‘What I DO care about is if your kid intentionally hurts mine, and you pretend you didn’t see it.’: Mom advocates for ‘sense of community’ on playgrounds

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“What are you rules for playground etiquette?

Mine are:

I don’t care if my kid plays with yours. They can and should interact with all kids.

I don’t care if your kid takes a long time trying to go down the slide while mine waits. Those things are daunting. I get it. I have a child on the spectrum. I get it.

I don’t care if your kid climbs up the slide, so long as no one’s coming down.

I don’t care if you sit on your phone if it’s been a hard day. I get it. I will look out for your kid

I don’t care if your kid throws a tantrum and deafens us with their screaming. They’re kids.

I don’t care if your kid is on the swing and wants a good 20 minutes of it. My kids can wait their turn.

I don’t care if your kid *accidentally* hurts mine. Things happen. And I’ll make sure mine apologizes, whether intentional or not.

But there’s one thing I really care about, that really annoys me, and I’m sorry to have to say this. I do care—I mean, I really care—if your kid intentionally hurts mine, and you see it but pretend you don’t. Or don’t attempt to stop it. I really care. It is not my job to discipline your kid, and if you don’t tell your kid to stop, and I have to, then I will.

I’m not perfect and nor are my kids, and I mean, I get it. I’ve been up all night, too, I am desperate for social time, too. I’m lonely, I’m tired, my neck hurts and everything else…I can’t be bothered parenting sometimes. But I don’t believe my kid is entitled to pull your kid’s hair because I want a coffee, and if my kid is a jerk, I’ll correct him ASAP. And if I don’t see it, come and tell me.

This is the sense of community. If we don’t have each other’s backs like this, then how can it be a smooth experience for all? This is a village, and it only works if we all do our part—that way, we can all have a good time and go on pretending to care when our kid says, ‘Look at me!’ for the 100th time.”

Courtesy of Laura Mazza

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza. Follow Laura on Instagram hereDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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