’t stand when my polite, well-mannered 3 year old is trying to go down a slide and somebody else’s special little snowflake is futzing around at the bottom, climbing halfway up and generally acting like they are the only kid that matters. Yes. Encourage your children to play creatively, but also teach them that they are not the only person in the world. The idea that a parent would bring their kids to a public space and then just sit back and let them do whatever they wanted, claiming “free play” and “creative problem solving” as excuses is unacceptable. Children also need to learn how to play fairly, and share the world with others. There is a time and a place for experimenting with playground equipment. At a busy public park where other children are also trying to play isn’t it.
Why can’t we make turns for kids who want to go up the slide too? There can be one line for going down and one for going up. That should solve the fairness issue straight away.
I mean the burden is really on you. By constantly policing your kids actions you are making decisions for them in front of their peers and actually encouraging shyness. Because what happens when you are not there to make sure they get a turn? Will they just stand there and not ever get a turn? Encourage them to advocate for themselves at a young age and they will continue to grow. Force others to make room for them all the time and you will have to do it forever.
Wow, you’re an idiot
Haha idiot indeed
Exactly…rare that my kids ard at the park alone. But if they are have at it!
This is the perfect response to the article. I have worked in preschools, and still do, and if you don’t have rules, bedlam breaks out. And, it’s usually the parents of the “Climb up the slide” kids who complain when their kid gets bonked in the head by the kid who is coming down the slide, like you’re supposed to. Again, if yours are the only kids playing on the slide, fine, let ’em do it. They just need to understand that the slide is for everyone, not just for them, and they need to accommodate that into their world. 🙂
Totally agree!! That mom who lets her kid climb up the slide is also going to be the one to go off when her kid then gets creamed by the kid going down the slide like he’s supposed to!
I was going to comment exactly this. My kid has been the one on top with the bewildered look on his face… Now what do i do? And when one kid is climbing up and sliding down, where’s the chance for any of the other kids to play? On top of which, most playgrounds have those crazy rock walls that they have to climb to even GET to the slide in the first place, so the whole exercise argument is completely invalid.
Thank you, Natasha. My thoughts exactly. I am no qualms letting my kids try to climb up the slide if they are the only ones at the playground. But if there are other kids around, bigger or smaller, then I tell them to stop. When my kids were smaller, I was the mother who asked kids not to climb up when mine, or other kids for that matter were trying to come down. My biggest concern at the playground these days is the language coming out of the bigger kids’ mouths. They only look like 8 year olds, although they may be older, but they are using the foulest language.
I agree with Natasha. It’s fine if the child is by him or herself but when there are other children trying to share the playground, it’s not a good practice. If one child is trying to go down the slide when another decides to go up, the one going down either tries to stop mid slide or ends up kicking the second child in the face. Not to mention that the child going down has his or her play interfered with which is unfair.
I agree. With both going up and going down with common sense. Yes we all climbed up….its fun and challenging. But teaching our children self awareness is very valuable. Those rules are set up for the kids that disrupt normal play….that one kid that climbs up while another child, possibly a younger child gets knocked backwards of the stairs…i worked a lot with kids. I have seen plenty of children getting more harm than good than by not following simple rules. I will let you know if I am on the playground and a child is exhibiting any behavior that can harm another kid or endanger them…I will address you and your child. I think people whom dont set guidelines are the very same parents that you see have kids running in store, disrupting other students….be respectful of other people when your at the playground or go buy a playground for your own backyard. My daughter was seriously injured at her own school in first grade because that very same kind of behavior. She was knocked back trying to help another little kid get there shoe back on because a kid went the wrong way. She was pushed out the back side from overcrowding at the slide fell onto monkey bars between her legs and was bleeding. Just remember rules are for safety and as a parent you are responsible for being ignorant. Why not just drive on the other side of the road while your at it.
Yeah, well if you approach my kid and say something – better be prepared to get verbally slammed… If my child is going up the slide and not hurting anyone with his/her feet — you mind your own kid and I’ll take care of mine. Else, you’ll have the problem and you’d have to decide then and there if that’s what you want you kids to see.
While you may not be cool with kids going up the slide, I’m not cool with adult strangers approaching my kid.
Fair enough. I won’t approach your kid to warn them my kid is coming down as long as you do it. Or don’t mind if your kid gets a face full of foot from those trying to play on the slide how it was designed. I tell my kids to be careful and to wait their turn, but I won’t be telling them to wait indefinitely while yours putzes around on the bottom climbing up and down. If my kid is following the rules, going down the slide, and yours gets hurt because he’s breaking the rules, I expect you to not make a peep at her either. Your kid breaks the rules, they get to deal with the consequences.
Your kid wants to climb up with no one else around, go for it. I let mine know it’s not appropriate to climb up when others are around though because that’s just hogging the equipment and not fair to others and because I think they could definitely get hurt by others coming down.
Yeah, you sound totally rational. No wonder you are cool raising an asshole
Actually, this a perfect time for them to home in their conflict resolution skills. I still continue to let my daughter climb up. She did get kicked in the face once, but it made her more careful and vocal on the way up. She looks very carefully and if someone comes before she made it all the way up, you can hear her…. Hey! I’m coming up! Don’t come down yet! Wait!
Mommy isn’t going to be there to save her her while life, I’m proud that she’s learning valuable life skills at such a young age while still being active and expanding her imagination.
Valuable life skills? Skills that say “hey! I don’t feel like waiting my turn in line, so I’m going to jump ahead and climb up so I don’t have to wait”. Yeah, real valuable…
Thank you! Exactly what I have thought -and said – many times. Climb all you want on your own time … if there is a line, or only one other child waiting, then get to the back of the line. Be courteous of others.
The playground is the first little society our kids will experience. And in that little society there a little rules that everyone must abide. By telling your kid they can disregard the rules because they want to, is what’s wrong with kids today. If my three year old can’t slide down bc you wild 5 year old wants to climb up a thousand times I will absolutely tell them to use the steps. Teach your kids to be a responsible and productive member of society. Thanks.
All about the little brains learning new things.. but that’s a little tough when they finally get close to the top.. try and stand up.. cut 2 back flips and leave a tiny bit of that same brain laying on the concrete in the blood..
OMG yes, thank you! I couldn’t have said it better or nicer for that matter!
Exactly!!! I saw a kid who was climbing up the slide get a couple teeth knocked out and a broken nose by other kids going Down the slide. That’s not a learning experience, that’s neglectful parenting.
I totally agree. I don’t think it’s unsafe for a kid to climb up the slide, I think it’s selfish and obstructive. I get sick and tired of my kids getting hurt because your little brats want to climb over them when they are going down. If ti want them to climb up, buy them a slide for home. Otherwise, have some courtesy for other people.
Yes! This is exactly what I wanted to say. Thank you.
My kid got a black eye because of some kid climbing up the slide while she was going down. I will tell your kid not to climb up the slide because my kid has the right to go down without getting hurt by some kid whose parents don’t care if he gets hurt or hurts someone else. If you won’t parent your kid, someone else has to.
I don’t think she’s suggesting that she’s ok with her kid “hogging” the freakin’ slide or giving some kid a black eye. We are the grown ups, if we see dangerous behavior (actually dangerous), we can and should probably step in, but I’m with her on this one…we are doing our children no justice by helicopter parenting and not allowing them the space to problem solve on their own. Allowing them to work it out (yes, even the non-assertive ones), encourages problem solving skills and builds confidence.
Or it teaches the other kid that bullying is a very effective method to get what you want in life. Maybe politely asking the other kid to stop so my younger, soft spoken kid can go down would teach the other kid about playing by the rules and taking turns. Then I’d explain to my son that not all kids play fair, sometimes without even realizing it and by speaking up like I did you allow yourself to not get pushed around in life. It can very easily be a teachable moment without allowing one kid to make the rules for everyone. Do what you (a general you, not anyone in particular) want with your kid when the slide is unoccupied (my son has done it many times too, not saying kids should never be allowed!) But if there’s a kid patiently waiting for his turn and you’re not doing your job to teach him fairness, then I will. Takes a village right?
After all, how can my kid learn how to stand up for himself if he’s not taught to?
Note: I know this is a reply. I would have posted a general comment, but I can’t figure this site out, so know this isn’t directed specifically at you, but is relevant to what you have said.
I’m ignoring the whole issue of climbing up the slide because I think it’s so trivial that it isn’t worth discussion.
I’m more concerned with these people who think it’s somehow okay to approach my child, EVER.
I’m only going to say one thing on this topic.
You have the right to parent exclusively ONE SET of people:
When you try to parent MY CHILDREN, the only one not playing by the rules is YOU.
I think that teaching your kid that no other adult had the right to talk to them, or possibly correct behavior, is not a good situation.
Yes, there are things your kids should know that strange adults shouldn’t say to them. But a blanket statement that any adult shouldn’t approach your kid for any reason is kind of absurd.
My own child is my priority and while she is gaining in her confidence, she isn’t there yet, so if she needs help confronting your kid at the playground I will help her. Because she needs to know that she should feel comfortable in that, for now, that usually means she needs a little help from me.
If you then confront me for that then my little girl is going to be terrified and we will have to start at square one as far her ability to speak up.
One day the cops will have a strong say. Teachers, bosses, authority figures of all stripes. If you aren’t parenting your kid I will. Sorry. You are raising a humab we will all have to deal with not your personal toy.
That’s one issue: It is actually dangerous. There are SEVERAL possible outcomes that could wind up with one, or both kids being seriously injured. Keep in mind, most slides are made out of metal, or hard plastic. While a parent may not care that their own child is injured, I defiantly do care about the safety of my kids. I don’t mind small bruises, scrapes, etc etc, but in the scenario of one kid climbing up, while another goes down, there are MANY possible outcomes. Saying “It isn’t dangerous” is inherently incorrect.
No, your kid got a black eye because they decided to go down a slide that someone was already using. Where does this “right to go down the slide regardless of whether or not it puts someone else in danger” come from? Who granted such right?
As a mom of four kids, I have learned that kids, will go up the slide, no matter what. If you have a rule, if another adult gets on to them, if you punish them for it…they still, do it. It’s part of being a kid. Let them play. If they get knocked down going up at the wrong time, they will learn. If they encounter a bully, they will learn how to deal with assholes early on. Older kids will usually stick up for little ones getting knocked around. It called coping skills, and our kids need them.
The right comes from the fact it’s called a slide not a climb. The equipment works with gravity, so your answer would be Newton’s law of universal gravitation.
