aibu to teach my DC to go up the steps and down the slide?

(65 Posts)
PrincessScrumpy Tue 09-Jul-13 18:12:13

Really trivial.
I always taught dd1 to do this and not climb up the slide. Now she's 5 and I do let her climb her slide at home but not in front of younger siblings or when at a park. Today I took dtds to the park (22mo) and was teaching them this. It was a fairly tall slide but they were doing well. Then lots of other dc arrived with their parents (all around 3yo) and it soon became apparent I was the only one who deemed this important and one parent accused me of spoiling the fun.
I might well be being a bit precious about this rule - to me it's partly about safety and partially about turn taking and allowing dc to get down the slide.
Happy to go with MN jury if you deem me to bu, i'm truly not sure.
Thanks in advance.

merrymouse Tue 09-Jul-13 18:14:08

I think going up the slide is perfectly reasonable. However, only if you aren't preventing another child from sliding down. Best not to do it in a busy playground situation as it makes it difficult to take turns.

maja00 Tue 09-Jul-13 18:14:28

I let DS climb up the slide when no one is there.

If you are climbing up the slide and someone slides down you get kicked in the face. I wouldn't call that fun. If my child is waiting to slide down and some other child is climbing up I do give them warning they are about to get kicked in the face (or lift them off if very little).

PoppyWearer Tue 09-Jul-13 18:17:21


catgirl1976 Tue 09-Jul-13 18:17:22

DS loves climbing up the slide

If other children want to come down it I tell him he has to wait his turn

If he isn't hurting anyone, damaging anything or stopping anyone else from playing I try not to impose rules on how he plays

Fakebook Tue 09-Jul-13 18:19:35

I let my children climb up the slide if no one is there. When there are children, they go up the steps and down the slide. At home they can do what they want.

xylem8 Tue 09-Jul-13 18:23:22

in wet weather there is always the question of leaving the slide wet and or muddy for the next child

I went batshit at some children going up the slide the other day - because they were trapping the toddlers/preschoolers waiting patiently at the top and on the ladder (it is a big slide).

I may have used the phrases "how old are you? haven't you worked out yet how a slide works" and "some children are brought up with no manners".

Yes. I was that woman grin

extracrunchy Tue 09-Jul-13 18:32:17


runningonwillpower Tue 09-Jul-13 18:39:43

You are not being unreasonable.

The clue is in the word 'slide'. You can't slide upwards.

How does that work anyway? Children queue to clamber up the slide whilst those queuing the other way wait indefinitely?

And very few mothers would think it fun if their child was kicked in the face.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Jul-13 18:42:05

"UP the steps, DOWN the slide" - still rings in my head. Our park was always busy so it was pretty much always our rule

I agree with catgirl that there are circumstances when it's OK, but sliders take priority

IneedAyoniNickname Tue 09-Jul-13 18:49:11

Like most others, mine can climb the slide if no one else is on it, and only if its not.muddy.

Last summer we were at a garden centre where they have a bouncy castle with a slide. A smaller boy kept going up the slide, down the slide, up the slide, down the slide etc etc. After a few minutes of waiting patiently, ds1 asked in a very slightly raised voice if he could please take it in turns. His (grand)mum rushed over and dragged him off the castle, moaning very loudly about "those nasty big boys shouting at you" confused She then tried to blame me for her pfb son screaming (due to being removed) and stormed off! All the other mums rolled their eyes at her back as she shouted at me, and told me we had done nothing wrong.
If my children had been.less polite they'd have just slid down and kicked him.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Jul-13 19:01:14


Oh yes, that reminds me. With serial climbers up who weren't listening to repeated requests to wait for people to go down, I wouldn't rule out just letting nature take its course and them get kicked.

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 09-Jul-13 19:07:09

Learning to climb up the slide is great for development.

