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Here is a situation you may have already experienced: there is only one swing in the play area and a child has been playing on it for nearly thirty minutes now. The parent is nowhere to be seen, and you have already asked the child to take turns with the rest of the kids. But the child is being unruly and you feel helpless as your child keeps demanding that they be allowed to play on the swing. How you wish everyone followed play area etiquette! It is safe to say kids’ play areas are messy places. Saturated with kids’ adrenaline, sweat, and sand, they are a tricky place for a parent to navigate. But your kid loves the play area as any other child, and you cannot avoid going down there. After all, the play area is also the place for joy, excitement, and bonding. It only makes sense for you to want to make the most of your time at the play area with your child. So if your apartment complex also has a kids’ play area, or if you regularly visit one, we have etiquettes you may want to take into consideration while there.
The importance of sanitation and cleanliness cannot be overstated in these times. It is your responsibility, as much as any other parent’s, to sanitize your hands and your child’s hands before entering the play area. Keep a sanitizer handy and help yourself and your kid to it now and then. Even without the scare of the pandemic, playgrounds are rife with germs, bacteria, and other viruses that you need to protect your child from. And it is also your responsibility to prevent passing down any illnesses you may have to other users of the play area.
After being inside all day your child may get a little too excited to be at the play area. It is natural and healthy as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. Don’t take any chances when you are in the play area and take full responsibility for your child. Even the most seemingly harmless play areas could cause serious injuries if children are left unattended. So stand with your child at each of the playground equipment and supervise them closely. Even if your little one demands independence, always be at an arm’s length. Be ready to intervene if necessary.
When in the play area, wear your nice shoes. Kids’ tempers can be unpredictable, and the best way to achieve cooperation is by being courteous. If a child is being rude to you or your child, it would be in your best interest to be nice and courteous. Even if the parent later gets involved, they cannot blame you for being gentle with their child. Saying “You are in my child’s way, you could get hurt. Could you please move?” can work better for you than “Move out of the way now.”
We are holed up in homes, and there is nothing we crave now more than a break. This is especially true for parents and caregivers who spend all their energies on raising kids. Though it may be tempting for you as a parent to enjoy some time on your gadget while your child is busy on the swing, it is highly inappropriate. You may need just a minute to send that text message or check your email, but that is all the time it may take for your child to hurt themself or hurt other kids in the play area. Children need constant supervision when they are in the play area. Remember, you are not only responsible for the safety of your child, but you are also responsible for the safety of the others in the play area.
If your child has been on the swing for some time and you see a line forming slowly behind you, then you must take the cue that your time on the swing is up. And you may gently remind a child or their parents to take turns similarly. Take this time to introduce to your child the value of sharing and taking turns. All the while, remember to always stay courteous.
Most play areas have an age limit for the equipment they have. Make sure your child is well within the age limit mentioned. It is unpleasant to watch a 12-year-old playing on the swing designed for 3-year-olds. Treat your child to age-appropriate play areas so everyone there can have fun.
Visiting the play area can be fun or a dreaded experience depending on the boundaries you set for yourself and your child. A little caution, courteousness, and a shared enthusiasm between your child and you can make your time in the play area memory to cherish for the years to come.
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