As a teacher and a mother, I have seen several children knock permanent front teeth out from climbing up a slide. ( not my own, because, a) I understood gravity and b) when climbing an incline, when your feet go out from under you, the first thing to hit said incline is your face.) I do not feel guilty when I tell children not to climb the slide. I explain that it is dangerous. I have not had a parent or child argue with me.
Thank you, Natasha. My thoughts exactly. I have no qualms letting my kids try to climb up the slide if they are the only ones at the playground. But if there are other kids around, bigger or smaller, then I tell them to stop. When my kids were smaller, I was the mother who sometimes asked kids not to climb up when mine, or other kids for that matter were trying to come down. My biggest concern at the playground these days is the language coming out of the bigger kids’ mouths. They only look like 8 year olds, although they may be older, but they are using the foulest language.
This response is complete, and utter garbage. In the ‘kids going down a slide’ scenario, once you’ve slid down, THAT’S IT. Your turn is over. If you turn around, and try to climb up, that’s taking another’s turn. If you just walk up, and try climbing up, that’s cutting. So….like was said. Use it how it’s supposed to be used. It’s not called a CLIMB, it’s called a SLIDE.
This is such a weird response “it’s called a slide not a climb”. While I am not supporting kids skipping turns-that isn’t actually mentioned in the article. I think one thing is courtesy, help smaller kids, take turns don’t cut in line. Another thing is slides are meant for sliding so you must only slide–this prescriptive use of playground material is sort of sad. In my opinion if there is not a child already waiting, by all means climb.
Thankfully it doesn’t seem to be an issue at the playground we usually go to, kids wait their turns to climb and slide– and on the twisty slide they usually ask other kids to check if there is someone coming up or going down before they start. My d is a shy child and will wait for an eternity before insisting on her turn but in my experience all the other kids frequently help her out and speak out for her when her turn is skipped. Honestly, the playgrounds you all describe sound horrible..
then be prepared to eat dirt
If No one else is on the slide go ahead. Be my guest! But going down has right of way, in my opinion. And if little kids could get hurt. It also all about taking turns too. But I have a problem when big kids….almost too big to be at the playground big…are climbing on top of the play equipment. You know what I mean by on top, like on the outside of the tube slide and up.
I don’t know why that grates on my nerves.
It grates on your nerves because the parents of those kids allow their too big kids to play on the equipment which makes it unsafe for our age-appropriate kids. Also- by our younger kiddos watching the big kids do those super unsafe things the equipment is not designed for, then our kids want to do that same stupid, unsafe stuff. I’m all for letting kids be kids, but if your big kid is endangering the safety of my little kid I will step in and I don’t care how you or your wild-kid feel about it.
My son is still well within the posted ages for the playgrounds but he is fully capable of climbing up the outside of the tube slide, on the outside of the equipment, etc. With that, I give him the same rule as for the slide. If no one else is around, go for it. He knows not to do that sort of thing when younger kids that would want to follow him are around. With the slide, he gets told not to climb up it when other kids are attempting to go down and if he continues to do it, he knows full well that he will get taken out by someone coming down or we will just leave because he isn’t listening but if there is no one else using it or they are going up/down the slide for creative play and are not causing a backup, I have no problem with going up the slide.
He is a kid so he does need reminders but we almost always go over our basic playground rules before we get out of the car and go play.
All little kids become big kids…and continue to require adult supervision. Again, it’s about parental responsibility. Big kids like to play too????
Oooooh the minefield of playground etiquette! Next up – what about the parents who never suggest to their kids it might be time to share the swings, even when the queue waiting patiently is three kids deep….
The parents who never look up from their phone?
Playground etiquette – sounds like a great post!
As a city kid, we wait in those lines all the time. I am definitely all about monitoring fair amounts of time on the swing!
Inevitably the same parents.
I think the problem is that it is a shared space for many kids of varying ages. Structure and rules help everyone play together safely. A kid going against the grain and playing differently will make it difficult for other kids (maybe younger kids) to jump in and play at the same time- no one can go down the slide when one kid is going up. I think it’s fine if no one els is trying to share the equipment, but once there are other kids involved, everyone should follows the rules and share.
Where are these so called “rules” for the playground posted? I would love to read them and point out how ridiculous they are to my curious, adventurous and innovative children while yours learn to be sheep…
You can find them in a book, it’s called Common Sense, it was also published later with bigger letters under the more descriptive title “How to Distinguish Hogging from Being Curious, Adventurous and Innovative”. Curious, adventurous and innovative absolutely, yay, but unless it limits the freedoms of anybody else. You can totally think outside of the box without limiting anyone else, and you can totally be strong while allowing the smaller to have their fun too.
For further reference, see a book called “The Lord of the Flies” 😀
Your child will encounter those rules at school, and you will be the parent that drives the staff insane.
They’re usually posted AT the part. Use playground equipment as intended, be courteous to other park goers. Etc etc. So it’s rediculous to use playground equipment as it’s intended to be used, or be courteous to other park goers? Interesting.
Hahaha THEY ARE ON EVERY PLAYGROUND! You can find lists of rules in most maintained playgrounds.
Love the “let them figure it out” philosophy. I understand moms get protective and have strong opinions about etiquette, but letting the kids figure it out is a parent’s way of letting our kids form their own opinions. Rule followers need to bend the rules sometimes and rebels need to obey the rules sometimes. Best to learn that on the playground and from your peers. I feel a need to share my thoughts on kid going up the slide motivation, though. It’s an efficiency, instant gratification argument. Two to three steps up the bottom of the slide, you let go and WHEEE! You get a little thrill and you can immediately do it again. The extra whee time from running all the way around the slide, climbing up and then sliding down the entire slide is just not a good return on investment. Kids have it figured out!
This is a perfect way of putting it. 🙂
Well, if you put it that way, do you really want to teach your kids that instant gratification is the way to go? A life of fast food and credit card debt?
Sure…It’s instant gratification. What would you equally let them cut in line out of McDonalds to order their food first? I mean other people were waiting first, but isn’t that much better to just bypassed them all and go ahead and order? If you think about it it’s pretty much the same thing. There may be no slide to climb up but you’re still getting everybody else’s way.
Please forgive my typos, voice to text on this phone is terrible.
This is a tricky problem that doesn’t have a black and white answer. The rule for my son is that he’s not allowed to go up the slide –partly for his safety, he’s very little yet, and partly because I know he’s not aware enough of his surroundings to know if he’s being inconsiderate of others and preventing them from having fun using the slide. It’s possible that as he gets older I will relax the rule, but for now (for him) the slides are only for going down. However, I also feel that unless a child’s safety is both immediately and seriously at risk, it’s not my place to parent other peoples children. Every family is different, every child is different, and I do not have the right to make rules for other people in a shared place.
For my son, this can create some confusion, because he sees other kids doing something that he is not allowed to do. But that can be a GOOD THING. I explain that every family is different, and have different rules. And even different children in the same family have different rules depending on age or other factors. That is often the case in life. He has to ride in a carseat, I simply require a seatbelt. He has to hold my hand in the parking lot, older children do not. Older kids go to school, he does not.
Further, I do appreciate the authors statements about problem solving and finding solutions. If my son is stuck at the top of the slide, perhaps he or anther child can figure out how to solve that problem. And if not, after a short time, I can pick him up, explain the situation, and try to redirect him to other areas of the playground that might be more fun at the moment. Learning how to overcome a frustrating situation by solving it or avoiding it is a good thing to practice.
My thoughts exactly.
No one else is on the playground? Go ahead, climb up the slide. If there is anyone else playing on the slide, common courtesy dictates that you do not climb the slot. My son has a chipped tooth along with an emergency dentist visit because some kid was not paying attention to the rules. Life has rules, so does the playground.
Good point Lindsey! Sad that there are moms who have an entitlement complex thinking their kids can do whatever the hell they want in a public space. People need to teach their kids there are rules and they need to be courteous and thoughtful of those around them. Do what you want in your own backyard but while out, dont allow your kid to be the brat coming up the slide disregarding those trying to come down. As Lindsey said that’s how kids get hurt. It has nothing to do with limiting kids. Sheesh.
Right! We have basic social protocols for a reason, and children need to learn this quickly!
Teaching your kid that his wants are more important than respecting others…it goes from playground “creativity” to just plain inconsiderate ass quickly. Parents seem to think kids now don’t need to learn social skills. That they are just there. Maybe because they don’t remember learning these, because their parents started teaching this shit during their first trip to the playground.
Hear, hear, Kia, Lindsey & Kate!
What about the brat coming down while the other kid is climbing up? If my kid got to the slide before yours, or its his “turn”, he can use the slide however he sees fit why the fuck does your kid get to go down when my kid was there first and decided to go up? It has nothing to do with a sense of entitlement. And if that’s the case you’re teaching your kid they have a sense of entitlement by going down the slide while the other kids turn permits him to go up.
This is the problem here. You kid was there first. He has the right to go up the slide. And that is probably true because that same asshole kid goes up then goes back down and turns right around to do it again. While the well behaved kids have to sit back and wait for their “turn”. How would you know he was there first anyway sitting on the bench with your face in your phone. Let him use his imagination you say, just let him poor water down the slide and make it a ride from a water park! He was there first right! Also, you argue that playgrounds don’t have rule books well where did your first come first serve rule come from.
I have a great idea! When your free thinking tots become self-centered teens, let’s also teach them there are no rules in society! Let’s teach them there is no right-of -way on the road. They want to go the “wrong way” on a street? They were there first! They got hit head-on? It was the other inconsiderate driver’s fault for not noticing they were there first! Oh, your kid is the one who is dead because they became so absorbed in their own rights and weren’t defensive? Sorry. I teach high school and see what happens to the children of these parents when they get older. You teach your child that the world has to watch out for him, or hadps to get out of her way, but it won’t and they won’t know how to handle it.
Wow, exaggerate much?
@doesn’t matter? So what if it’s a curvy slide and the so-called “brat” at the top can’t see the bottom, thinks it’s empty because the person in front of him just went down, and they go sliding on down. But low and behold, the person at the bottom decided that “they were there first, it’s (still) my turn” and start climbing back up. Or there was another kid there waiting to climb up. I don’t agree that the kid who chose to go down not being able to see the bottom is a self-entitled brat. What I wonder about is the language that I hear at the park. Maybe it’s coming from kids with parents who drop the F-bomb in forums like this!!!!???
@christine : ???????????????????????????? I thought the EXACT same thing. Why the need for such vulgar language? It’s uncalled for
It’s called USING PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT PROPERLY genius.
The worst that can happen is that someone will sue your behind, and it happens!
