Thursday, October 20, 2011

Playground Chatter

Agent E is very much like her Momma. She is a planner. She makes lists. (Yes; at five. Obviously my influence.) She is somewhat (okay, a lot) introverted. Some would probably label her as shy. (Don't get me started on that one.) She is generally quiet in social gatherings until she has a chance to get to know people. Sometimes she cautiously moves behind me when overwhelmed by unfamiliar surroundings.

But when she is at the playground, she is like a dancing butterfly.

Agent E, striking a pose
Eva will walk up to anyone at the playground—adult or child—and start a conversation. Usually it involves introducing her sister and pointing out me and her baby brother sitting nearby. She is clearly comfortable in this environment . . . more than any other. I don't want to stifle this with my own fears and worry so I sit back and watch.

But what about danger? What about predators? What about strangers? 

How many "strangers" (a retail clerk, the bus driver, a new neighbor, etc.) do you exchange words with each day? Are these situations dangerous? Are uneasiness around new people and uncertainty in new situations really qualities you wish to instill in your children?

We want to promote a view that the world is a mostly pleasant, safe place. Of course we talk to them about safety. However, we prefer to err on the side of assuming the good in people. (And, yes, I am always Right There With Her to intervene in the rare case that might be necessary.)

What is your child's playground personality?

4 comments :

  1. Your post fits in great!! I wonder about this too- my Remy is much more 'shy' than my daughter, but he too seems to relax at a playground. But being the helicoptor mom that I am, I am never far enough away for any scariness to ensue. Still I wonder... but I don't want my (somewhat irrational) fears to stifle him in one of the few places he seems to let his guard down... a bit of a conundrum. Have a great day!

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  2. I think you bring up a great point. I talk to strangers all the time- at Target, in line at the grocery store. My boys are teens now, but they will have to interface with strangers at times, we all do.

    I agree, it's important not to let our fears get in the way. Yes we need to protect our children, but we also need to prepare them for being part of the community.

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  3. My son was like your daughter -- but at the grocery store. I'd be checking out and look up to see him cozying up to someone sitting on a bench at the front of the store! Usually, it was an elderly person, and they were so charmed by him that they often bought him a Coke from the machine. Of course, that only made him friendlier each time we went shopping!

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  4. I've never thought about a child's playground personality. I love the thought!

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