A Guide to Playground Etiquette

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This is for all those parents out there that let their children run all willy nilly at the playground. If your child has ever made more than three kids at the local play area cry, I’m talking to you.


Now for the rules…


Now, look–I understand if your kid is abnormally tall. Hell, my four year old sometimes gets mistaken for a seven year old. That’s cool, but come on, if your kid is an entire head ABOVE the recommended height, then they shouldn’t be there. What I really don’t get though, is why your twelve year old WANTS to play on something that was designed for a six year old. Maybe you should have that checked out.


Playground Sherriff

The play area is for everyone to use. So, if your kid is blocking access to the slide or the bouncy thing–tell them to move. It’s super crappy when my kid has to try to tell a kid twice her size (see above rule to prevent this from happening) to move out of her way. Why is it my responsibility to make sure all the children have equal access to the playground toys? Teach your kid to share, that’s like parenting 101. If you can’t master that, then maybe you should take a class or something.


Food Stays at The Table

I can’t actually believe I have to say this, but why on this earth are you letting your kid take his happy meal on the playground? Are you kidding me with that? Not only is he now eating where other kids have been sticking their dirty feet all day long (which I have to explain to my kid when she doesn’t understand why she can’t take her nuggets up there), but dude–that’s a choking disaster waiting to happen, and if you think I am going to climb up that slide and give your child the heimlich. Think again buddy.



Really, all the problems above could pretty much be solved if you would just come into the damn play area and watch your kid. I know it’s loud. I know it smells like kid sweat. Really, I get it–you need time to yourself, and you’re willing to just about anything to have it. But, here’s the deal–pay a babysitter. You obviously don’t care about your kid’s well-being… so you don’t even need to find a good sitter–and I’m betting he/she will even watch your kids at the playground for you.


So on behalf of PWAGACATK (Parents Who Actually Give a Crap About Their Kids) everywhere, I beg you, PLEASE get some damn playground manners.

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  1. Loved it Jamie! You have a great sense of humor. But you know what pisses me off even more? Like with what Helene B. said about the guy in the parking lot who wouldn’t go in and supervise his kids. HELLO….who puts a sign in the play area that says all children must be supervised? Who puts a sign saying for what height the kid has to be? Or how kids SHOULD NOT climb the structure? (Because then my 4 year old thinks she can, which you know, results in broken bones or something)…the restaurant does….why don’t they enforce it? Sure, ultimately it’s the parents responsibility. But when parents are being stupid idiots and irresponsible, why can’t management step in like they SHOULD? I’ve even seen employees come in to clean and SEE children scaling the side of the nets and not do anything….I hate stepping in and getting on someone else’s kid, cause…it’s not my kid. But if it’s about to affect my kid in some way, I will, and you better think twice irresponsible parent if you’re going to mouth off at me because I was trying to be the responsible one.

    Loved the post! And most especially the drawings, you have a talent for stick figures!
    .-= ChristaCarol´s last blog ..Zombies & Writing =-.

  2. Love it!

    When can we expect “School Drop Off / Pick Up Etiquette.” (I know a few moms who might benefit – and they probably need the graphics as well.)

  3. I LOVE this post.

    I don’t have kids yet, but this is one of my peeves too! (I actually pay attention to other parents when I am in places like that-and especially when I am at church-and note the things I will and will not do with my kids when I am a parent.)

    Also, he pictures are the best!

  4. Love it!

    The only time I ever got into a tissy at a playground was when my children were very small and my oldest had to poop. So, rather than taking all three of them into the bathroom where at least one of them would have to stand on the floor and probably had picked something gross up, I left one of them at the table which was literally ten feet from the bathroom. When I came out a mother of one of the other children had the nerve to approach me and tell me how all the other mothers hated me for leaving my kid at the table for two minutes. She pretty much stopped talking to me when I told her to shut up before I kicked her arse.

    My two cents: Offer to help out for a couple minutes if you see another parent with their hands full. You may even make their day. (Although the memory of the look on that woman’s startled face when I threatened her pretty much made my month!)

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