I love the idea that the kids are all decent and will all just work it out between themselves. It assumes that all the kids have been brought up with manners, and an understanding that sometimes we have to wait our turn for things. Sadly, a significant number of kids are actually being raised to believe that they had better go take what they want, when they want it, and the kid they took it from is SOL for not fighting for it harder. Turns are for wimps. Manners are for losers. If you think I’m exaggerating, let me tell you that I work at an elementary school. I see it daily.
I think this puts into words why I agreed with Lindsey on this topic initially, but now I also understand the dissent. Mazzy is a very considerate and social child so when she decides to climb up the slide, she is doing it with her peers in mind. She is either incorporating them in her way of play or waiting for a moment when the slide is free. She is not climbing up at the risk of hurting other children or getting into fights because she wants to go up and everyone else wants to go down. That’s just not who she is. She just likes testing her boundaries and trying new things. Just the other day she discovered she could get up a curved tube slide without using her hands to help her along, only her feet. She was really proud! Now. She did this while we were hanging out at a park on a cold day when there was literally no one else there. So I guess my point is, I don’t see any harm in kids using playground equipment in different ways, as long as your kid isn’t being a menace to everyone else there. Yes, kids going down always have the right of way and if there is a line, no one should be going up. But I don’t have a blanket rule for not climbing up the slide.
The truth is I spend an alarming amount of time at work dealing with the fallout of parents who don’t want other people to tell their kid they can’t climb up the slide. Pardon the pun, but it’s a slippery slope????. I love seeing kids come up with exciting and creative new ways to do stuff. I just wish more parents would be like you and teach them that they have to respect others while doing it.
Exactly. I like to do donuts in an empty parking lot. they are fun. Im using a parking lot in a different but enjoyable way. Do i still have a right to do those same donuts when the parking lot has other cars in it? NO! because it would dangerous and no longer safe to do. There is a right and wrong time to do something and teaching kids social norms is not hindering their creative play, it is teaching them how to function in society.
So when this mother said to your child that slides are for going down not up but was her child at the top of the slide? Do you know that child doesn’t have some sort of disability where he/she can’t speak for themselves? Yes children need free play and no one should be making rules at the playground, but you bet your sweet ass I’ll be patroling the slide/stairs whichever so my son (who’s disabled) is able to play as well. Which you would never know just by looking at him.
If your child is disabled or non verbal than odds are you aren’t the mom on the phone. You are the Mom who isn’t hovering, but close enough to stop something before it gets out of hand. My son is on the spectrum, would you know by looking at him, absolutely not. So because my son isn’t able to socialize like most kids, the other kids should have to change the rules aND the way they play? No, I am not going to raise my child to think that his disability gives him the right to be an entitled asshole. This world owes him nothing, the world will not bend to accommodate him. That’s when I as his mother step in, show him, and guide him to do things. If he can’t handle it then we remove ourselves and try again another day. To teach a child that he’s special and doesn’t have to follow rules because got dealt a different deck is doing them a great disservice into adulthood.
My answer to the question:
And what’s the worst that can happen if the child did get hurt climbing the slide?
Basically, what can happen is brain damage or death, heart failure, broken ribs jabbed into a lung or heart. stomach and intestinal damage, all depending on where my son’s boot hits and how hard.
Also, not listed in the link, my son’s boot can very easily crush your child’s wind pipe. Or cause spinal damage.
So, I can’t ask your child not to climb up, regardless of my reasons, I damn sure ain’t going to tell mine not to slide down. If you want to risk REAL injuries or death, fine. But don’t you dare sue me if my child’s kicks your child in the face, breaking his nose and lodging bone and cartilage into his brain, or crushes his esophagus, killing him. Don’t you dare pretend it’s anyone’s fault but your own.
That’s the worse that can happen.
And that’s not even touching on the fact that you are openly and proudly teaching your child that social rules don’t have to apply to him, if he doesn’t want them too. Whether it is your intention or not, it’s what you are doing.
This isn’t about creativity, all children do it. Hell, I still climb up the slide, but not when other parents want to slide down! It’s about raising children to be respectful and considerate. It’s teaching kids that there are rules, and some social rules can be flexible at times, but they need to be followed when around other human beings, especially in a public setting. If your child is talking loudly on his phone during a movie, are you going to ask him to stop? Or say his call is more important than his respect to those around him? Are you going to say something if someone else asks him to leave the theatre or put the phone away? It’s the same thing, respect vs disrespect, following rules or not.
Your child should stay in the bubbly you’ve fabricated. You are the ultimate helicopter mom. Terrifying. Thank God we don’t live near you. Your Mother Hen flapping wings must really inhibit any chance for your child to play freely. Sad.
If your child goes down a slide without checking to see if someone else is on it – someone who may be climbing up, but also, perhaps someone who just went down but hasn’t gotten off at the bottom yet – YOUR child is the one who is reckless and you are the bad parent. No matter which direction you’re going on the slide you have to check first before you take your turn. The child who doesn’t check is the one at fault.
@ guest…….Firstly, how many kids check to see if there is anyone at the top waiting to come down, before they start climbing up? Secondly, if it’s a curvy slide, it’s not always possible to see the bottom so I don’t think it’s fair to say that the child coming down is being recklesss if they can’t see the bottom.
You didn’t have much fun as a child did you?
“And what’s the worst that can happen if the child did get hurt climbing the slide?”
Um, well, if my son’s boot catches your creative asshole in the nose at the right angle, brain damage or death. Loss of an eye if his heel lands there. Severe damage to teeth and gums, needing surgery to correct, possibly causing long term issues. Damaged ear drums or long term hearing problems if kicked in the side of the head. Your child could bite his tongue off, or severely enough for him to bleed out before you get him to the hospital. What if my child has animal feces on his boot and your child’s face meets it, mouth first? If my child’s boot catches your child in the abdomen we could be looking at intestinal or stomach damage. In the chest, broken rib right into his lung or heart, and a hard enough impact over the heart can cause it to stop all together. Is your child’s “creative needs” more important than his legitimate health and overall quality of life? If so, by all means, don’t tell your kids to follow basic rules, social rules that are set for FUCKING SAFETY REASONS!
That being said, empty playground, my kids are climbing the slide. As soon as anyone else comes up, though, my kids know not to do it, because safety and respect.
Wow, please go see a therapist immediately. The fact that you are around children scares me.
What? Methinkg Kevin is the one needing a therapist…
What I always see at the playground are the bigger kids climbing up the slide while the young toddlers are stuck at the top not able to go down. Older kids can work things out between themselves, but young toddlers can’t speak for themselves to work this stuff out. This is kind of an adversarial argument for this blog. What I usually like about Mommyshorts is that it isn’t divisive or sanctimonious.
As a kindergarten teacher, we enforced the rules of the playground so no one would get hurt. One way to use the slide, one way to use the monkey bars…etc. I have SUCH a hard time now as a mom at the playground and I forget these kids are not my students! I try not to say anything unless my child is in danger. if your kid is hitting mine with a stick, I will say something. If your kid is throwing sticks shaped like daggers off the top of the playground (not meant for climbing), I will also say something. I try to encourage my daughter to play somewhere else if another kid is being a jerk, but she usually stands her ground and gets what she wants! Maybe it is my background as a teacher or my affinity for risk management. Common sense says climb up the slide at your own risk unless someone wants to come down.
One question to the moms who say creative play over social protocol, social protocol dictates your child be dressed in public…if only in a diaper…does this mean your kid can “creatively” streak across the playground? Social protocol dictates not interrupting people when they talk. Do you encourage your children to interrupt others? What about racial slurs? Major social no-no there. Which social protocols are ok to ignore? And is there a system that tells your kid how to figure this out, or are you just winging it?
Yes, some social protocols can be overlooked, especially in a group of people who know each other, I.e. around friends and family, but when out in the general public, social protocols need to be followed. It’s about respect. I’d bet my last dime you’d tell your kid to stfu in a movie theater, because talking is rude. Well, so is this. It’s also dangerous, more than a black eye and broken arm is possible. Common sense and parenting should go hand in hand. But I am seeing more and more that it’s not.
Kids will be kids, but entitled kids are just assholes.
I hate when kids climb up the slide! Get out the freakin way and let my daughter slide DOWN like it’s supposed to be used. ???? Sorry but it’s true. One of my pet peeves.
Nobody gets to determine how an object at a park is “supposed to be used.” It’s a playground. For PLAY.
Which is just another way of saying “the biggest, pushiest kids get to determine how the objects at the park or used.”
Thank you, Kevin for your sane comments. I think we might be the only normal people on here. I think I need to stop reading. The parent hysteria on here is depressing for,our kids’ future.
Nobody gets to determine how an object in the park is supposed to be used? Unless you are at a private home playground there most certainly are different protocols for how the equipment is to be set up and used. Letting your child use the equipment in a way that could put themselves or other children in danger threatens the park being closed down and the owners (your town if that is who owns the park) of being sued.
Just no Kevin. Just no. We -DO- get to determine how the playground equipment is used, and in most cases, it’s posted. It’s not just ‘an object’ like a rock, that could have many possible uses. It’s a specialized object, meaning there is an intended use.
A wise parent friend of mine is teaching her children to think of problems as either a “grown up problem” or a “kid problem”. Does this not seems like a “kid problem”??? Kids should be able to think and problem solve on their own (no I’m not speaking of 2 and 3 year olds necessarily).
If the kids of the parents of the “one way up, one way down” policy can’t figure out how to keep everyone safe when someone is climbing up the slide, then that is what those children need help from their parents with. Teach your children to avoid putting others in danger. Likewise, if the child climbing up the slide is being faced with a child that is going to come barrelling down the slide with complete disregard to the fact that they could injure someone, the child going up the slide may need their parents’ help. Teach your children to recognize potential danger. That is what parenting is about!
Going up the the slide is not a problem. It’s fun! It’s challenging! How about taking turns climbing up the slide? Scaaaary!!! Bump bruise cuts and scrapes are all going to happen and they teach your children how to be aware of their surroundings. Now if a kid was deliberately pushing, hitting, shoving, whatever else the little a-holes do, now that may be classified as a “grown up problem” and sure, step in.
If, like a previous post suggested, that the “one way up, one way down” policy is a school rule, then yeah, encourage your kids to follow the school rules during school times and teach them to not be little a-holes when it’s not school time. Let the kids grow and play for goodness sake! If you are so worried about the safety of your child because they are too young or too oblivious to figure it out on their own, either encourage an alternate source of fun while those animals climb the slide, encourage them to observe, or encourage them to join safely. Or you can cover them in bubble wrap and or safety pads, carry a whistle to direct playground traffic, and intervene during “kid problems” so your child doesn’t have to feel any of the stress of problem solving. That is until you aren’t around…
Teach your kids to keep themselves and others safe so they can push their boundaries and learn without intervention from you. Let them climb the fricken slide.
