Social Question

puckbunny's avatar

Parents, your child is at a park or playland. Do you let them play with everyone that is there or tell them not to play with certain kids?

Asked by puckbunny (337 points ) December 17th, 2009

I have a four year old son. I have noticed many times while at parks and playlands that some kids are just rude and inconsiderate of others. Some kids will not play with certain kids. I have watched kids ask others to play with them and the child that they have asked just walks away. Is this something that parents have control over?

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24 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

When mine were little, I let them make that sort of decision, unless they were just too young or immature to do so. My philosophy on this is that the sooner a child is able to begin making their own decisions, the sooner those decisions will become good ones, especially where they are decisions about other people. Sometimes I would ask them what they learned from a particular encounter with other children. You’d be surprised at the insight they acquire early on.

jonsblond's avatar

It’s disappointing watching your child go up to other children to ask them to play and they either walk away or tell your child no. Unfortunately it is a life lesson that your child needs to learn. There will be others that will want to play with your child though.

I let my daughter (she’s five) pick who she would like to play with. If a child is rude or ignores her I tell her to find someone else to play with or I play with her myself until someone else comes along that wants to play with her.

puckbunny's avatar

@CaptainHarley I too allow my child to associate with other children while at a park or playland. I believe that they should be exposed to other cultures and lifestyles. I think that it is important that children interact with other children.

Pandora's avatar

This is were they test their social skills. It hurts us as parents to see them ignored and hurt but there isn’t much we can do. They have to learn to move on to children who will be more accepting. To insist they try will diminish there self esteem and to tell them to walk away does little to help them feel unhurt. This is a life lesson they have to learn on their own. However it is always prudent to teach them that some people can be very mean and it is not their (your child) fault and that they cannot possible get everyone to like and accept them but that they can always depend on your love and support.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@puckbunny… Agreed. And not only children, but it’s been proven that the more adults your child is around growing up, the more intelligent they become.

puckbunny's avatar

@CaptainHarley Agreed as well. My son is often around more adults than children at times. The things that my son knows always amazes me. I joke with everyone and tell them that it was the two semesters of college that he had. (I was pregnant and going to school). Also I think and this is just my opinion but I think that kids that are around more adults tend to act more well behaved out in public than the ones that spend a lot of time around other kids. Now, I am not saying that parents don’t have control over the way they behave. But kids usually act from examples.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@puckbunny… Mine seemed to have benefited from that as well. People were always commenting on how well-behaved and mature mine were. Since they’re all turned into very kind, responsible and loving adults, my ex and I must have done something right, eh? : )

puckbunny's avatar

@CaptainHarley I would say so. I always say that if I can bring my son out in public and not worry about how he will behave I know that I have done something right.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@puckbunny Indeed you will have done! : )

filmfann's avatar

Yup. don’t play with the kid with the un-wiped nose.

lizzmitch's avatar

for my daughter, i let her try and play with whoever. shes learning new feelings and new ways to communicate. even though there are those snobby little kids, she is going to benefit socially from it in the long run. learning different ways of communication and coping skills.

casheroo's avatar

I do what @jonsblond does. My son doesn’t play with every single kid, he seems to gravitate to kids that are a little older than him, he likes playing with the big kids. They don’t always want to play with a little toddler though.
I would never keep him from playing with a certain child, unless the child was being a bully and their parents weren’t doing a damn thing.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

My kids can play with whomever they want to play with – I have found that many moms who are Black or Asian will be surprised that I want our children to play together – I’m assuming because they have experienced ignorant behavior on behalf of other parents

HighShaman's avatar

They can play with whomever they wish….

IF I believe that something is out of order; I’ll get them and settle them down…

SuperMouse's avatar

Aside from @filmfann‘s advice about telling them to avoid kids with giant ribbons of snot down their face, the only time I ever told my kids to avoid another child is if the child has been mean to them.

ubersiren's avatar

I can’t imagine not letting my kid(s) play with another kid. Maybe if that kid was doing something really inappropriate, I’d try to veer them in another direction. So far, I haven’t had to deal much with this.

Shemarq's avatar

The only time I’d steer them away from someone is if they were out of control or behaving badly. Even then, they would usually walk away themselves.

Merriment's avatar

Unless there is some obvious and real danger to them playing with someone (think sharp stick in the hands of a boy bent on testing the resistance of the human eye) I let them play with anyone. That included some border-line kids. I don’t believe in protecting kids to a level of incompetence.

There is a limit to the control we as parents have over how kids interact. This is a good thing. Nothing teaches your child “acceptable” peer behavior like a mistake that gets them shunned for a bit or sat down on their ass in the sandbox.

jonsblond's avatar

There was one time I told my daughter to not play with someone. She was playing with a boy her age when another young boy came up and took the toy that they were playing with away from them. She told him to give it back and this boy pushed her so hard that she landed on her butt. I tracked the boy’s guardian down to let them know what he had done to her. The guardian told me that she was sorry and then let the boy continue playing at the playground. If my child had done that he would have been on his way home to sit in his room.

She was frightened to be around him on the playground, but I told her to just stay away from him. It is scary how such young children can be so violent.

puckbunny's avatar

@jonsblond I wonder if young children being violent is something they get from watching adults act that way or maybe even from watching televison. Either way it is scary to see young children who act in violent ways.

YARNLADY's avatar

We have never experienced any public playground where any child did not play with every other child. This is true for my adult sons and grandsons, and my younger grandson (age 2½) .

Silhouette's avatar

Sadly there are parents out there who do try to control this. I keep my nose out of it, it’s my job to let my child have his own experiences and to learn and grow from those experiences. I won’t let my child get killed but I don’t run interference for him on every interaction either.

YARNLADY's avatar

To add to my previous comment – I do not allow my children to play with other children who show obvious signs of being sick, runny nose and such.

GoonSquad's avatar

Kids seem to almost naturally segregate themselves and form their own ‘cliques’.
Is this a case of monkey see, monkey do?

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