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Survival guide for the children's playground
Survival guide for the children's playground

Does your child reach into someone else's snack box? Doesn't want to share its toys? A strange mom rebukes your sweetheart? Two experts explain how best to react in these situations.

Survival guide for the children's playground
Survival guide for the children's playground

Pinching, biting, pushing each other down the slide or throwing sand at each other: When a horde of fun-obsessed kids meet at the playground, it’s often wild. Who has the biggest excavator? Who is sliding the fastest? Who rocks the highest? When mums and dads aren't being used as swing assistants or snack vending machines, they usually just stand around and watch the anarchic Remmidemmi with mixed feelings.

But: when should you intervene? And when is it better to just let the child do it? We talked to two experts who have easy-to-implement tips for every tricky escalation level at the playground. Christina Tropper blogs on about her chaotic everyday life with her twins. And she knows one thing: "Children are the most beautiful thing in the world. Especially when they finally sleep". Family coach Linda Syllaba also has two sons and advises other parents on parenting issues. She has just published a book about this: "Selfcare for Mamas - If you are fine, your child is fine. The educational book with a difference" (Julius Beltz, € 19.95). Well then, put on mud pants, take snacks, we're going to the playground now.

What do I do if …

… my child hurts others?

"Stay calm. Children defend themselves archaically when someone gets stupid. Look closely what is going on and ask the youngest first. Listen carefully without judging or interpreting," recommends Syllaba. It also helps to repeat what one has seen and heard so that the little Terminator feels that his emotions are being perceived: "I can see that you are angry. You wanted to play with the shovel too. Even when you are angry, you mustn't hit. " Two-time mum Tropper also sees violence as a clear no-go: "As soon as it comes to fights, fun is over. As a parent, you have to intervene and find a solution."

… there is trouble because a child does not want to share his toys?

"Who would you volunteer to lend your new car to for the weekend? If it doesn't want to share anything, that's okay," says Tropper. Parents can give in here with: "What would you like to borrow your friend to play with? Maybe you want to play something together?" Syllaba adds: "Conflict resolution always means engaging with people - whether children or adults - and their interests."

… suddenly pulls out naked?

"It is imperative to communicate boundaries if you do not want your three-cheesecake to do gymnastics around naked. One possible announcement would be: 'I want the underpants to stay on'", suggests Syllaba. But of course it depends on the circumstances. In summer, shining in your own garden is of course completely different than revealing yourself in public at the city playground or anywhere else.

… another kid's toy was broken?

"That depends. Was it a loud, battery-operated thing? Then all adults will be happy about the loss," jokes twin mom Tropper from her own experience. Otherwise, it is more likely to agree on a repair with the other parent. "Children live in the now and act out of impulses. There is always a reason for their action. They do everything they do for themselves and not against us," says Syllaba, trying to explain the hit-and-run mentality. "Civilized behavior is not innate, and it usually takes a few years for children to fully integrate, to behave less anarchically. We should never lose sight of that. We had to go through it too," she says.

… another mom is yelling at my darling?

Tropper sees it relatively relaxed. After all, they say: you need an entire village to raise a child. "But of course it depends on the reason and the mother." If the other parents show their limits in personal first-person language, then that is something that Syllabas also believes must be allowed - also towards other kids. With a few exceptions, Syllaba thinks: "If you are devalued, humiliated or insulted, then I would step in and forbid it. People keep clashing and have to make it clear what is important to them. Conflicts per se are not bad. how to carry them out."

… my child was treated unfairly by his play buddies

"It doesn't work at all," says Tropper. "Can the child solve the situation on their own? Good. If not, be sure to intervene!" Our colleague Syllaba has a similar point of view: "As long as you can bear it and there is no imminent danger, let her learn how to resolve and resolve conflicts yourself." When the going gets tough, quickly create a spatial separation between the conflicting parties and always speak in "first-person language", including to the others. It depends: "Stick to your statements and be authentic. Adults who play a role make little impression on children."

… it avoids others?

"Your child doesn't have to be a rampage pig. It is who it is. Some things stay that way, some things change," says parent coach Syllaba. The more sensitively we deal with it, the more our little ones feel accepted. In this way they can reduce fears and act more strongly if necessary. It's very simple: Children gain security by giving them security - emotionally, physically and mentally, says Syllaba. Tropper also emphasizes that little people explore the world at their own pace. We can encourage them to communicate, but if they don't want to play with other people, that's okay too. "After all, you don't want to have afternoon coffee with every person you happen to know, do you?"

… it unabashedly reaches into someone else's snack box?

"Meal. What's it called? It tastes best at the landlord's!" Laughs blogger mom Christina Tropper. You can just share the snack, she suggests. Of course, only if everyone agrees. The mothers also have to feel comfortable with it. Syllaba's tip: "If it bothers you, say again in first-person language: 'You, I don't like that. If you want something from someone else's snack box, please ask beforehand whether you are allowed to.'"

… it wants to rock forever, but other children are waiting?

"First come, first served. When a child is in the flow and forgets the world around them: Why shouldn't they stay on the swing until they don't feel like it anymore?" Asks Christina Tropper. Sounds simple. But in reality it is usually the case that as a mother of an "extreme rocker" you are fixed by so many longing children's eyes after just 20 minutes that you have to stop at some point out of pity. What to do? Syllaba has communication strategies ready here. For example: "You, now it's time to let others swing too. I'll give you five more pushes and then we'll move on." Such announcements can cause frustration. "It's hard when you don't get what you want," explains the parent coach. "Feelings have to be managed, that takes time, but in the end there is calm. By going through such processes, adolescents learn to develop a tolerance for frustration, which is extremely important for their social skills in dealing with the world."

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