Playground etiquette ?

(42 Posts)
FreyaKItty Thu 23-May-13 18:31:04

I have a question. Dd 3 likes to talk to parents in playground. Just general chit chat. 'I've got a new ..' or something similar. I was amazed today that another mother with a slightly younger child just blanked her. On one occasion her daughter had fallen and was crying and dd suggested she might like another ride in playground which is fair enough but the other times she just ignored her.
Is this just me or is this rude ? Or should she not talk to parents unless they address her first ? What are the rules?
Unfortunately it's not the first time it's happened, Very rude man at a swimming pool. How should I tackle it ? I'm afraid I said - you'd better leave the lady alone she doesn't want to speak to you. '
Id like a better script any suggestions ?

Tailtwister Thu 23-May-13 18:43:21

Sometimes people are wary of conversing with a child they don't know, especially men. It's sad I know, but a symptom of today's society.

DS1 likes to chat to people too and it can be quite embarrassing for me and deflating for me if he gets blanked. It doesn't happen often though, although I do try to stop him harassing people repeatedly.

QTPie Thu 23-May-13 18:46:36

Children are lovely and sociable. Don't discourage it, but just say "that lady/man just doesn't want to chat right now" and leave it at that.

WipsGlitter Thu 23-May-13 18:49:03

Really? Sometimes I just can't be arsed. Presumably she was there with her own children and listening to them and stuff. So what you saud was right. Yiu siund a wee bit PFB!!

BoundandRebound Thu 23-May-13 18:50:34

Sorry what exactly do you expect of other parents in terms of conversing with your 3 year old. If its more than a smile or a that's nice dear then I think you're expecting too much.

Other people's children prattling on at you is not everyone's cup of tea at school pick up.

QTPie Thu 23-May-13 19:17:15

I don't know, I guess the OP might hope that people are polite and so sociable (whether it be an adult speaking to them or a child). I can sympathise with that nice view of the world. Doesn't mean that everyone I meet and have a very casual exchange of words with is being recruited as my "bestest buddy" (who I intend to stalk from that day forward...), but it can pass the time in the park in a much more pleasant way smile

FreyaKItty Thu 23-May-13 19:20:34

Bound and rebound - I was asking what the etiquette was?
Was my dd being rude in addressing adults or were they being slightly ruder in blanking a hello ? I'm not talking in engaging in a conversation but is not acknowledging being spoken being rude ? If someone asks her something in a shop etc I ask her to respond if she doesn't herself.
Wipes glitter - I wasn't suggesting a full blown conversation but i thought a hello reply would be mannerly ?
Perhaps I should also say that I'm living in the west of Ireland in a rural area so might be slightly different ? (Originally from city so having to get used to whole different set of rules for myself too !)

FreyaKItty Thu 23-May-13 19:36:45

I know other people's kids can be a pita but am I a fool for smiling a hello response and being pleasant when I'm addressed by one ?
Qtpie - that's a good response, but what do you say to the invariable 'why' lol

QTPie Thu 23-May-13 20:20:12

Freya, it depends what the "why" is in relation to... If I can't work it out then "I don't know, ask your mummy"...

I live in a small city in the South West of England and invariably people are very pleasant, polite and sociable in parks/playgrounds here. Regardless of class/education/ethnicity.

Only yesterday a Mum was chatting to me about my son. A few days ago and old girl (8 or 9) was helping and playing with my son (3.25). It really makes the time in the park pass a lot more quicker and more pleasantly. Not everyone wants to be sociable, but enjoy the ones who do smile

NarkyNamechanger Thu 23-May-13 20:22:06

Sometimes I can't understand other toddlers (even if you can you are with them all the time) and I find it embarrassing if I can't work out what they are on about.

pictish Thu 23-May-13 20:26:44

Admittedly I don't take much notice of OPC at school gate time. Sorry. I don't make a point of ignoring them or anything...but I can imagine not noticing being spoken to by a tot.

pictish Thu 23-May-13 20:28:44

And yes...sometimes they are difficult to understand as well. My 5 yr old son likes to talk to people, but be assured, it is drivel. Some people bother, some don't.
Such are the lessons we learn in life.

