Playground Antics

There is a type of ill-mannered mother that can be found at the playground more often than we would like. This mother treats the playground as an opportunity to demonstrate her superiority as a citizen and mother in the guise of speaking to or correcting her toddler. Sadly, most parents are all too familiar with these loudly audible monologues. “Oh no Phoebe in our family we never throw sand like that little boy. We know sand belongs in the sand box... Oh I see that girl is still using the swing, I guess they don’t have the 10-minute rule like we do... No darling that is an Oreo. It has hydrogenated fat in it. We do not eat those.” So it goes, on and on and on. By stark contrast the well-mannered mother knows that a park is one of the first safe places a toddler can navigate by himself and the more hands-off she is the better. She should find a comfortable spot and enjoy a brief moment of quiet. She is welcome to engage other parents in conversation if she wishes. She might begin with a polite opening comment such as “What a lovely day” or “I adore your diaper bag” but if it is not met with an friendly and open response she should smile and open her book or sit quietly with her own thoughts.

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