Posted by: Lisa | November 10, 2010

Poo-Poo on the Pessimistic Parents at the Park

I’m going to be one of those parents for a few moments.  You know the ones – they look down their noses at all the other parents, silently (and sometimes not so silently) criticizing the others’ words & decisions, knowing that they themselves would never do that with their children.  So, now that we’ve established that I’m the one true perfect parent (with, naturally, a perfect toddler), I’ll continue my critique:

I was shocked at the party poopers who gathered at the local park playground today.  Wow.  I mean, it was sunny, 75 degrees, & we were at a park, for crying out loud.  How bad could it be?  I naively thought parents took their kids to a park as a reward, to have fun together, etc.  Silly me.  Apparently it’s a tactic used when you want to find as many reasons to scream at your kids as possible.

I heard countless parents just plain being rude to their kids.  They spoke in a rude tone of voice.  Most of them yelled while sitting on their butts on the benches.  “Get down from there right now, Ashley!”  “C’mon, hurry up!”  “Don’t be mean, Sidney!”  “I told you not to go fast!”  “Slow down now, Ashley!”  “Thomas, if you can’t act right we’ll go home right now.” Now I realize we need to teach our kids to take turns, play fairly, & not hit.  I’m not defending bratty behavior or saying children shouldn’t be reprimanded.  It just seems counterproductive to tell them to be nice while talking so disrespectfully to them.  Aren’t there ways to discipline children or teach them how to treat others without belittling them or acting as though they’re nothing but giant nuisances who can’t do anything right?  The parents acted like being at the park with their kids was the most miserable task ever endured.  Those nonstop critical comments weren’t from one or two parents – it was a dozen or so.  Also, I didn’t hear any compliments or kind words when the children were acting right.  The kids weren’t doing anything other than acting like kids on a playground.  My (least) favorite was, “Shhh!  Gavin, stop yelling right now!” He wasn’t yelling out of anger – he was squealing because he was having fun.  On a playground.  Outside.  And Mom wanted him to use his inside voice.  It made me sad.  And it put me in a rotten mood.  I was at the park to have fun, and instead I felt like I was the one being yelled at!

Jacob is a toddler, which means his life is mainly controlled by others.  I make nearly all of his decisions for him, many of which he’s too young to even understand.  But at the park it’s Jacob’s chance to make choices.  I let him lead me to the areas where he wanted to play (which often included playing with wood chips or gravel instead of on “real” playground equipment) and unless he was doing something that could seriously injure him, I let him climb on whatever he wanted to climb on as many times as he wanted.  Yup, we took a risk that he might trip or fall down & get a tiny bump or bruise.  Gasp!  That’s how he’s going to develop gross motor skills, balance, coordination, etc.  Why go to a playground if you aren’t going to let your kid climb on anything or work out minor issues with peers on their own?

Ok, I’m done venting.  I’m sure those other moms were probably shaking their heads at my parenting style for some reason, too.  Because as we all know, that’s what parents do best.



  1. You would really love Dr. Bailey’s book Conscious Discipline….right up your alley

  2. Can I ask you for parenting tips once I have a kid? By the way, love the picture posted on the blog! So interesting, and I keep looking at it! Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks, Emmy! I’m no expert but I enjoy learning as much as I can about this whole motherhood thing, & I’m always up for sharing my own experiences. 🙂

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