Some moms love a great day at the park, then there are moms like me who avoid the playground at all costs. There is just something that makes my anxiety rise to an all-time high when I’m attempting to monitor my daughter’s behavior and that of twenty other kids.
One thing that I have always forbid my daughter to do at the playground (besides eat sand) is to never climb up the slide. So, why do so many kids feel inclined to do this notoriously controversial playground behavior? For safety reasons, it makes sense. The last thing any parent wants is a giant feet-to-head toddler collision at the playground.
However, one mom says that she always lets her kids climb up the slide. In fact, she encourages them to do so.
She admits that she’s so passionate about their climbing up the slide that she’s willing to get into a verbal altercation with another parent. Okay, to be so passionate about one small thing, there must be a good reason for this, right?
TikTok mom, Emme, posted a now-viral TikTok that drudged up some controversy, noting that she loves when her sons climbs up the slide.
“I'm that annoying mom at the park that lets her kids climb the slide and not only that, but I am encouraging them to climb the slide,” she admitted.
“I am so passionate about it. I will get in verbal disagreements with parents at the park about why,” she added.
Her video garnered comments from other parents, questioning her decision to “annoy” other parents.
One user agreed with the OP, however, she had boundaries for when her kid could climb the slide.
They wrote, “Same but if there’s a bunch of kids there using it, we respect the others and use it as intended”
“Get a private playground for this sh**t,” one user said.
The OP simply replied, “No :)”
“Ok tell me why. I don’t let my kid and I really don’t know why. I think it was just engrained in me from a young age. I hate it too,” one user wrote.
In a follow-up video, Emme explains her reasoning behind letting her kids climb the slide as they please.
“I'm so glad someone asked me why I encourage my kids to climb up the slide. I'm going to start with what I think is probably the more obvious reason, which is the gross motor skills,” she says.
“It's just a lot more engaging for their little bodies and muscles to climb up the slide versus like, walking up a flight of stairs with a handlebar, which often most slides are on a play set, and they're essentially crawling up the slide, right? And anytime that you're crawling, you're having that cross-spring connection, which is so good for their little developing minds.”
Second, she points out that if one kid is climbing up the slide and another kid wants to go down the slide, the children are put in a situation where they have to communicate.
“My favorite ... is it forces kids to take turns in more of an abstract way rather than like waiting in line — ‘it's my turn after yours, you're next after me.’ Like, my kid knows that going down has the right of way so if she's climbing the slide and somebody wants to go down, she'll slide down so that they can go down and have their turn, and she'll try again,” Emme explains.
“Or sometimes if she's at the top, she'll ask like, ‘Hey can I finish and then I'll let you go down?’ So it forces communication and problem solving skills and like to look out for one another and these kind of unwritten rules of society it's just there's just a lot more to offer developmentally than climbing up a staircase, waiting in line and going down the slide. It's just better for their brain.”
Again, the comment section stirred up some parental feelings, with one user telling Emme that she “can only do this if other kids aren’t waiting on the slide.”
Emme responded, “I can do what ever I please.”
Another said, “It drives me crazy when moms let kids do this because when my kids waited patiently to go down those kids were always in the way.”
The OP replied, “What a great way to teach him to use his voice to the other kids”
“They shouldn’t have to when they are using the equipment how it was designed for. You could totally get a play set for home or wait until kids aren’t around, but when toddlers are waiting patiently, they should be able to go down, without having to ask, especially because most of those kids don’t listen,” the user commented back.
To which Emme replied, “The play equipment is meant to ✨play✨ there are no rules at our parks that say it’s against the rule to climb the slide”
Dang, she wasn’t kidding when she said she was passionate about this playground behavior. What harm is she really doing by encouraging her kids to climb the slide if she has also set strict boundaries with her kids on how to behavior when the circumstances change?
Let the debate (re)begin.