I found this website where each Sunday, you’re given a word prompt. Since weekend recaps can be somewhat mundane, I’m going to aim for these on Monday.
So this week’s word was ethics. I think the only thing that comes to mind in connection to this, lately, is the behaviour we’ve witnessed at the playground, both by parents and children. I operate on a moral code of politeness when in a public space. I expect Elliot to learn the same. Hence, I remind him to let others go before him if they were at the slide first and so on and so forth. The past few times we have been to Tom Brown park, where they have a very large play area, I have seen both good and bad behaviour.
Yesterday’s weather was beautiful so Elliot and I headed there around 2:30 PM. It was actually less crowded than anticipated, which made me happy because it is sometimes hard to keep an eye on him amongst all the jungly-gym type playthings and the other children, even when I am walking behind him on said equipment. Anyway, since Elliot is only two and a half, he obviously doesn’t move as quickly as the five and six year olds so when he’s getting into position to slide, other kids sometimes just go ahead of him. Now, I expect some jostling and racing past each other; it’s not like I don’t remember being a kid on the playground myself. But some of these kids are downright rude and forceful. Sometimes their parents are around and remind them to play nice. And sometimes the older kids let him go first. But most of the time, they don’t give a crap.
I don’t go rescue Elliot immediately from this type of stuff because, after all, this is a public space in which he’ll need to learn how to operate. Much like the real world, not everyone is going to take your feelings into account. However, I take some offense to the big kids on the little kid’s area. There’s a 2-5 year old plaything and then a 5-12 year old area. When a large – and I do mean large – twelve year old is trying to go down the 2-5 year old slide and he shoves a little boy out of the way to do so, I want to throw all my ethics out the window, slap the kid in the face and then track down his parents to deal a similar blow. When I was that age, I wouldn’t dream of forcefully pushing a small child just to go down some tiny slide. What the heck, kid? Instead, I tell my crying boy that not all people are nice and not all parents teach their kids the difference between right and wrong, hoping said kid’s parents are within earshot. Most likely, they’re the trashy looking folks smoking a cigarette… on the playground.
And that’s my second gripe. Ok, the playground IS outside but you’re around at least 50-60 children. I don’t care if you want to smoke around your own kids. Lord knows there’s a Darwin award with your name on it somewhere. But don’t stand around and blow your nasty smoke near my kid. That’s just common courtesy. But I feel like it goes beyond that. Ethically speaking, I wouldn’t do anything to harm your child, not knowingly. So why then would you do something like that? It’s almost as bad as the parents who sit in the car while their kids play. But that’s just laziness; that’s their own problem.
The only thing I can do is impart my wisdom on Elliot and teach him to be as ethically sound as one can possibly be, this day in age. Maybe he’ll take it to heart and maybe he won’t. But he sure as hell won’t be pushing any little kids down at the park. My kid will know better.