If the Playground's So Dangerous, Don't Come!
Lately, my carefree journeys to the playground
with my almost 2-year old son have taken a disturbing turn. No, he hasn't become alarmingly close with the creepy clown guy who makes balloon animals for kids in our park (though that would
be cause for concern), and he's not hell-bent on getting a treat from the ice-cream truck that's perpetually parked just outside the gates. In fact, he's
not the problem at all. It's the other parents that bother me, specifically the ones who complain that the playground is "dangerous."
Are they serious?! One day I heard a mom telling another parent, "I really don't like coming here, 'cause it's so dangerous!" I looked around, worried that I'd missed some perilous corner of the tot lot. All I saw was a bouncy bridge, a couple of slides and some swings. Not what I'd call a minefield, by any stretch. At first I thought that this parent was just some wacko, but the mom she was talking to actually agreed with her that the playground was no place for a child!
The real problem is that these parents don't want their kids to get hurt. That's fine; no one wants a child to get injured. Then again, we can't swaddle our kids in bubble wrap 24/7. Dare I say it but kids need to get hurt a little bit. That's how they learn limits, how far they can push themselves. When my son falls down the stairs at the playground, of course I run over like a maniac and make sure he's OK. But I know he'll survive. Kids may bruise easily and often, but that doesn't stop them from playing hard. Getting hurt is part of becoming independent. So just keep some Band-Aids handy and let them have fun. Leave those neuroses at home!