Empty playground = climb up the slide all you want. If there are other kids there, however, don’t. I teach my kids to be safe and smart about climbing up the slides (i.e. don’t be the dumbass kid climbing up when others are sliding down, as they have the right of way). If someone is climbing up when others are lined up and sliding properly, that kid is going to get kicked by my child as they slide down. It teaches cause and effect. No remorse or apology.
This whole argument really makes me scratch my head. Slides will be slid down and they will be climbed up. I would bet all my money that the first day the very first slide was plunked down in a park the children slid down and climbed up the slide. And I suspect parents care way more about this than kids do.
YES! This is all parental projection onto children. 99% of the kids don’t care. 99% of the kids want to climb up the slide. They’d work it out if their emotionally undeveloped parents would just sit down and be quiet.
I’m not going to stand by and let them “work it out” by the bigger, pushier kids dominating the smaller, less assertive kids.
These small “who gets a turn next” issues on a playground amongst middle schoolers (not toddlers) when solved constantly by the adults in their life lead to bigger problems. Like when my husband had to fire a 22 year old because he was not good enough for the job and his mom called to ask for another chance because she knows he has the potential but needs extra guidance and he’s just not good with confrontation so he couldn’t speak for himself when he got fired. True story.
I posted this on facebook (where the comments were even more heated) but I’ll post it here as well:
I’ve been debating whether to address “Slidegate” or just let it lie… but I’m finding it hard to post anything else without acknowledging it first because I’m really not used to controversy on my page!
Someone said I posted it for clicks. I swear I did not. Controversy makes me so uncomfortable that I try as hard as I can to avoid it. I had no idea the slide would be such a hot button topic!
Part of me thinks I did the writer a disservice by giving it the title “Don’t Tell My Kid to Stop Going Up the Slide” which implied that her daughter was endangering others enough for another parent to step in, which I don’t think was the main point of her post.
As for me— yes, I let Mazzy climb up the slide but she’s been taught not to do it when others are trying to come down and it’s never really been an issue. When she was smaller, I definitely stopped her from going up slides for safety reasons and in the interest of playing well with others, but I helped her go up when no one else was around because it was a new challenge she wanted to tackle. Now that she’s older and knows to be mindful of other children, I don’t see why I need a hard and fast rule to only go down the slide. At our house, she plays on the slide however she wants. On the playground, she waits for a moment when the slide is in the clear. But I respect everyone else’s opinion and appreciate the discussion.
Lindsey (the writer of the post) said she appreciated the discussion as well and added that her daughters are respectful and considerate kids on the playground. Is it possible to be respectful on the playground and go up the slide at the same time? I think so… but as always, I’m never 100% sure I’m right.
Anyway, you all gave me lots of food for thought.
Yes I let my kids climb up the slide when no one is around but never when the slide is in use or alot of kids are there.. My daughter had sprained a finger and a black eye from hitting a kid who decided he needed to climb up the slide while she was coming down (it was a twisty slide). This might not be a big deal to you but as her mom it is to me. So if I see your child trying to climb up the slide when mine is comming down I will say something.
I think there is a massive difference of opinion based on the age of your child. Parents of school-aged children defend going up the slide based upon the premise that their child understands right from wrong and can take turns, have consideration for others.
Parents of toddlers and infants view it as a safety issue all the time because 2 year olds do not typically have the sense to know the difference. Sure, they may be able to understand taking turns and basic rules. But breaking those basic rules can lead to confusion.
Do I let my 2 year old go up the slide? At the tot park, sure if no one is there. But I reinforce that it’s ok because no else is there. When there are a ton of kids (or just 2-3) vying for the slide, I remind her to use the stairs. As she gets older, I’m sure she will figure out cause and effect and show more consideration for others. For now, I helicopter a little, for her safety and the other kids’ safety.
@mommyshorts, how does Harlow handle slide etiquette? Do you approach it differently with her vs Mazzy?
Yikes.. Heated topic for sure! I’ll throw my 2 cents in.
1- if your kids wants to go up the slide. That’s cool, just so long as others aren’t trying to come down.
2- If you only want your child going down and not up, that’s cool too.
3- Chill out with the “what ifs”.. Anything can happen anytime. What if-ing your child’s experience on the slide is an endless and pointless conversation of something that hasn’t but “could happen”. They could trip on a rock in the park and break their arm. So let’s calm down.
4- Just let the kids be kids and help guide them and teach them if there is a teachable moment. Like being curteous with the slide.
5- I think we all need a drink after this post ????
I’m the mom that tells the kid not to climb. Mostly when others are sliding down. I do it for safety. Plus I think that child needs to learn to be considerate of others. Climb up the slide when no one is going down. That’s fine. But go down when the kid is there to slide. That’s why they call it a slide.
I have a huge problem when my kid is using the equipment properly for its intended use, waiting his turn, and being respectful of the rules, and your kid is doing whatever he wants and screw everybody else. This is the reason we have so many whiny, entitled adults. As children they are taught that rules don’t apply to them. If you want it, take it. If it feels good, do it. Chances are, if there is a mother standing next to the slide telling your kid not to climb up it, it’s because her kid is patiently waiting to go down. I remember as a kid always getting screwed over because I was obeying the rules, and now I see it happening to my kids too. I’m tired of explaining to my kids how some people are just inconsiderate, and we need to be patient, when you are busy teaching your kid that it’s OK to do whatever he wants and that he is more important than everyone else. If you don’t want me to parent your kid, then you get off the phone and do it yourself.
There is no “proper use.” It’s play equipment. You’re projecting your emotions onto children, 99% of whom don’t care if another kid goes up the slide, mostly because if it weren’t for your oppression they’d do it too.
Lol I bet your kids can’t open a door without smacking themselves in the face. Obvious use is obvious unless your kid is an idiot
Instead of spending your time explaining the ‘inconsiderate’ people to your kids, why don’t you teach them to stand up for themselves. Better yet, why not install a play structure in your yard and then you can police how and who does what on the equipment. As Kevin said, there are no ‘proper use’ rules for play equipment.
Kevin, again, this isn’t a basic object. This is a specialized object with an INTENDED USE. That you can’t understand that speaks volumes about your relative level of intelligence.
I agree with many of your points, but not necessarily with your conclusions.
Yes, children need to play creatively. Yes, playgrounds are a great place to experiment with physical play. Yes, children need to learn how to negotiate solutions in shared space.
My child is autistic and has speech delay. She’s not going to participate in theoretical negotiations. And one of the ways that kids learn how to share space is by us telling and showing them.
So if no one is using the slide? Do whatever you want. But the reason that we as a society go up the stairs and down the slide is because it makes it easier for everyone to have a turn. And the reason I’m teaching your kid that playground etiquette is that I think he or she lives in the world that the rest of us inhabit, and like the rest of us, they need to learn to pay more attention to what is happening around them, not just their momentary impulses.
And I’m doing it because I don’t expect you to know about my daughter. After all, you’re just encountering her on a playground. You want one less argument in your day? I totally get that. I’ll take that off your plate. Just don’t substitute it with an argument with me, because neither one of us wants that. We’re each just trying to raise kids.
Creative play is something, disturbing the flow of all other kids trying to go down the slide is simply rude.
If the playground is empty, oh well, release your little monkeys and let them go nuts. But, if you protect your child going up the slide when others are trying to go down, you are not only teaching something wrong and raising a brat, you are being very rude and an a-hole.
I hope my kid uses the slide the right way and knocks your kid off! There are still rules that need to be followed so everyone can use the slide. If you are at the playground alone, knock yourself out. If others are there, be respectful and let the kids that have manners use it correctly.
There is no “right way” to play. If you hope your child harms others you need therapy.
What about if you think it’s OK to let your kids run roughshod over the other kids at the playground because it wouldn’t be “revolutionary” for a parent to intervene? Does that condition require therapy, too?
It’s all fun and games until someone’s teeth are knocked out. Then who are you going to sue? Slides are not meant to be climbed up. If you are willing to let your children play without considering the safety issues, I hope you are willing to accept the consequences. It only takes a second to lose permanent teeth. That is why I say something when I see children climbing up a slide.
Jeeze Kevin. More of the same nonsense? There most certainly IS a ‘correct’, and ‘incorrect’ way to use a slide. This isn’t an object like a rock, which doesn’t really have an intended use. It’s a slide, with a very obvious intended use.
When no other kids are around, I let mine go up and down the slide, but if there are other, especially younger, kids trying to use the slide, I tell mine to go down the slide. I police my own kids, generally not others unless it gets out of hand and someone will get hurt. Luckily, I haven’t had a major issue with this having to police others.
As a dental assistant, i have seen kids come into my office with broken teeth and cut lips from slipping as they are climbing up a slide. That is the reason i will always tell my daughter not to climb up a slide but i would never tell another child not to, not my child, not my business
True Kerri, but if you could see that it was endangering YOUR child, I’m pretty sure you would say something to that other child. I think at the end of the day we all just have our own kids best interests at heart.
Fast forward 15 years and your kid is another entitled, self-centered, inconsiderate douche who thinks only of his own needs and believes rules don’t apply to him because mommy always allowed him to do whatever he wanted.
Sure, there’s a line of kids waiting to go down the slide, sure my kid is not taking turns and using his size and strength to intimidate smaller kids but don’t you dare reprimand my special snowflake, you’ll stifle his imagination!!
What a giant pile of BS.
thank you. My thoughts exactly.
I shouldn’t tell your kid not to go up the slide? No problem. And when my kid goes down the slide like the slide was designed for and knocks the crap out of your kid, don’t you dare say a word to mine, either.
When I was a kid I ran up a slide, slipped, hit my chin on the slide and lodged my two front teeth into my tongue. It was stuck to my teeth. When I pulled them out – blood poured down the slide and down my clothes. I was alone and had to walk all the way home looking like an undead deranged blood covered murder victim.
So…I tell kids not to run up the slide.
I thought this only happened to kids like me. I totally bit my tounge almost all the way in half walking up a slide and falling on my chin. I had to have multiple stiches to sew my tounge back together. I was wearing a white suit and my mom walked out to a wailing child covered in blood from neck down who couldn’t speak to tell her what had happened. The one thing I remember most about the whole situation is that my mother told me not to walk up the slide. I think I would have thought differently of my mother’s mothering if she had just let me walk up that slide without any warning or effort to prevent me from incurring a crazy painful injury.
