Children love the playground. What better way for your child to have fun, interact with other kids and of course burn off some of that energy then at the park? Many parents use the park to bring their family for a few hours so they can enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise. However, their is often a child that plays rougher then the others, who pushes or bullies the other children and their actions make parents cringe. Some parents put up with it and try to keep their child away, others do not. Do you have the child that is a bully on the playground? Here are five ways to ensure your child’s safety and the safety of others:
1. Stay off the phone and stay focused- Many parents today take the time while their children are playing to go on their phone to unwind. Trust us, we understand you work really hard and probably get little time to yourself. However, it is good to keep a watchful eye on your children to make sure that they are not being harmed by others or harming other playmates. A parent who is interactive is a good parent.
2. Try playing with your children- Make memories! Play with your kids, engage in tag or hide and seek. Let your children invent games and get their imagination going! Not only will you get a great work out but your children will still be mindful that their is an adult near by. They are less likely to act out.
3. Engage with the other parents- If they’re friendly enough make small talk with the other parents. Even just knowing them by face is good enough to ensure whose child is whose. That way, if their is a conflict, you can speak to that parent directly. For safety purposes, it is also great to know that you have other pairs of eyes on your child. Its likely that these parents visit the park as often as you do!
4. Teach your children about bullies- It’s good to have the bully talk and keep an open dialogue about bullying. The last thing you want is your child to shut down so early in age out of fear for the bully.
5. If their is a conflict- do not hesitate to approach the situation directly. The parent may not notice or may not agree with you, but letting the parents know calmly but firmly that pushing, shoving and name calling is unacceptable will prove your point. You don’t stand for your child being bullied. Your child will grow up remembering (even if it is not a pleasant experience at the time) that Mom or Dad stands up for them.
We have all seen a play ground bully making the park experience less enjoyable. With these tips, it may make your park stay a lot more enjoyable! So enjoy the fresh air and enjoy the outdoors.