Do you break the rules of the playground?
Even if there is no sign, you can clearly tell which parts of the playground are meant for younger children. If I’m on the part of the playground meant for children three and younger and I see eight or 10 year olds fooling around, I try to make the bigger playground sound a lot “cooler.” I say something like, “Wouldn’t you guys much rather play on that really big one over there instead of this toddler playground? I bet you can’t do those monkey bars all the way across!” Usually this works. I don’t want any child to get hurt or, even worse, have fears about going to the playground because, “the big kids are on it.” My daughter’s words.
Tip #3: Use Your Inside Voice… Well, Outside
Do you remember when you were a kid and one of your friends got yelled at by his parents? Scared the you know what out of you, right? I mean, sure your parents yelled at you, but when someone else’s parents did it to them it was all kinds of awkward. You both were scared to even budge!
This brings me to the parents on the playground who show zero sense of manners, screaming and shouting like they were fronting a death metal band. I can’t stand when people--any adult--yells and screams at someone else in public. Trust me, I totally understand that it happens—and I’m guilty of it too—but usually the ones who do it constantly have no sense of etiquette at all.
So though I’ve told you to pay attention to your kids and make sure they are being careful, that does not mean you should scream at them if they’re misbehaving. Making the playground a safe place to play and have fun is key for a child’s development, so don’t ruin it with your bad temper. If you happen to witness a screaming parent, tell the parent who is pissed because his child is ruining their Facebook session on their iPhone that everything will be all right. Try to settle the situation with some calm, cool karma.
Do you have a great story about how you witness poor playground etiquette? Post them on my Modern Manners Guy Facebook page so we can all hear the details. As always, if you have another manners question, I’m look forward to hearing from you so drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. As well, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT. And of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips.