Top 5 Etiquette Rules for a Kinder, Gentler Playground

Our lifestyle editor shares some of her frustrations about common problems on the playground and what parents can do to keep the peace.

Playing nicely at the park, happily polite even without a latte.

1. Please leave your broken toys at home. If we wanted to play with crappy plastic toys we wouldn’t be at the park. And, mostly, I don’t want to listen to some dad telling his son over and over, “No, I can’t put the wheels back on, it’s broken.”

2. Ditto age-inappropriate toys. Thanks for ditching your rusted circa-1972 highrider trike here. I really wanted to spend my morning squabbling with my son over his certain death.

3. I dig it. Your babies are the same age, you have matching Lulu outfits and you love mat leave. Now give someone else a turn on the swing.

4. Let’s make the dog park/playground ratio 80/20. There’s just not enough green space for poop in this city, and it’s much more important that puppies don’t grow up to be unfit, obese and with diabetes.

5. I get it. It’s Ella/Liam’s big day, so it should be your private space. No problem. Please explain that to my toddler, who has been pleading, “Park, park, park,” since six o’clock this morning.

But, seriously, to all the lovely parents we’ve met, thank you for your sweet chatter and advice on daycare, etc. And thank you to the person who donated the adorable,  new outdoor playhouse. People like you make the park a kinder, gentler place.

And thank you for not judging me and keeping an eye on my dumpling while I type this at the park. I swear he had that horsey first.

—Melissa, CF‘s lifestyle editor

PS: Do you ever pick up candy wrappers at your park? What’s your biggest park peeve?

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