Let’s not beat around the bush here. We all know that of the many different parenting techniques out there, one of the most heated debates centers on slide etiquette. When the kids are playing on the jungle gym or running around, we can stay on the sidelines, but once they start climbing up the slide, we all feel the need to step in.
Playground etiquette we can all agree are big No-Nos:
- Throwing rocks
- Pushing other kids
- Swinging sticks in proximity to other humans
But the direction in which children use the slide is a grey area- should we insist that they climb up the stairs/ladder? Should we let them figure it out? Are we going to avoid it all together by staring in the other direction?
I think kids should be able to climb up the slide.
There, I said it.
One condition- they aren’t preventing another kid from sliding down.
And while we’re at it… I think kids should jump through the hopscotch in any manner they please, sit sideways/upside-down on the swings, and climb up the pole. Playground equipment is for learning, experimenting, but most of all, for fun. If we take the fun out of it, then what is the point? Plus when left open to interpretation, they develop decision making skills and stuff, because it’s free play, and that’s good for them.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind a bit of anarchy on the playground, but that doesn’t mean kids should be bullies. Perhaps the slide debate hints at a deeper question: should we raise kids to follow the rules or should we raise kids to do whatever they want as long as they are kind to others? Or are they mutually exclusive? I feel the answer is somewhere in the middle.
Are you an ‘up the slide’ or ‘down the slide only’ parent? Why? Let us know!