However, in group situations they need to take turns and that means up the steps. So YANBU! If the parents wanted free reign of the park they should go first thing in the morning when barely anyone is there.

ghosteditor Tue 09-Jul-13 19:10:48

I'm totally with you on this and we've taught 18 mo DD not to climb back up the slide. When she's big enough to notice other children more we'll let her experiment, but until I can be sure she's not going to inadvertently get in the way, thems the rules grin

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Jul-13 19:13:17

In case anyone is wondering, I would never encourage my DCs to send a toddler flying blush

pippitysqueakity Tue 09-Jul-13 19:16:06

Just out of interest, (and genuinely not knowing) how is climbing up the slide great for development in a way the steps aren't? Is it a balance thing?

IneedAyoniNickname Tue 09-Jul-13 19:18:13

No neither would I jamie though I've seen it happen more than once!

girliefriend Tue 09-Jul-13 19:18:30

If no one else is there waiting I am fine with my dd climbing up the slide but obv tell her to get out the way if someone wants to come down.

It wasn't something I ever felt the need to 'teach' her though, seems like common sense tbh!!

DoJo Tue 09-Jul-13 19:20:28

I'm another one who lets mine climb the slide but moves him if someone wants to come down. I always thank children for waiting as well if it takes me a second to get to him, and on one memorable occasion, thanked a small boy profusely for screeching to a halt halfway down when my son had escaped from my grip and run across the bottom (not actually up the slide, but close enough to be kicked had the nice boy not grabbed the sides and stopped himself!) blush

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 09-Jul-13 19:21:09

Because it uses the hands - it builds arm and upper body strength which is essential for things like pen control. Also it's great for confidence and learning to risk assess.

Climbing trees and monkey bars are similar, but less accessible for small children.

mrsravelstein Tue 09-Jul-13 19:23:42

YANBU, it's only ok to climb it if there aren't a bunch of other kids patiently waiting their turn. also, some parents might want to note that it's not ok for your dc to slide down, then immediately start climbing back up the slide, as natural justice in the form of a hurtling 4 year old who's had enough of waiting can sometimes offend

mamapants Tue 09-Jul-13 19:31:31

I let my DS climb the slide as he's too little to use the steps yet. He wouldn't be able to get up otherwise. I move him out of other childrens way to go down when they've used the steps. Although they are not so considerate in allowing DS turns.

I'm not going to stop allowing DS to use the park in the way he is capable of doing it.

HelgaHufflepuff Tue 09-Jul-13 20:48:11

YANBU. Up the stairs, down the slide. It's not rocket science.
How is it 'spoiling the fun' to show your child how to safely 'do' slides?! confused
Yeah, because that's great fun when a child's patiently waiting to come down the slide and can't because there's some little kid pratting about at the bottom as their parent's haven't bothered to teach them correctly and just indulge them. hmm

mamapants Tue 09-Jul-13 21:04:31

I imagine the fun is in using the equipment in imaginative and creative ways. So that a box can be a chair or a table or a stage etc. Fun is in discovery.

yegodsandlittlefishes Tue 09-Jul-13 21:08:21

YANBU and it always used to annoy me that the children who went up the slide and never really finished their go and let someone else have a turn were the ones who had slides at home. Their parents seemed to think that everyone had a garden and the space and money for a slide. They didn't seem to realise that social interactions at a public playground are full of opportune moments to teach a child to be a decent, fine upstanding member of the human race while enjoying others' fun as well as ones own.

Take heart, their children don't grow up clever, talented, friendly or able to hold a conversation. More money than sense and photogenic (but only for still shots, no one would want to watch a video of them.) OK, I made all that up, imagining that's what they would be like 10 years on! grin

YANBU. As PP said, you can't slide up!

I teach DD (3.1) to go up the steps and down the slide, and wait her turn. I'm surprised at how many children do go up the slide, but usually they're unsupervised, so you can't much about that - even the best behaved children are likely to test the rules when they think they're not being watched.

I learnt the hard way about not climbing up, anyway. When I was about 6, I was climbing up the slide, and a bigger kid wanted to slide down. Obviously, being a slide he decided he had right of way (I suppose that was the logic anyway, in hindsight), so I got knocked off the slide and broke my arm. Lesson learned!

TiggyD Tue 09-Jul-13 21:11:37

Up the ladder and then down the slide. It's the way Jesus would have done it...while he was sulking because he couldn't get the paddling pool to work.

threepiecesuite Tue 09-Jul-13 21:13:20

I never let DD climb the slide, she's 3.5. It's not what was intended for that piece of equipment, and could be dangerous. I don't care if that makes me a killjoy.

Sunnymeg Tue 09-Jul-13 21:18:47

YADNBU I once saw a lad in my class break both legs by doing this when we were 8. He climbed up a high slide and was very near the top when a child came down the slide at full speed and took his legs out from under him . It was truly gruesome. We had to run to his house to get his Mum, no mobile phones in those days. His sister threw up when she saw him. He was in a plaster cast and in hospital for about 3 months. Even now it gives me the chills if I see a child climbing up a slide.

MyHumpsMyLovelyBabyBumps Tue 09-Jul-13 21:20:07

yanbu and those parents will be the First to complain when your child kicks their child in the face

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 09-Jul-13 21:22:55

YANBU, always up the steps and down the slide. Not so bad in this weather, but muddy footprints all over the slide for everyone else's trousers are annoying!

littlemissmagic Tue 09-Jul-13 21:27:53

Yanbu - I do not let my kids climb up at all as I think its confusing for them to be able to climb up sometimes and not other times. I watch them as much as I can in the playground but the older ones are allowed off in the gated bit while I'm with the little un - I keep my eye on them but its so hard to constantly watch everyone! I'd rather know that they will not climb up slides the minute I look away - hence we have a blanket rule! Generally the older ones are v good at taking turns, waiting etc - they know that they will have to stay with me at the baby equipment otherwise!

YANBU, I always taught my children not to climb the slide for all the reasons already mentioned. It's confusing for them to able to do so at certain times and not at others, dirty footprints up the slide are not so great for those children using the slide as a slide, it can be dangerous (I've also seen children get injured when another child slides down), it causes queues and problems for other children etc, etc.

PrincessScrumpy Tue 09-Jul-13 22:54:11

Wow, really nice to find that I'm not on my own. I left the park doubting myself.
I did smile at Girliefriend's comment that she never had to teach her dc as it is just common sense. Maybe my dc aren't as bright as yours but at 22mo they are generally lacking common sense and dtd2 has no fear when it comes to agility.... do any toddler's have common sense? haha

LiegeAndLief Tue 09-Jul-13 22:59:03

Mine are allowed to climb up the slide on the condition that no other child is on any part of the slide. So if another child has one toe n the bottom rung of the ladder, they have to stop.

We have a smallish little tikes slide at home and the steps are rarely used...

JollyShortGiant Tue 09-Jul-13 23:07:05

DS is 2.3 and I have never let him climb a slide. Even at soft play. He came down a slide on Saturday and caught another child who had decided to climb up it. It was a twirly slide so DS just didn't see her. She was fine, but a bit more wary after that!

I'm intrigued by the child who can climb a slide but not climb steps. Surely it is far more difficult to climb a slide?

I've also taught DS to go down slides feet first on his tummy. This seems to utterly confuse some adults. To the extent that a grandparent corrected him recently saying he was doing it wrong. But it seems to me that he's far less likely to get injured doing it that way than if he were sitting up and could fall backwards.

TarkaTheOtter Tue 09-Jul-13 23:08:13

I let me 17 month old climb up the slide (often the steps are too big for her). I do remove her if it looks like someone wants to come down. Looking forward to her being able to manage the steps so I don't have to helicopter so much.

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 09-Jul-13 23:17:41

My DS (2) is never allowed to go up the slide. It's stupid to climb up where people are likely to be hurtling down on you feet first. Also it's antisocial - prevents flow of turn taking and makes slide wet, muddy and not as slippery (grit/dust).

I am amazed by the number of people letting children slowly climb up slides while DS just sits there patiently waiting his turn. Often these children have slid down, climbed back up again and then slid down again all while he is waiting hmm

IneedAyoniNickname Tue 09-Jul-13 23:25:16

I'm intrigued by the child who can climb a slide but not climb steps. Surely it is far more difficult to climb a slide?

I wondered the same!

MortifiedAdams Tue 09-Jul-13 23:30:55

DD is Not Allowed to climb the slide. Kids who climb the slide piss me off and parents who let their kids do it piss me off even more.

I dont want your muddy footprints on the slide or you climbing up when others want to come down.

I have been known to call out to random children [and my own] who are waiting for some little hooligan to stop climbing up "Down you come, dont worry about them, they shouldnt be there anyway".

TarkaTheOtter Tue 09-Jul-13 23:44:55

My dd has been able to climb up since before she could walk whereas the steps are still too tall. In some cases there are no steps just a ladder, which she would have no chance at.
Fortunately the playgrounds we go to are quiet and it is easy to stop her getting in other children's way.

aldiwhore Tue 09-Jul-13 23:48:22

I teach my children to do what they want with our own garden furniture, the slide becomes a den, or a barrier, in an assault course it's strictly forbidden to go DOWN the slide.

But in a public park, when playing with others or alongside them, you always go UP the ladders and DOWN the snakes.

It's a simple rule and causes no confusion.


greenbananas Wed 10-Jul-13 00:02:59

Is it just me that thinks this thread is very funny?

Every child wants to climb up the slide. This is okay if there is nobody waiting to come down. Most mums have wet wipes in their handbags to clean off muddy footprints. All children must learn to take turns, and children who have climbed the ladder to come down the slide should always take priority.

I love mumsnet because these very simple social rules are talked about here grin

ElectricSheep Wed 10-Jul-13 00:05:10

Hmmm helicopter anyone?

bugsybill Wed 10-Jul-13 00:06:01

I only let my dc go up the slide u they are the only ones in the slide. Once there are other children they need to move out the way and take turns by taking the steps, safety issues pointed out to them.

Quangle Wed 10-Jul-13 00:13:30

Totally helicopter grin

My children are allowed to play on the equipment however they like as long as they take turns and don't moan. Those are the only rules I apply.
As for worrying about muddy slides...I just don't.

Notafoodbabyanymore Wed 10-Jul-13 00:52:30

I don't think it's helicopter parenting to teach your kids consideration for others. When they're little they cant follow rules with heaps of exceptions, ie you can climb up the slide except when it's muddy and except when there's someone else using it. Easier just to teach up the ladder, down the slide.

I have also been known to tell other kids to stop climbing up the slide in a busy playground. Don't know what their parents thought, but don't particularly care. Children need to learn that life is not all about them and whatever they feel like doing.

MrsMook Wed 10-Jul-13 01:11:17

DS (2.6) hasn't climbed up the slide in the local playground. He did however feel rather inspired at a bigger playground by the big children going up the cobbled slope that the slide is set into. I was sat a few metres away, but by the time I forced my legs into co-operating (5wks post-birth, PGP still problematic) he was a good way up. I concluded he was safer being allowed to continue undistracted, and falling was most likely to be sliding on his belly. I was relieved when he got to the top- so was the crowd of onlookers that he'd attracted. The curious thing is he's quite careful about risk assessment, and will only go down the slide on his belly, feet first. Won't attempt to sit!

Anyway- up the steps and down the slide- yes. It's normally too busy to escape inconveniencing others.

DuelingFanjo Wed 10-Jul-13 01:38:36

My ds (2. 6) also likes to climb up the cobbledy bit at the side of the slide, it causes a lot of parents to rush forward and try to help him but he's pretty agile and to be honest I think that's normal for the age. I feel the same as everyone here, climbing up the slide is fine if it's empty vbut not safe or fair if other kids are trying to use it.

WafflyVersatile Wed 10-Jul-13 01:42:11

No harm as long as they are not getting in the way of others/take turns.

maja00 Wed 10-Jul-13 07:45:22

It isnt helicoptering to make sure your child isn't being a dick at the park. It's always the child who is pushing/shoving/being a general pain in the arse whose parents are miles away carefully ignoring them.

Dancergirl Wed 10-Jul-13 10:43:56


Petty and controlling. There are lots of important things to teach children but teaching them HOW to use outdoor play equipment is not one of them. As long as it isn't busy I don't see the problem.

Oh, and children get muddy at the park.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 10-Jul-13 11:53:31

Dancer that's ridiculous. There are times to be inventive and creative, and times to be considerate and thoughtful and safe. A child climbing up the slide in anything but a totally empty playground is at best going to spoil it for everyone else (whether by cacking up the slide itself or the queue waiting for it), and at worst going to get a shoe in his face.

Much simpler and safer just to remind them that ladders are for going up and slides are for .... sliding down.

Dancergirl Wed 10-Jul-13 12:12:09

In 12 years of taking my dc to parks, I've never seen a child slide down a slide without making sure it's clear first. And they check for selfish reasons because a child climbing up the slide would hamper their enjoyment of sliding down. But for whatever reason, they DO check before sliding.

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 10-Jul-13 12:15:50

You must have naicer parks where you are dancer I've seen it happen! I also fell off a slide and broke y arm because I was climbing up, there were no other children there so it was totally my fault. And ny friends toddler dd broke her leg falling off the slide, not sure if she fell or was knocked though.

Of course its important to teach them how to correctly use outdoor play equipment.

Dancergirl Wed 10-Jul-13 12:24:57

We'll have to agree to disagree then. My own dc aren't particularly into climbing up slides but some dc are (I think I quite enjoyed doing it too as a child!). If my child was waiting to slide down and there was a child climbing up, they wait 20 seconds or so, it's no big deal.

ineed broken limbs can happen when using other equipment too. Just because you have an experience of that happening when climbing up doesn't mean it's dangerous. You hold on to the sides!

EverybodysStressyEyed Wed 10-Jul-13 12:33:03

Bil smashed his front teeth off/out climbing up a slide. Unfortunately they were his adult teeth.

So we always stop the kids and used the warning 'remember uncle x!'

Ds started shouting this at other kids which left them a little confused!

PrincessScrumpy Wed 10-Jul-13 13:39:13

Brilliant, accused of helicopter parenting... They are 22mo twins who encourage each other to do all sorts of daring things, so no, I do not take my eyes off them for a second... That is just called good parenting.

WouldBeHarrietVane Wed 10-Jul-13 14:51:53

By going up the slide many children are effectively taking two or three turns to other children's one turn. Ie they go down then up again then down again while other children wait to go down once

Idocrazythings Wed 10-Jul-13 15:16:55

it is very dangerous and only takes a second for teeth to get smashed or worse shoved up into gums believe me, I know and the result is not fun. My child was climbing up the slide and ignoring me telling them to come down. They don't do it anymore though. Tough lesson to learn.

ChippingInGoAndyGo Wed 10-Jul-13 15:28:18

I'm in the 'It's fine, do as you please, as long as you are the only one playing on it (or you are all doing it arse about face) but if there are other children playing on it, then it's UP the stairs and DOWN the slide'. Doesn't confuse any kids I know, not even the very little ones.

Given that the 2 year old scales the climbing wall, climbing up the slide is tame!

Dancergirl Wed 10-Jul-13 16:11:09

Given that the 2 year old scales the climbing wall, climbing up the slide is tame!

Exactly. A bit of common sense is called for rather than a blanket ban depending on how crowded it is and the child in question.

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 10-Jul-13 16:17:55

Oh of course broken limbs can occur on anything, but it just shows that climbing up the slide CAN be dangerous. As I said earlier in the thread, I do let my dc climb up the slide, provided there aren't children waiting to come down.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 10-Jul-13 16:20:33

provided your DC are not stopping another child sliding down or making the slide dirty them I have no problem with this. All children seem to prefer getting up the slide this way anyway!

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