AWimbaWay Thu 23-May-13 20:32:41

I have three of my own children, I sometimes take them to the playground in the hope they'll stop talking to me for all of 2 minutes, the last thing I'd want is then to be stuck chatting to someone else's child. I like children, most of the time I'm more than happy to chat, but sometimes I just need a break. My Ds is very chatty and often approaches people too, I gauge the situation and encourage him away if I get the hint they're wanting to be left alone.

AWimbaWay Thu 23-May-13 20:38:29

I should add I never do ignore as I'd feel mean, but then I do seem to have them hanging round when I'm just wishing their parent would come and take them away, so I can understand why it might be easier to just ignore in the first place.

Dorange Thu 23-May-13 20:41:02

Sometimes I am lost in my own thoughts and I don't have to talk to a friend or other adult, nevermind a toddler.
If you smile or talk to a chatty toddler who makes conversation with strangers, than there is the risk they won't stop, or the parent will come over to chat too, or you will be targeted every time they see you.
But sometimes I don't mind and I am open to get to know new children/people so it all depends on my mood.
I don't think the person was rude tbh. She blanked your child, she didn't speak or treat him badly did she?
Some people don't like to act up or put on a fake face and smile you know?
You don't know what is going on their lives, don't judge.

CinemaNoir Thu 23-May-13 20:51:10

Well, I usually acknowledge a toddler talking to me but divert after about a couple of sentences: 'look, why don't you play with my daughter' 'talk to that little girl over there' or 'Look I think your mummy is over there.'

Tbh I just can't be bothered. But I think it's a little heartless to totally blank a child. When I see my kids annoying other adults I call them back to me btw.

CinemaNoir Thu 23-May-13 20:51:42

The worst is my friend who gets his daughter to phone me to arrange play dates. Drives me crazy.

CinemaNoir Thu 23-May-13 20:54:47

I think it's ok of you to say ' the lady doesn't want to talk with you' unless you shoot her a really dirty look ;-)

FreyaKItty Thu 23-May-13 21:16:49

I agree with everyone - I'd grab her after a sentence or two and send her off. But is it rude to blank a polite stranger - either adult or child. I'm not one for small talk apart from quick weather response and definitely fall into the mr darcy small talk camp, but is it rude ?

FreyaKItty Thu 23-May-13 21:18:34

Sorry is blanking a hello rude ?

FossilMum Thu 23-May-13 21:25:06

Blanking a hello is rude unless you're deaf.

EglantinePrice Thu 23-May-13 21:30:38

Ignoring someone you know who speaks to you is rude. Doesn't matter if its an adult or child.

I'm astonished that people think its ok not to even acknowledge someone in the school playground. Even if its a fairly short response like "I think you might be right dd" "thank you for helping" etc

How can we expect our children to learn to interact and communicate with new people/adults if we point blank ignore them speaking to us? Hardly good preparation for starting reception.

I wouldn't expect a full blown conversation to ensue with a 3 year old.

If it was a one off she may not have heard your daughter speak or may not have realised what she said and been uncomfortable asking her to repeat it.

Of course if her own daughters hurt she'll be preoccupied.

Find someone else to chat to in the playground.

FreyaKItty Thu 23-May-13 21:32:18

Fossil mum - thanks for the clear response! smile. But do you think it's rude if adults do it to young children too ?

Goingdownthegarden Thu 23-May-13 21:32:33

I think the adult should have at least smiled back, tbh. But, it is a good policy to distract your kid away from other adults as quickly as possible - unless the adult is obviously seeking the conversation (and not a weirdo). I think my kids have positive experiences with parents of their friends who actively engage them in conversation. But I would not want them chatting away to an adult unless I was convinced the adult actually wanted to talk to them. I know enough adults (close friends and relatives) who do want to talk to my dc but get blanked by my kids ...

FreyaKItty Thu 23-May-13 21:39:38

eglantineprice - I'd lost a reply but you put it so well. Of course everyone can be distracted in playgrounds with young kids, but when deliberately done is just plain rude. I guess dorange I'll just have to continue to run the risk of stalkers smile.

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