So, a recent expedition to a local playground with the kids provided for some interesting playground don’ts for Dads and (Moms too).
1. Don’t sit on the bench. Even if 15 other shlubs are sitting on the bench. Get up your kid wants you to play. Plus you could probably use the exercise anyway. Your kids will love seeing you show them how to go across monkey bars if you can still manage to get across. (Warning: Your arms will be sore the following day)
2. Don’t leave your trash. Set an example to your kid of how to respect areas that belong to everyone. If you bring snacks, put them in the trash when you are finished. Bandaids are gross too and I don’t want my son picking up a nasty bandaid so if yours lose theirs and you see it pick up that biohazard waste (Same rule applies to diapers) Instill the idea of leaving a place better than when you found it.
3. Don’t let your kid break playground rules. This includes climbing on the outsides of equipment that isn’t supposed to be climbed on. Let your kids run a muck drives dads like me crazy, but more importantly your kid could get hurt and most importantly your poor decision could get my kid hurt.
4. Don’t let your kid leave other kids out that might be different. Explain to your kid that differences are what make us all unique. Let your kid play with whoever he wants, and encourage him to include others that might be getting left out.
5. Don’t be afraid to take your kids by yourself even if it might be hard. Your wife probably needs a few hours to herself and a little father/son or father/daughter time will make your entire family closer.
6. Don’t yell at your kid. You just look like you are mean. Set clear guidelines and boundaries at the park and make sure you stick to them. When it is time to go give them a 5 minute warning or number of swings/trips down the slide before you leave.
Image Credit: Marco Zanferrari