BlueEyes loves to go to playgrounds these days. And since yesterday the weather was awesome and we had already visited the playground near our house on Saturday, we decided to go to a park a bit further away. We discovered the best playground we found so far, with a separate area for smaller kids and a another area for bigger kids (which is nice, because dreamy BlueEyes sometimes gets body-checked by bigger kids that are running around). Since this little-kids-playground was pretty safe and since Dr. BrownEyes and I were together, I just sat there and had some time to look around. And what struck me was that most of the parents were only a foot away from their kids AT ALL TIMES. And they told their kids which slide to go down from, and what to do next. They even explained their kids what the playground looked like and what all the things were for. And they constantly told their kids to be careful and what a good job they did at sliding down the slide. (In the meantime, BlueEyes liked to go down the slides fast, meaning he gets launched at the end and comes down so hard that even I am surprised that that makes him laugh instead of cry. You can imagine this makes the other parents stare at us with something between surprise and disgust…)
What happened to imagination and exploring things by yourself? I mean, sure you want to make sure your kid doesn’t injure themselves too much, and doesn’t injure other kids, but other than that you can just sit there and have the kid decide which slide to go down right?
In my very limited observation, this behavior tends to segregate with demographics, in that higher income/higher educated parents tend to tell their kids which slide to go down from way more than lower income/lower educated parents, but this has not reached statistical significance yet. Good thing that in the future, I will probably be observing way more playgrounds.