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Advice Everyday Outdoors Parenting

“A Little Park Etiquette Goes a Long Ways”

First off, I want to note that this article isn’t about mom-shaming or any kind of shaming, but accountability. There is a difference. We all need to be respectful of each other, especially when it comes to shared spaces in public.

I was at the park a couple of days ago which quickly became the inspiration for this article. The weather where I live is tropical, so it’s still nice out and there are lots of people taking their kids to the park.

I saw a lot of things that got my gears turning, so here I am, sharing them with you.

  1. For the love of everything holy, if your kid is sick, please do NOT bring them to the park. No matter how much fresh air or time out of the house you think they might need, their bodies need rest more than anything until they are healthy again. Your pediatrician would agree. Even if they have a cough or just a runny nose…chances are, they are going to cough or snot in their hand then climb all over the place, smearing it for everyone else to enjoy and succumb to the same illness later. 
  2. If my child is doing something that could potentially cause harm to your child or any other, please kindly let him know and remind him to be careful if I might be looking away or tending to my other child for a brief moment. We all get busy and sometimes distracted while our kids play, so it’s ok if we all help each other out like the Village that we are. I don’t understand why some people get bent out of shape if you say something to their kid. No one is trying to tear your child a new one, we just want to make sure that our children are playing in a fairly safe environment.
  3. On that note, the park is not your babysitter nor are the other families there with their kids. Please do us all a favor and check on your children regularly. 
  4. The rules of the park are there for a reason and predominantly that reason is safety. If the park states that it’s geared towards children ages 4-12, don’t let your barely walking toddler roam around and attempt to climb at the bottom of the slide where kids might mow them over. Also, don’t let your 170 pound 14 year old run rampant amongst the age appropriate kids. This isn’t to be an ass, but no one wants to get hurt or hurt anyone else. Some of this is just common sense.
  5. If your child has an accident, please don’t allow them to continue to use the equipment. I think it’s time to head home for a change of clothes. No one else wants to slip-n-slide in your child’s urine. I know some parents think it makes them feel as though they are punishing their kids for having an accident, but really you are showing them that it’s the responsible thing to do when that happens.
  6. If you have a potty mouth, please try to keep it in check while you are visiting. I am not perfect and I cuss from time-to-time, but for the most part, I try to keep it out of my child’s ears. Also, if you want to play music while you are there, please keep it g-rated. I’d rather not have a discussion with my 9 year old about what it means to make love in the club.

These are just some things I’ve noticed during multiple visits to different parks. We all want to go and enjoy our time there, so we should all be mindful of each other. It’s simple common courtesy to do these things, just like if you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.

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