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Teaching Good Playground Manners

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

We saw democracy at work yesterday and this is a good time to parlay those lessons to our children and the playground.

Teaching our kids to play nicely with one another and to be inclusive begins in toddlerhood and continues throughout their childhood. Children need to learn to share the swings and monkey bars, and to invite others to play with them. The sandbox is another great place to learn to play in unison, while working together to build castles and cities in the sand. It is easier to build a city with a group than alone.

Play with your children on the playground so that they may watch how you interact with other children and share and involve others while playing. Young kids need to learn that pushing, hitting and bullying is not appropriate. It is age appropriate for young children to show some of these inappropriate behaviors, but with parental guidance children learn the importance of sharing and how to manage group play. By the time your child reaches elementary school these appropriate play behaviors should be instilled in them. Keep practicing.

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat tomorrow.

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