My children have been injured by bigger kids feeling entitled/unsupervised climbing up the slide. If your child is alone and climbing up the slide I don’t care but if they are endangering mine you bet I’ll tell them to stop.
Wow. Something so simple causing all of this angst. No wonder so many people find parenting so stressful. I’m tense just reading the comments. Relax. It’s play. We all lived through it. We even had fun. Imagine.
Ho. Lee. Shit.
What kind of slides are your kids using if their speed going down is fast enough to knock out teeth, break ribs and cause death? What the hell is wrong with you people?
A kid climbing up the slide won’t cause anyone injury. They might cause a bit of annoyance and maybe some kids will have to wait, just as if it were a really timid kid struggling to find the courage to take that step and slide down. Parenting has little to do with the things we say to other kids. Sure, we always help our kids, but we should let them fight their own battles, conquer their own fears and let them find out when to use diplomacy and when to walk away.
Let’s not fight.
Let’s not teach our kids to cope in a harsh world.
Let’s teach our kids to change it and lead by example.
Really? A kid climbing up the slide absolutely can hurt another child. My daughter was 3 and going down the slide when a big kid decided that he didn’t need to wait. He jumped on as she was getting towards the bottom and guess what happened? He stomped right on her face causing a black eye and cuts to her face. So, yes, it can cause injury.
I’ve found it awkward that most parents tell their kids not to climb a slide, because I see nothing wrong with it unless someone else wants to come down. I pondered changing my tune recently when my child wanted to go down a slide, but it was blocked by a child continually climbing it with no parental oversight. After reading this, I think I’m going to tell my 3 year old that it’s OK to climb up the slide, but someone coming down has the right of way. If someone wants to come down, you must move. After all, don’t we want our children to understand complexities and shades of gray rather than just black and white rules?
Oh, I can and I most certainly would. Safety is top priority. For all children, not just my own. If your head is too far up your kids butt to recognize the inherent danger in a given activity is am going to step in and make sure that children active safe, not to mention being fair. These are things that need to be taught. Children don’t learn everything on their own. I chant believe it’s such a far fetched idea taught heir hat a parent may need to teach their children something once in awhile.
Frickin auto predict! So many typos that I can’t stop cringing :\
Don’t climb the slide when it’s busy and other kids want to go down. End of story…I’ve told bratty kids who are taking up the slide the whole time not to climb it. Sometimes the kids is being a jerk and the parents don’t give a crap and it ruins your kids enjoyment too. Kids need to learn respect too..
So many passive aggressive comments in this ‘conversation’! In my experience there is typically more than a single slide on the playgrounds. There are swings, climbing structures, seesaws,etc. I don’t mind if my children want to climb up the slides and they know they are supposed to get out of the way if someone is trying to slide down (usually) , but I know other parents get very irritated by it. It’s funny how three year olds playing can cause such strife in adults. But in the event the playground is busy, and I notice my child climbing up the slide and causing others to get frustrated, I encourage my kids to go play on another peice of equipment. Perhaps the parents whose kid is too timid to say something could try this same approach. The slide is not going anywhere, and I bet in a few minutes the horrible, rule breaking, three year old jerk going up the slide will have moved on. Please remember why you went to the park in the first place…fresh air, exercise and a chance to socialize with others. It might not be the serene, turn taking, dream world you had made up in your head, but it’s still a great time if you have the right perspective.
I agree with the whole going up the slide thing. That it can be good for kids and that kids should work out differences on their own. But there IS an inherent risk. My brother broke his arm going up the slide when we were kids. He fell over the edge of a fairly large slide when someone else came down as he was climbing. It took all summer to heal. Just because you don’t see a risk doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Yes, there are lots of ways to break an arm. And do we avoid all of them? no. I know OT’s will say climbing opportunities are lacking in our culture. Choose which activities you feel ok with. Let other parents choose theirs. But don’t claim there isn’t an inherent risk when there is one
Should explain to your child if other people are around and wanting to use the slide, need to follow the rules unless everyone agrees to do it the other way. If it’s a slide at your own house? use it however you want.
When your kid is 16 and starts driving, are you going to say they can go whatever way they want to on the road too? Yes, it’s great for kids to use their imagination, to learn things for themselves and push boundaries but they should be learning to do that without disrupting other childrens’ play. When kids climb up the slides they don’t usually do it in a timely manner compared to how fast it takes someone to slide down and if there is a line of people waiting in can be quite difficult to figure out whose turn it is, one person could just keep going over and over again climbing up then sliding down without letting anyone else have a turn.
Parks usually have tons of other structures that you can climb up on whereas most of the other things on the playground would be quite unpleasant to slide down. I have no problem with kids climbing the slide when they’re not in conflict with anyone else but my kids know when other people are using it they need to follow the general rules of the slide and if they want to be climbing they can go do that elsewhere.
This is why I will stay in the inner city and not teach in the burbs. White people are so idiotic and over indulgent that they just turn their kids into heathen brats.
Please stay in the inner city! Us idiotic white people don’t need you. I didn’t know that white people are the only race that raises over indulgent, heathen brats. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I wasn’t going to say anything… But did you really just say white people are so idiotic??? Wow.. Racist much.. I would hate to believe that you are teaching any kids either in the inner city or the burbs as you like to say… you are a horrible human being … And I would bet that there as just as many black or Hispanic kids with parents who don’t care enough to teach their kids to get along with others and that there is plenty of playgoround chaos going on at the inner city parks lol… Not to mention the random drive bys and racial beatings… Get some sense
Seems like i’ve been in playgrounds all my life. As a child, a parent and as a grandparent. Not to mention all the nieces and nephews i’ve accompanied there over the years. I’ve rarely, if ever, saw a child climb up the slide for any other reason than to skip the wait in line for his or her turn or possibly just to irritate the other children who are waiting in line. I really think we overthink these things. Its not creative expression. Its being obnoxious and dare i say it, a bully.
Tell your kid to be fair to the other kids and get in line an let him spread his wings of creativity and independence without stepping all over others.
LOVE THIS! My child has been the slide climber. He has always been a fearless and aggressive (but not in an angry or bully way) kind of a child. He would totally climb the slide for exactly the reason you say. And also just to prove that he COULD climb the slide. He likes to be strong, fast, and tough. And I would totally tell him to gown down the slide and not up the slide. I would give him three chances (with a brief time out) and then if he can’t listen, we will leave. Even when he was as young as 3, I would tell him that going to the playground is not a right. It is a privilege. If he can’t play nice, we won’t go. It is part of his overall personality to take risks. He will probably grow up and run his own company or something. But in the meantime, we will continue to work on learning how to play fair, cooperate, and take a moment to think before we act.
Playgrounds are communal ground. Kids should learn that while they can have fun on the playground, there are rules to follow. Growing up, I obeyed the rules of the playground and most of my friends did too. I have a son now and he is very sweet but not very bold. He likes to obey the rules and he has a great imagination too. If you want your kid to run up and down the slide, you should get your own playset and plop it in your own backyard and then of course they can do whatever the heck they want. If you can’t do that, then you should accept that your kid will really only be playing in a communal space, which is a little limiting.
I will tell the child not to climb up the slide….. why because my daughter sits at the top waiting to go down and doesnt want to hit into the child. She waits and waits and waits and the kid will either climb halfway up and slide down only to continue to do it again so she stays there for ages, or he climbs up and steps on her to get all the way to the top hurting her. The kid climbing the slide is usually not the one who gets hurt, it’s the kid doing the right thing. The start of this says you get off your phone to a parent telling your kid not to. Well maybe get off your phone and do what you should be doing and watch your child….maybe actually play with them.
But don’t criticize other parents as they don’t want anyone getting hurt
It seems as though parents forget how it was when they were growing up.
Kids climbed slides back then too.
Did some kids get upset? Sure. And sometimes hurt? Probably.
Did the world end? No.
Does it suck that the kid patiently waiting their turn has to wait for buddy to climb up or get the heck out of the way? Yes.
You know what? That is basically a prelude to life. There will always be considerate people waiting their turn, getting shafted, by those that don’t.
Squabbling about it now, will do as much to change this as it has the thousand other times this conversation, and others just like it, arise.
As a very wise gentlemen calmly said to me in my early twenties, when I was complaining about something or other: Let it go. All this does is let negativity fester and agitate YOU (regarding whichever subject). If the other person, party or perspective hasn’t changed up until NOW, why do you think this will make them?
All it accomplishes, is a whole lot of squabbling. ‘I’m right/You’re Wrong’ conversations that can go on forever. There are better ways to spend our precious time. Grab an ice cream, or an adult beverage, and Let It Go.
Universal rule.If people are using the slide to go down, you may not go up.
Do you know what nobody has addressed? It’s called a “SLIDE” and not a “CLIMB!” There is a very good reason it was given this name…because it meant to be used to slide down and not climb up. I’m pretty sure that’s why they have ladders/steps. As a teacher I see students convey the attitude of being able to do whatever they want and it is because of parents who teach their children they can do whatever they want with little to no regard for how their actions affect others as long as they are getting what they want. Children are not born with a sense of entitlement…it comes from parents.
If no one else is playing on/around the slide I don’t mind if my girls climb up, but it can be dangerous even if you think it isn’t. For instance, one day my 5 year old daughter (who is very small for her age to begin with) was going down a twirly slide and couldn’t see the 8 year old boy climbing up. They collided and he got a bloody nose and a black eye. His mom freaked, called 911 and threatened to sue us if if we didn’t pay for his medical bills and said she wanted my daughter charged with assault. The cop that showed up basically laughed in her face but I was furious. And on an even more tragic note, a girl from my hometown let her little boy climb up the slide in their backyard but some neighbor kids had twisted the swing rope around the top of the slide and somehow this little boy got caught in the rope and ended up being strangled and died while his mom was less than 20 feet away planting flowers.
If you don’t think it’s unsafe for your kid to climb the slide then let them. It’s fun to try and run up. But if kids are trying to go down and waiting in line to do it then the parent should say something. Not telling your kid to run up the slide when kids are waiting is encouraging them to be a jerk. It should be the parents putting their kid in line at a playground not the other kids. I will encourage my kid to speak up and teach him what a a jerk is as well but it’s a playground with parents around. I will also tell my kid to get off the swing when someone else is waiting and not letting your kid stand there until he grows enough confidence to tell my kid to get out.
