By Adeline Woo
Bringing your child to the play ground for the first time sounds a lot easier than it actually is. For all first time parents out there, here are some tips and advice that are extremely useful, we promise!
1) First things first, learn to let go. Let your child explore the play ground on their own. The first time is always the most terrifying experience for the parents. Worried about your child falling down or hurting themselves but giving kids their own space allows them a chance to learn on their own. Letting them run free gives them the confidence and independence they will carry with them as adults.
2) Don’t take your eyes off your child. Put away the iphone, and watch your kid. Many parents just take their kids to the park, plop themselves on the bench and just glue their eyes to their phone. It’s pretty irresponsible and annoying in my opinion to do that. Don’t get me wrong, checking your phone occasionally is fine but focusing more on your phone rather than your child is pure negligence. If your child puts themselves in a dangerous situation you should be there to prevent it. If your child is behaving aggressively to other kids you should be there to intervene. Your child is your responsibility even from a distance.
3) If another kid needs help, help him. Once a toddler was first in line for the slide. Behind him were a set of brothers. The toddler for some reason didn’t want to go down the slide and was holding up the line. The kids behind him seemed to be getting impatient but didn’t do anything. The father of the brothers behind him then said to his sons “Help the baby go down the slide. He might want to ride with you.” The brothers then grabbed on to the toddler and all three of them happily went down the slide together. Now that is something that one parent to another can appreciate.
4) Don’t be overly defensive. Kids can be aggressive by nature. If your child gets pushed by another kid, first make sure he is okay and try to move their attention to a different area of the playground. And as much as you’d like to reprimand the child who pushed your child, it’s not your place. If your child is at fault, admit it to yourself. Check to see if the other child is okay, have your child apologize to the other child, and calmly apologize to the parent. If it was the other way around wouldn’t you appreciate an apology? Kids make mistakes, move on.
5) Remind your child to wait their turn. There’s nothing worse than being bullied and pushed around after you’ve patiently been waiting your turn. If your child gets too antsy to wait, move their attention to another area of the park and go back when the line has cleared up.
6) Introduce your kids to other kids. When your child is in the same vicinity of another it’s always good to help them break the ice. Encourage your child to say hi, this breaks the ice for the kids so that they can play together. Kids learn by mimicking (it’s a good thing and a bad thing, I know). By introducing your kid to others, he’ll see how they played and learned how to do it himself.
7) Don’t share snacks. The little monster needs fuel to play so make sure to bring a few snacks and some water. As much as sharing is a good lesson, it wouldn’t be the lesson here. Random kids may come to you when they see the snacks in your hands but bear in mind that you have absolutely no idea what the other kids may be allergic to and the last thing you would want is for them to get a bad reaction to the food and have to explain yourself to the other mums or dads.