View Full Version : Parents at the playground: your opinion
02-01-2009, 08:35 AM
OK -- I have a pet peeve, and I want other parents to weigh in and tell me what they think. Here's the situation that really bugs me, which happens frequently to me in Brownstone Brooklyn: one or both of my fairly friendly 7-year-old twins makes a new friend at the playground/pool/etc. They spend time playing nicely, being kind to kids younger than themselves, etc -- having a quality experience with another child. What's infuriating to me: the parent of this other child does not even acknowledge the existence of my child or of me. Nothing. My kid(s) and I might as well be on another planet. No first-name introductions, no acknowledgement of the fact that a socially-desirable interaction is occurring between their child and mine. No chit chat with me.
I dislike this on so many levels. My kids don't get to feel that they live in a nice community where people talk to each other. My kids don't get the outside reinforcement for their good behavior. I don't get heartwarming chit chat with another parent. My fears that we are living in a neighborhood without the capacity for community get reinforced, and I feel lonely and isolated. Sometimes I also feel rejected -- what is this parent's problem with me or my kids that we don't even merit the smallest acknowledgment?
Anyway -- what are your thoughts on this sort of thing? Do you agree with me that when you take your kids out in public you have some tiny obligation to interact a little with the kids/families your kids meet and play with?
02-01-2009, 06:51 PM
Did you try to introduce yourself to the other parent?
Maybe some parents either don't know what to say...or they don't want to say anything at all.
02-09-2009, 09:43 AM
ok im with the last person. it is a 2 way street, you do have to make an effort as well. if you have done that and they still ignore you and your girls, then simply their moms failed at teaching them any manners. there is still hope for their kids though, because i know from experiance that you dont only learn from your parents but you also learn from the parents of your good friends as well. whether it be good or bad habits. i will admit, i do tend to sometimes not have too much interaction with some of the parents at my childs day care, but i NEVER ignore a child. i say hi and acknowlegde all of them. its not me passing judgement before i got to know the person, quite the opposite. one in particular, who allowed her 18 month old child to ATTACK my 3 month old, and her only repsonse to the matter was...."well kids will be kids". im talking full face scratched, across both eyes and all. i think maybe sometimes its better that the parents dont talk to me, i'd rather only talk to their kids. if someone treats you like your less than them, no matter who they are, then you know you dont want anything to do with them. i dont care if its tom cruise, im not impressed, unless you can and do treat all people like PEOPLE. kill them with kindness, and be sure to acknowledge their kids.
02-09-2009, 06:09 PM
My children are in elementary school. We moved to a new city when they began school and I hoped to meet other moms before or after school since we don't know anyone here. Well, it just seemed like many of the other moms were already "best friends" and didn't need any more friends. They would say hello, then turn to someone else and start a conversation more or less ignoring me. I also tried the PTO and got the same feeling. My husband said I was just not being friendly enough. Then for several days he took the kids to school and came home asking, "What's with all those stuck up ladies?" I've had friends tell me they've had similar experiences.
Really, all you can do is make up your mind that either you don't care about meeting these people, or you have to just be aggressive about introducing yourself, suggesting meeting for coffee or having a play date. I've also found that if you can become friends with another mom who is part of a group, she can introduce you to "her group" and then the other mothers seem to be more friendly. This just seems so high school, but I guess that is the way some neighborhoods are.
02-09-2009, 06:37 PM
It is true, it is very high school. I honestly get the same reaction from alot of parents around here. And I dont even try anymore. But if I see someone new, then I try to be the one that DOES go up to them Cause I know how they feel!!
02-23-2009, 04:39 PM
I'm not near that point anymore, but maybe they feel like they probably won't see you/your kids again, so why should they bother introducing themselves? Also, I don't mean to, but I give off a very "don't come near me" vibe, except when I'm trying very, very hard to appear friendly, so maybe you give off the same vibe and don't realize it? Go up and introduce yourself (they might be thinking the same things about you, after all)
02-28-2009, 11:05 PM
I understand where you are coming from, but I'm not a very extroverted person, and I usually don't walk up to people and introduce myself. I notice that my kids are playing with other kids, and I'm happy they have found a playmate, if only for a short time, but I just can't bring myself to speak unless spoken to.
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