You are so very wrong and you are setting your child up to believe that the rules don’t apply to them. Before I started teaching elementary education, I used to teach preschool. While you may see nothing wrong with teaching your child that they can do whatever they want, they will get in trouble on the school playground for it, hence setting them up for failure. It is unsafe when there are multiple children on the playground because children have such little awareness of their surroundings. One child may be climbing up at the exact same moment another child comes sliding down feet first. Gravity then causes the other child’s feet to kick the other child in the head and then you have an injury. I have seen this happen many times on playgrounds because their parents think the “traditional rules for slides” don’t apply to them and then they are confused when their child isn’t perfectly well behaved at school.
I see the Mom’s point and I agree, its ok to climb up the slide for reasons. What I don’t see is where she explained to her kid that we live in a society and playground equipment is communal, that climbing up the slide is ok for them but that they should limit such activity for when they have sole use of the slide and be courteous and considerate when other kids are wanting to use the slide as intended. That is just as important to teach kids as it is independence, creativity and socialization. Indeed, I believe courtesy and code compliance is part of socialization. Just my 2 cents.
So if a car travels the wrong way down a one way Street is that ok? Is it them being individual and creative? or is it reckless and a a possible danger to others?
Kids on a slide is slightly different but we at instilling things in our children that they carry on into life. Respect for others. It’s not only the weaker willed child’s job to speak up. It’s also courteous and respectful for the more boisterous child to have manners and take turns. If on his turn he climbs so be it. Communication. Between children during play and parent and child during play. Children don’t need to be mollycoddled but they should know and understand their boundaries during play, the difference between their limits on an empty slide vs those limits when others are using the slide.
This is just to name a few. The question isn’t Whether a child can climb the slide it’s how they conduct themselves doing so, situational awareness.
So, as an educator and a parent, what the author fails to realize is once your child reaches elementary school, it is imperative that students go down the slide for safety reasons. There can be 100plus kids on a playground and your little sweet pea can get injured because You were too lazy to look up from your phone and saw it as break time. Then you get upset at the school for not watching your baby. Do yourself a favor and teach your child some basic safety rules. It’s not complicated or up for debate. Common sense.
Unpopular opinion time. I used to work for a preschool/daycare type place. I am firmly Anti-Slide Climbing when there’s a crowd at the playground. If it’s just your kids or only a few others, then sure, okay. Let them climb Mt. Slide, or scale Rapunzel’s tower or w/e. But when there’s a lot of kids, then I’m sorry. Stairs are for going up, and the slide is for sliding down. You prevent traffic jams and everyone gets their turn, but more importantly, it’s much safer. Especially if it’s a spiral slide where you can’t see the bottom when you start sliding. I’ve seen kids get unintentionally kicked in the face or knocked clean off the slide too many times.
This article just made me lose 2 IQ points. There is nothing wrong with going up a slide. If you have your own personal slide or your kid is the only one using it, do whatever you want. The issue is when there are OTHER children involved. Yes, there is a world outside of your own where other people’s needs matter too. There is no safety issue. There is a manners issue. If you think that learning to wait your turn and following rules so that everyone can have fun is not a “battle” you should pick, then you are part of the problem. All this does is create a whole generation of entitled, narcissistic jerks because mom didn’t feel like putting her foot down. Brilliant. I can’t wait to meet all the future teachers that you blame when your kid fails, thinking he should have been handed an A.
When I was growing up we were supervised. We played, we worked out how to get along with other kids. When we didn’t get along, our Mom’s and Dad’s stepped in.
We sometime had cuts and breaks in the playground, and that was just dealt with.
Seriously, all this over analysis of play is going to suppress the development of our kids.
Let them play, let them work out what’s right and what isn’t in the playground. The playground is their training zone for society.
Kids at the playground are learning about cooperation, community, being a part of a “society”, respect for others (ie, taking turns, sharing) and how to participate in groups, with friends and/or with unknown others, while gaining physical exercise for body health. They aren’t there to do what only they want for themselves (going up the slide while all the others wait to go down until the up-kid reaches the top and slides back down) – that’s not a display of creativity and imagination…It’s a rude display of self-centeredness and lack of regard/respect for others. Rules, and following rules, esp when among others, is what gives us a civilized society. Allowing your child to interfere with the “society” waiting to slide down, well, that’s teaching your child the rules and conventions don’t apply to him, maybe he’s “better” and that he need not consider or fare about the effect on others that his actions have. But that’s fine because then You have quiet phone time, eh. Grow your child’s imagination and creativity at times when it’s not interfering with the rest of the playground society. The playground is not all about Your Child, it never was…the more that people lose sight of this, the more chaotic life becomes for all. I am appalled at the selfishness.
I don’t remember there being a huge problem with going up a slide when my daughter was younger, so I asked her about it. She is now 12. It went like this:
Me: Did you climb up the slide a lot?
Her: Yeah. I climbed up the slide. Then I got hit once by a kid coming down and I learned life sucks.
Her: Dad told me to quit climbing up the slide because I could get hurt. The kid coming down even yelled “I’m coming down” and then he crashed into me.
Me: What did Dad say?
Her: He asked if I was okay, and I was. Then he asked if I was going to climb up the slide again, and I sad no.
So, I thought maybe I was that parent not watching my kid enough to see her climbing up a slide was creating such a huge issue until I looked through some old photos and came across one of her in Kindergarten. Two boys were climbing up the slide and she with two of her friends going down. Each kid holding a Popsicle. No one got hurt that day. What ended up happening was they discovered they liked making a chain and going down the slide together.
Sometimes it takes learning the hard way to learn a lesson, ie don’t climb up the slide if people are coming down it. As parents, we learn that no matter how many times we tell our kids not to do a particular thing, they’ll do it anyway. I don’t think it makes us bad parents. It means that we have to get a little more creative to get our points across. I don’t think there is ever a perfect one size fits all model, only what works for each individual kid. I am like my daughter, I learn the hard way. I may have been a challenge to raise in that respect, but what resulted is an adult who isn’t a blind follower.
Oh, I want to add that my daughter is an only child, so my husband and I paid close attention to her being able to socialize. He has always been better than me when it comes to her learning on her own when it comes to relating to her peers and how to handle herself in social situations. I tend to worry more. It’s interesting that this hot button issue about climbing up slides doesn’t really set off any feelings of mine other than laughter at my daughter telling me about how she learned not to climb up the slide. I think because when it came to going to the park, my husband was the one taking her as our work schedules were different and I was at work when he was at home.
Obviously there are valid reasons on both sides, and for me, the issue isn’t really safety but consideration for others that you’re in a public, shared space. Playgrounds were built exactly for playing, exploring and socialization. But the equipment does have guides for proper use as well as what can happen if you don’t follow those guides so everyone is informed. Now, if you want to let your child free his spirit and explore his environment beyond those guides, great, as long as it’s in your personal environment, like your house or property. You want to buy a slide for your kid and let them do whatever they want, knock yourself out, (or let then knock themselves out). But just like with driving, being the doctors office or supermarket (etc), there are common, unspoken courtesies we should be extending to each other when out in public. Like keeping your kid in check. I have worked really hard to instill manners, compassion and selflessness in my daughters and to combat the tendency to be self-concerned around others. I don’t think it’s unreasonable or “stifling” to expect the same of other parents and their children. Now of course there’s a million scenarios where it isn’t going to work out this way. Encountering an autistic child is just one example of when patience and support, not disdain and self righteousness are the best course when dealing with anothers child. But if your kid is being inconsiderate to other kids, not just mine, and you’re being oblivious to that fact, I am going to say something to him. If you don’t like it, you are free to leave the playground, no hard feelings. Because it has nothing to do with helicopter parenting, I work at a university so I have a pretty good understanding of what real helicopter parents are like, and it has more to do with teaching our kids to be more considerate of those around them. Even if that means they have to stifle their creativity for an hour or two.
I was at a park with my 2 yr old, standing very close to the slide as there were very aggressive much older kids there climbing all over the slide, another mom approached me who also had a 2 yr old, her daughter wouldn’t go near the slide and we got to talking, she warned me to watch my son very closely as when her daughter was 16 months she was going down the very small kiddie slide (the one she pointed out was 3 feet tops and in the under 2 area) an older boy ran over and went to climb up, little girl came down, he tripped over and fell on her as she got to the bottom, and broke both her legs. I was witnessing her first time back at the park after having double leg casts removed. So ya, don’t crush ur kids creativity, as long as what ur kid is doing won’t crush my kids legs! I get that the author has said when there’s toddlers around its different, but kids don’t usually make that distinction themselves. So either stand there and watch to make sure the slide climbing isn’t interfering with others, or teach them the proper use so they don’t have to be so closely chaperoned
Right, time to harp on the one detail in this piece that doesn’t matter at all. Ready for it? Good, because here we go:
“Bruce, why do we fall?” Alfred was not the man who shared that nugget of wisdom with Bruce Wayne. That was actually Bruce’s dad, Thomas Wayne, at some point before his murder at the hands of Joseph Chilton, AKA Joe Chill. You’re all welcome for that nigh worthless bit of information.
My kids go to the playground alone with kids from the neighnourhood, there are 4 playgrounds around here and the kids range in age from 3 to 11. i have no idea if they go up the slide, i’m not there. Why would parents be hanging out on playgrounds?
Wow you really need to ask that question in this day and age?? My son is 6 and the playground is down the street and I would NEVER let him go to the playground alone, or even with the older kids, at his age. Parents go to the playground to keep an eye on their children from the sickos of the world who kidnap and murder children. Call me overprotective but I would rather walk 10 mins to the park than deal with a lifetime of heartache because my kid goes missing. There are also lots of things that can happen at the playground: falls, broke arms/legs, cuts and scrapes. I wouldn’t want my kid walking home with a broken leg because I didn’t accompany him to the playground. What a stupid comment you made…
I’m all for letting kids be kids, but running up the slide is dangerous. If the child falls and smashes their face in on the steel and a trip to the emergency room, you can’t file a claim as your child was using the equipment improperly, like it or not.
If your child runs up the slide while other children are trying to use it ad he gets kicked in the head or the legs and taken out, again, your fault for allowing your kid to use the playground equipment improperly.
Is your child’s “creativity” and “right” to use a slide as a jungle gym more important than a trip to the emergency room cause they fell and smashed their face in? broke their arm? or got taken out by a kid using the slide as intended?
