Teaching our youngsters to be kind at the park can be challenging. Sometimes we visit with our mom friends, and we don’t realize that not all the kids are included in playtime at the park. Let’s face it; everyone’s child is different! As parents, we should explain to our kiddos that they will meet a diverse group of boys and girls, and it’s essential for them not to judge, be generous, and show them how to be kind at the park with new friends. Many moms have shy kids or kids on the spectrum, and their kids are usually never picked to play together. They struggle to meet new playmates because kids think they are unusual or strange. When peers reject a child at the park, it could be confusing and discouraging. Most of the time, no one realizes it’s happening, except for the excluded child and mother. We need to empower our young ones to love everyone and explain what it means to be kind at the park. It could be as easy as saying hello.
As parents, these are things we can do:
Observe your kids with others
Make a conscious effort to watch how the kids interact and encourage them to play together. I sometimes ask at the playground if my kids could play because my daughter is shy. If my children do not include other kiddos, I remind them we always welcome everyone at the playground to join in the fun.
Explain the expectations before you get to the park. Tell them to welcome everyone to play. Clarify that sometimes there are children that are not a good match, and as long as they tried to be kind, that’s what counts.
Teach your child empathy
State that not all children are the same. Some kids may talk a lot; others may not talk that much. Kids could be shy, pushy, or a know-it-all. Teaching them how to experience what another person is going through is an invaluable skill.
Have fun at the splash pads and parks this summer. Teaching your kids to be kind at the park is the sweetest thing you could do for another child.