Parks and playgrounds can be a parent's salvation. Of course, it's fun for the kids - but it also gives mom or dad a break from being the sole entertainer. Kids don't just learn how to swing, slide and climb there, but they learn how to put into practice all sorts of lessons that we, as parents, have been trying to instill in them: Follow rules. Be friendly. Be kind to others. Take turns. Don't take what doesn't belong to you. Keep your hands to yourself. Don't throw things. Mind the adults....and the list goes on.
I am boggled by these parents who take children to the playground as an excuse to take a break from parenting. I am always surprised by children who come up to me to talk or want me to play with them - with their parents not far off texting, talking, phoning or reading. How did I get nominated as community parent? I love kids and I know I am good with them, but I try not to interact with kids unless their parents are right there. And even though I'm a nice person, I am, after all, technically a stranger. Granted, most parents there are involved and responsible, but you can never be too careful when it comes to children.
"Where is all this coming from?" you ask? Well, last week Iain met me at the mall after work so we could grab some sushi in the food court (don't laugh - our mall's sushi place is really good!) Gianna was a good sport during supper so we opted to swing by the play area on our way out.