Wah, wah, wah – a polite adult spoke calmly and kindly to my child while I was playing on my phone and couldn’t be bothered getting up. The parent in question probably wasn’t laying down Slide Laws, but was frustrated at your child’s selfish behaviour. It takes a village to raise a child, we’re all part of society and I have to live in the same world as your children, so if I see a child at the top of a slide waiting patiently for their turn to go down while your kid ignore everyone else around them, I’ll help the underdog, doesn’t matter if it’s my kids or someone else’s. Kindness is what civilises us. That’s a teachable moment for MY child. You can live in ‘lord-of-the-flies’ world if you like. My mother always taught me that goodness was its own reward, the older I get, the more I realise that’s true.
Public school playground at recess we take 3 classes or about 60 kids outside. Often additional non verbal students go too. Sometimes it’s just important to do what’s right for the group vs what an individual wants to do. On backward days everyone goes up. Creativity can exist in pretend play and coexists while using the equipment safety for all who wish to play on it.
No, going up the slide isn’t unsafe…UNTIL you add others who wish to go down.
Public space, standard rules apply.
Private space…..you can create the rules you like.
And sometimes we can pretend the public space is private when no one else is there.
It worked for 28 years of public school teaching…trying to guide students who only wanted to go up the slide because that’s their learned experience.
So yes, the teacher in me Will asj you to go down the slide if I’m there with my 3 yr old grandson. Public space ….standard rules…. for safety of all.
Just as there must be standard rules and courtesies for us as we navigate the roads and the stores, the movies and the restaurants….so it is we must teach our little ones. That collectively we are a kind group of humans looking out for one another. The playground is the beginning for a child.
I am not a mother, but I was once a kid on a playground before helicopter moms and such. When I was in 1st grade, I was sitting at the top of the slide ready to go down when a kid started climbing up the slide. The kid behind me have a shove, and down I went. I tried to stop to avoid a collision and ended up flipping over the side of the slide and falling to the ground, breaking my arm. I had to have surgery with general anesthesia to repair the 4 broken bones in my arm. I wish someone had taught that kid not to climb the slide the wrong way. It still causes pain to this day.
oh, so you are one of these horrible parents who leave their kids running wild and disturbing everybody else.
I don’t want my 2 year old to be kicked in the face by a 5 or 6 year old. Having a broken nose is not the best way to learn. If kids are the same age, they can resolve things by themselves. When there is a huge age gap, it’s not fair on the little ones.
I have manners, I make sure my kids don’t hurt or bother younger ones. You really should do the same. Yes, we all look at you and judge you: the incompetent lazy selfish parent who doesn’t teach rules and respect for others to her kids. Please don’t come in our playground, where we teach our kids to respect everybody and mind the younger ones.
Do you also disagree about me telling off your kids when they throw things at other kids in the cinema?
So, it’s cool if they are kids. Is it as cool if they are adults driving the wrong way on the road? That’s the lesson taught here–as long as you are the most aggressive you win. Let others get out of your way.
As a mom, if you are monitoring the kids and letting kids go up and down respectfully FINE! As a teacher with 24-48-75 kids on the playground at a time – the rule is – Down the slide, on your bottom. There is 1 or maybe 2 adults on the playground with all of those children and it just isn’t safe.
If any parent has an issue about playground rules kids make up that are not typically dangerous, then said parent does not remember that is the only way children learn by themselves how get along with peers. Someone going up is placed in the defensive role by the nature of what the slide is meant for. Learning to communicate who is first, who has to wait, and others rules can be worked out with a parent or parents, but only if an argument ensues or an injury occurs. I agree with some who have concern about how many children are using the slide. Too many becomes an invitation to something bad happening. Also, due to the primary function of a slide, if even one child does not want to participate in the going up, he/she must be given precedence. There are rules which, if all are not in favor of modifying, must be held an reinforced. Just as at an amusement park where the sign reads “you have to be this tall”, apples to everyone or no one. Weigh the significance of being taunted with the right to have your children be safe. It really can be a tough choice because what one thinks is okay is sometimes an objective point or a
I did this as a child and split my chin open. Not a great idea to let ur kids do it. Of course I haven’t seen a slide in a long time, so maybe they are better designed now.
If your kid is going up the slide while other kids are trying to go down then I would hope you would say something to them for safety reasons and because kids need to take turns. If my kid is going down the slide and yours is climbing up then they will both get hurt and I definitely will be upset. Yes kids need to move and if it’s just them then whatever. But you don’t allow your child to just take over the slide. Plus at school that will get them in a lot of trouble!
Everyone knows if you go up the slide backwards, the top is a magic portal to a new dimension made of candy.
Way too much overthinking going on round these parts.
Unicorns. You forgot the unicorns lol 😉
If your kid is the only one on the slide, fine. But in the words of another, “don’t let your babies grow up to be assholes.”
Is this what we’ve come to, bitching about the politics of using a slide on a playground? The literal definition of first world problems
I hate to say it, and I don’t want to be the one to antagonise or anything, but – rules? In a playground? Surely there are the usual ‘don’t hurt people’ and ‘be polite’ etc sort of etiquette rules that people and kids should follow all the time, but playgrounds are literally for playing. There is no wrong way to use a slide, or a swing; there is an awkward way, sure, and a way to get yourself hurt, of course, but there is no wrong way.
People who let their “precious little snowflakes” have free reign are giving them essential tools. Do you want your kid to always follow the rules, end up in a career they hate or whatever when they could have followed a dream, but were too afraid or were too intent on following the rules, rather than breaking them?? It might sound crazy, but the idea of questioning things and building solutions yourself is an amazing thing to give your child. I think it’s amazing when kids are encouraged to question things and to find alternatives, it’s something we could all benefit from, honestly.
Of course, every kid is different, but a bit of independence is always good, no matter how timid or shy your kid is. To those who are afraid that their kids will get too much of the pain and none of the growth – they’ll learn! And if not now, then it’ll probably be at least a turning point in their growing stage. As a parent it’s terrifying, watching them confront a bully, and it’s even worse when they lose, but they can’t be shielded from everything, and unless punches are thrown, it’s not a humongous deal!
Of course the kids that climb the slides are annoying when there’s a queue of kids, but they learn pretty quickly, and I would be surprised if the parent of the ‘offender’ would give out to the other kid for sliding down and kicking the little spud in the face, especially if there was a warning given; I’ve seen it happen before, and all it takes is the parent pulling their slide-climbing kid aside and going through why it happened with them, showing that there are consequences.
This article is a breath of fresh air in a world full of constrictedly creative parenting.
Preventing other children from using the slide the way it is designed to be used would fall under one of those not polite things to do.
Don’t raise impolite children.
Not really. The reason slides are like that is because it’s easiest to design it that way, it’s not designed purposefully not to be used any other way. It’s not like they come with freaking manuals.
Also, it’s not preventing kids from doing anything, at least not in the long term. As we all know, kids have pretty short attention spans and realistically it’s narrow-minded to tell kids that slides are not to be climbed upon; limiting them in a playground, of all places, is impolite and honestly stunting. Unless they’re hurting someone, doing something maliciously, or doing something repetitively (and it’s wrong), there’s no reason to stop them.
….Natasha….it’s called a slide, not a climb. There is most certainly an intended usage. Sliding down. “It’s not designed purposefully not to be used any other way.” <–What? That sentence isn't even formed right.
No… you need to teach your children that interacting in society comes with rules. You don’t cut in line at the supermarket and you don’t break laws… there’s rules we just have to abide by. Defending climbing up slides is just your way of distracting people from observing your poor parenting skills.
Ok. As the mom of a kid who went down a slide, knocked a kid off who was climbing it, that kid fell 4 feet to the ground (two story curvy slide that you can’see around the corners as you go down) and ended up with a compound fracture (bone poked through the skin) and ambulances, etc called, yeah, I am the playground police. Kids don’t climb the slide. Period. 2 years later my son has nightmares about hurting kids and he hates slides. Rules, spoken or printed or not exist in our society.
Some of them are social niceties and there are no repercussions for not following, but our kids need to learn them anyway.
I climbed up the slide the “wrong” way, my own children did it and my grandchildren do it.. SO WHAT???? If they slide back down without reaching the top, they’ll keep trying until they SUCCEED! That is what being a child is all about.
I can see padding the ground in case of falls, but they’ve removed all the playground activities my generation grew up on in the name of safety… SO why not just wrap the kids in foam rubber for the rest of their lives… It still wont make them safe, what it will do is teach them not to strive or be better.
What about the kids trying to slide down the slide while your child is climbing up? Don’t raise impolite children.
Here are the facts. A slide is a slide to be slide down. Now I see two problems. 1). Her child got spoken too by another parent. 2).opinions about how a child shall play. Every child will attempt to go up a slide, we all have done it. This actually does not require imagination. Its skills and agility. There is always two sides to every story, so if the parent was telling the child to do something, she/he had reasons. Another point was mentioned about letting the kids work it out. Kids will surprise you and kids do work it out. Those who do not are still learning or just being introverted. Then we have bulleys (extroverts) Those are the kids that need rules. Since this is a public place manners and respect for each other needs to be in place. As well as saftey for others, this includes adults as well. personally those parents who say “wait a few seconds to kids then go slide down” You are wrong. Wait till its clear. There is a time and place to intervene, do whats right!.
So, I have to say that I’ve been on both sides of this. I can remember my 3 year old daughter waiting patiently at the top of the slide to go down while an older kid (just before her) climbed back up after his ride down without regard to her getting a turn. I kept my mouth shut and she waited (his patent was nowhere to be found and I don’t feel like it was my place to intervene).
Fast forward 2 years, same little girl was climbing up (no child at the top this time waiting to come down and she slipped and knocked out her teeth because, slippery slide and physics). That being said, I still let her free play and hand from the slide and do a hand over hand climb up the slide hanging from the side – but, if another child is being inconsiderate and their own parent isn’t paying attention, I WILL say something. Even if the child that is not being held up isn’t mine. It sounds something like “oh honey, can you see the little boy waiting to come down? Let’s give him a turn (with a smile). In the day of parents often being distracted, I don’t think this is out of line, and I welcome the same interaction from other parents should they observe my child being inconsiderate or unsafe (and I’m chasing my other young child). Maybe we could all just get a little less upset about it because we know we’re all coming from a place of teaching kindness and safety. And if we all do our best to pay attention to what our children are doing, we can simply have a conversation with that other parent about why climbing up the slide (insert other free play here) rather than writing about it after the fact:)
Ok…So I won’t say anything to your kid for going up the slide. But you can’t say anything to mine when yours takes a foot to the face, because mine lost patience waiting for your entitled child, who doesn’t think they have to take turns. It’s not just about safety its about kids not having manners and this idea that your kid deserves something that the rest of them don’t.
Simple solution….you don’t want to obey simple courtesies, get your kid their own playground and keep them away from the others. Then they can climb all day long without all those pesky kids in their way.
I will say something at the park if kids are climbing up the slide. I am usually the only parent at the park and I am going to watch out to make sure no one gets hurt. I can’t stand kids climbing up the slide and don’t let my own. Yes I will be reading a book while I am there, but I will also be watching the kids play. I listen to them all the time so I can usually figure out what is going on. I don’t have a cell phone that has games or that I can go online with and I don’t really want one. I like that I pay more attention to people than my phone and hopefully the kids see me reading at the park and want to read more. By the way the main reason I read at the park is because we are there for hours some days in the summer.
I can’t speak for all kids/parents, but usually the ones I see going up the slide are the ones that their parents noses are stuck in their phones and when I see them out other places than the park their kids are just as wild and don’t listen. My kids are far from perfect, but I believe that since we have rules everywhere (even at the park) they are pretty well behaved when we are elsewhere because we have rules and consequences.
I also do believe that our playgrounds are to safe but that doesn’t mean kids should just run around doing what they want when they want. You want them to be more well-rounded and get their energy out. Play with them outside. Baseball, kickball, catch, ride bikes but mostly interact with them and teach them to pay attention to others around them and be considerate.
I will tell your child to not go up the slide because there is probably a reason I’m doing so that you didn’t see when you were looking at your phone and glanced up to see me telling your child that the slide is designed to go down. Whether it is a toddler or an older child who is non confrontation and is trying to use the slide as it is designed,, while your child is blocking the use of it. Totally obnoxious to assume that it is ok. And get over the recreation play argument. It’s not creative, it’s selfish.
Seriously, people? I grew up in the 50s and parents didn’t even come to the playground. We were told to go and have a good time. And we were kindergarten and older. We all survived .
To be very honest, I got really bored with all the negative comments on here. I had to stop reading all of them. I apologize if someone mentioned this before and this is repetitive, but….
Does someone actually have a rulebook for the playground? If so… I’d like to see it. I’m really sick of overbearing “helicopter Moms” who think they (and their children) are so much better then everyone else! If my kid has to wait for yours to go down the slide… yours has to wait for mine to go up it! Should we not all be teaching our kids to respect others? So someone thinks a bit differently… big frigging deal! Make it a lesson to your kids about patience. Everyone gets a turn using the slide in any way they choose! It’s a PLAY ground!
To all the Moms bashing the author of this article, or who are going to rag on me for my opinion… take a good, hard look in the mirror before judging others. You just might learn something about yourself!
Man. I’ll be the one to just come out, and say it. A slide HAS an intended purpose, and that is to SLIDE DOWN. Fairly simple concept to grasp; doesn’t require alot of thought to figure out. I see so many saying “Who are you to dictate how a slide works?”, or “You don’t get to say this way is right”. That’s stupidity. We all KNOW how a slide works. You climb up the stairs, sit down on it, and slide down. Fairly simple to understand. I can’t grasp why so many ‘ADULTS’ can’t understand how BASIC PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT works. It has an intended use. That is what IT IS MEANT FOR.
Not to mention, it is actually unsafe. Broken arms, and legs. Collarbones. Teeth. etc etc. Again. That’s a fairly simple concept to grasp. It shouldn’t take alot of thought to come to that conclusion.
Will I tell your kid that it’s unsafe to climb up the slide? Of course. Will I tell your child they’re being rude if others are waiting, and they’re climbing up, sliding down, and climbing back up again? Sure will. Don’t like it? Oh well. You’ll get over it, or you wont. Either way I really don’t care, long as you don’t think to put your hands on me. We can have a nice discussion. I can list the many reasons why it’s unsafe (and in the case of rudeness, socially inaccptable).
My biggest concern with letting my children climb up the slide is leading them to believe that rules don’t apply to them. Slides were made to go down and we all know it, regardless of the “where does it state this” and “there are no rules except to play” comments, we all know that slides were meant to go down and so do our kids. So by letting them go up the slide at any time, other kids or no other kids, we are teaching them that rules don’t apply to them. There is no way a child understands that it’s ok to break some rule and not others, it’s pretty all or nothing with them. So no I do not let me children climb up the slide, ever.
In the words of my very well mannered, intelligent 12 year old (who has been interested in this topic with me) ” It’s a playground! There are no actual laws to break! It’s just a playground! It’s for having fun, yes there’s stuff we shouldn’t do but when it comes to climbing a slide, there’s no actual rules! As long as your respectful of others and wait your turn, I think it’s ok! Really Mom… if your climbing up it when someone’s coming down… STOP!!! Just like if you were climbing up it first and they want to come down… they should STOP! Why do some parents make it so complicated? ” Out of the mouths of babe’s!
There is a big difference between rules and common sense and parenting. Just because there are “no rules”, should children be able to go to a park where they have those 3 and 4 story rockets, with different floors they climb to, then slide down, then get onto the outside and climb to the top?
If you’re climbing up and they want to come down… we are not talking about 12 year olds with reasoning skills, a 3 or 4 year old just knows go up and slide down, why some parents thing their 3 year old should have the reasoning of a teen or an adult is beyond me.
Why climbing up a slide can be beneficial to your child… Just some food for thought…
1.Provides a Heavy Work Sensory Experience (Proprioceptive Input) – A child pulling herself up a slide is a sensory experience that can increase attention and body awareness.
2. Allows a child to learn that rules can change based on different factors. In real life, rules don’t always stay the same and aren’t always black and white. For example, teaching a child that slide climbing is only allowed when the park isn’t crowded is a conditional rule or a babysitter might not allow it, and the child needs to listen to the adult in charge.
3.Gives the child the opportunity to learn courtesy. It is polite if a child allows the children sliding down to go first before climbing up the slide.
4. Accommodates for the well being of other children by explaining to your child that slide climbing shouldn’t happen if there are lots of younger children who aren’t as skilled and independent on the slide. This makes them aware of the needs of other kids.
5.Contributes to building their creativity by allowing them to physically experience that objects can be used in different ways.
While I feel it is okay at times, like when other kids are not about and playing, but when other kids are present and using it, I say no.
Other children do not have the forethought to know what goes up must come down, one way.
So, don’t yell at my kid when they are sliding down and knocking your kid off the slide. Should we all go down one way streets the wrong way, hey why not. It will probably be faster and save time and fuel. Which in turn helps the environment.
I think they should put a double slide in with one big arrow painted on the slide going down, and on the other side one big arrow going up. Now everyone is happy, and no one gets hurt.
There is a much bigger and deeper issue here. If it’s your slide, fine your rules. If it’s a public area people need to follow the rules, and make their children follow the rules as well. Remember that these are children it’s our job to teach them how to become good functional members of society, and part of that is teaching them to to follow rules… All rules, not just the ones they agree with. By allowing your children to break the rules for whatever reason, “they are being expressive, it’s no big deal, it’s not the end of the world, etc”,it teaching them that rules don’t apply to them. the people who are responsible and follow the rules, wait in line like they are supposed to get shafted? How do you think that makes the kids waiting feel? They were raised right, to have respect for others, rules and the public property that belongs to everyone, and now there suffering for your crappy parenting?
If you think for one second that I as a parent am going to sit there and watch your child cut in line hold up the responsible kids, or make my child think ” what’s the point of doing things by the rules,” you are sadly mistaken. I would ask your child to follow the rules and wait in line like everyone else. After that I’m looking for you.
It’s important for my children to know that when they are doing the right thing, I have no problem fighting for them, because it TEACHES them to be willing to always stand up for themselves, and what’s right.
I was one of those children who was always too afraid to stand up for myself. So I can tell you from my own personal experience that I would not have been able to just “figure it out on my own” as a kid. My parents were the kind of parents that left us free to “figure it out” and I was taught to fear. Fear my peers. Fear the thought of playing. Fear the thought of being outside at all. If I would have had an adult by my side who would have taught me how to stand up for myself, maybe I wouldn’t have stood on the playground by myself each recess doing nothing. Nothing but standing in fear. I’m surprised I had such a negative emotional reaction to this article. I usually don’t get emotionally involved in Internet mumbo jumbo, but I cannot understand why an adult would think it’s OK to allow their child to trample over other more vulnerable kids, all in the name of “learning.”
At the playground, I keep an eye on MY kid. If the slide is empty and he wants to go up, so be it. But if there are other kids and they want to go down, I tell him to be respectful and fair. When he gives me the “but the other kids are doing it” excuse, I tell him I don’t care what the other kids are doing and to let their parents worry about them, I’m only concerned with HIS actions, no one elses (unless there is a situation in which my 6 year old can get hurt). I take my kid the playground t get some exercise, run off energy and get fresh air. He plays with kids he just met and I, admittedly, play on my phone. But that doesn’t mean I don’t pay attention to what’s going on and it sure as hell doesn’t mean I’m a parent who doesn’t care. But I will say this: I’m there for MY kid, not yours. I’m not there to babysit anyone else except MY kid, so unless there is a fight of some kind (which has never happened) I will not be reprimanding your kid, and I would thank you for not addressing mine.
I understand the wanting kids to explore (free play). But I’m a Nanny & I’m responsible for the safety & well being on children. It’s hard to tell my kids the proper way to play on equipment to minimize injury when other parents/care givers aren’t doing the same. It’s not fun for anyone if someone gets hurt!
Nope. I will be the bad guy. Nope. Not happening.
If my child or your child is climbing up a slide that is covered – you know the tubes – cool. I have zero concern with that. But if my child or yours is climbing up a slide similar to the pictures in this post or any other slide that is not a tube – damn right I will be asking them not to.
I was once that mom. My daughter was climbing up the slide at the school playground. I was right there watching her when she looked over the edge and fell. Head first. Landing on her head/neck/back and had a full blown seizure right in front of me.
Nope. Not worth the risk.
While creative play is not a bad thing, the equipment was designed to be the safest when used properly for all children using the slide.
Your child’s creativity should not cause others to get hurt.
I had a very expensive hospital bill when my son was hurt because of this very reason. someone went up the slide, my son who had gone up the steps and was waiting at the top to go down, had to adjust his body so the other child could turn around and go back down, causing my son to fall 10 feet down the stairs to the ground. Needless to say, we worried his spleen was ruptured but thankfully he just had very bruised ribs and was very sore for a couple of weeks.
Was it an accident. Yes. Was it 100% preventable. YES!
Let your child be creative when no one else can get hurt by it.