Park it Right There! My Toddler Rules the Playground!

Quinn Ready to Try Out the Play Are for Ages five through twelve

Quinn Checking Out the Ages Five through Twelve Play Area

A couple of weeks ago, I composed a few blog entries about what I’ve learned from my two year old daughter at the park regarding the bridge, sliding board and gymnastics swinging. However, there is major, yet obvious, lesson I learned from my daughter that I failed to mention. A couple of months ago, I located a nearby park that has playground equipment for children ages two through five. Interestingly though, Quinn was more excited to play on the playground equipment in the section for children ages five through twelve. At first, I tried to deter her and unsuccessfully tried to convince her to  play in the area that was designated for her age. After a little fussing from the both of us, I gave in and figured since I would be present and monitoring her that she would be safe and that if she experienced difficulty on the equipment for older children that she would eagerly play on the two to five year old side. She did just fine and loved going down the big slide.

Perhaps I have a little daredevil or a child who simply knows what she can handle when it comes to playground equipment. Maybe it’s the idea of her just wanting to be a “big girl.” Whatever it is, my little girl taught me that in life it is not always necessary to follow the guidelines or rules set forth. Of course, in this instance, the company that constructed the equipment had a target age group in mind and is just taking precautionary measures to prevent any tragic mishaps involving children under five. But the lesson I learned certainly applies in everyday life. Think about how many “guidelines” and “rules” that have been enforced in the past yet have set back an entire race, class or a gender. Imagine if no one ever challenged some of these “guidelines” and “rules.” While I am guilty of being an ultimate rule follower, my daughter having fun on playground equipment for children much older than she is has taught me to use common sense along with my instincts instead of just relying solely on the guidelines or rules. Thanks sweetheart!

All the best,

Tanya

Life Lessons from My Little Girl at the Park #3

Quinn Ready to Show Her Gymnastic Skills

Quinn Ready to Show Her Gymnastic Skills

When I was younger, I loved going to the park and could spend hours upon hours there begging my mom for more time on the swing or teeter totter. Now, it’s my two year old daughter who pleads, “Five more minutes Mommy, please,” putting up her little hand displaying her five fingers. Occasionally, I give in, and in return, my daughter often teaches me a life lesson at the park. My past two blog entries this week have been about crossing bridges and the power of the slide. Today, it’s all about having fun with the equipment you’ve been given, endurance, and putting those fears aside.

One day, months before Quinn’s second birthday, she prepared to go down the slide but then stopped and observed the metal bar a little above her head. It must have reminded her of the bars she uses at The Little Gym because she quickly grabbed hold of it with both hands and began to swing. My heart began to race. While I was amazed at how well she was holding on (even better than she does at The Little Gym which has protective mats), I was nervous that she would either realize the riskiness of her “gymnastic routine” and get scared or lose her grip and hurt herself. Rather than tell her to stop in a panicky voice, I just stood as close as possible and softly told her to be careful, and she confidently said, “I be careful Mommy.” She squealed with excitement awaiting my applause, which I, of course, granted her as the fear in my heart turned into pleasure.  If only more adults, including me, could be more like my daughter: having fun with the obstacles put in front us, casting our fears aside and just going for it!

All the best,

Tanya