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The 6 Types of Parents You Need to Avoid at the Playground

Photograph by Twenty20

There are a lot of ways I love spending time with my children, but the playground is definitely not one of them. Please tell me I'm not the only one who hates going to the playground? It's a toddler death trap, a minefield of sand toy sharing meltdowns, and somehow it still manages to be incredibly boring.

As if those weren’t enough items in the minus column, the park also seems to bring out some seriously cringeworthy parenting. So for all my fellow park haters, I thought I’d rundown the various types of parents you might run into at the park.

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The Overachiever - This is the parent who brings all the fun toys, super primo snacks, and runs around gleefully pushing their kids on the swing super high. Come on dude, you’re making the rest of us look bad.

The Coffee Clique - They all have their designer workout gear and five dollar coffees and no room for new friends. They talk loudly about their latest home renovation, vacation, or elaborate party. It’s hard to ignore this group and it’s even harder not to feel as though you’re somehow treading on their turf.

The Level 10 Hoverer - You know the one: They're on the structure with their four-year-old making it virtually impossible for anyone to actually play. They also tend to interact with the other children on their kid’s behalf. It’s awkward for everyone.

By all means, don’t get off that bench, just scream at your children from there.

The Yeller - By all means, don’t get off that bench, just scream at your children from there. This person hollers encouragement, barks orders, and seems to always be shouting about how it’s time to go. We all, including their kids, just do our best to ignore them.

The Ostrich - This parent seems to have chosen to bury their head in the sand, or more accurately their phone, than deal with the fact that their kid is being a total jerk. I’m all for not intervening in every little squabble and I most definitely don’t have a problem with a little Instagram scrolling at the park, but when your kid is throwing sand or shoving smaller children, it’s time to step in.

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The Over Sharer - Making conversation and even trying to make new friends at the park is totally acceptable. But I think we’ve all experienced the parent who has you trapped at the swings and decides to let you in on a few too many secrets. It’s super hard to know how to respond and even trickier to exit the conversation gracefully.

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