Up or Down?

My children and I have been enjoying the sudden appearance of this Michigan summer by spending countless hours at the park. I sincerely hope you have as well! I love all the different kids running around, screaming with sheer excitement, and hearing their laughter. I also enjoy observing the different types of parents at the park.

I love the ‘helicopter’ parent that shadows their child’s every move, regardless of age or ability. I love the ‘iMom,’ who just can’t be parted with her phone. What is so important on there?! I love ‘Laid Back Lucy,’ whose child is literally standing on the highest point of the climber and clapping at their success. And what about the parent who allows their child to climb up the slide?

I’m not going to lie; I really struggle with this one. In my daycare days, I would never IMG_8844-1have let a child go up a slide. Now that I’m a parent, I have realized there are so many battles in any given day and that sometimes you just overlook your child going up the slide. Good grief, some kids have heard the word “no” about a million times by 10 a.m. already! My question to you is, what is so bad with going up the slide?

Obviously, children could get hurt. Have you met children? They get hurt from nothing. My kids get hurt walking around the house, using toys properly, or even while asleep.

Also, it causes an inconvenience to others. Life is full of irritating people that inconvenience me. The sooner my kids learn how to deal with that, the better… I think.

Next, it forces confrontation. What is your child going to do when he or she is trying to go down the slide properly? Will they make room for up-the-slide kid or take their turn just because they are using the slide the right way, regardless if it hurts someone else? Problem solving, people. Problem solving.

I guess I’m still deciding my opinion on kids going up the slide. Part of me says it’s fine because we need more kids who think outside the box, but the other part of me says no because we need more discipline in this world. What do you think? I’d absolutely love to hear from you!


About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at Meghan@rochestermedia.com


  1. Well, Meghan, when I was the parent of a small child, I would not have let him go up the slide, trying to teach him the proper way to use it. However, now that I’m the GRANDparent of small children, I do let them go up the slide, but only when there aren’t any other kids playing on it. I also let my grandchildren “get away” with things that I would not have let my son get away with when he was small. You are right when you say you must choose your battles. As a parent I worked full time and my “quality time” with my child was limited – and stressed due to all the other responsibilities I had. Now that I’m older and wiser I see that some of those “important” things I just had to get done back then really are NOT important. I enjoy my grandkids so much. But it makes me wish I could have those days back with my little boy so I could play with him with abandon and hug and cuddle him unashamedly, and just let him explore to his heart’s content. Gosh, I’m crying just writing it… It warms my heart to see so many of you young moms actually being there in the moment with your children. Believe me, those moments that you wish would hurry and go by, they will. Being a parent is the hardest job ever. Trying to teach and instill enough discipline so they can function well, while trying not to stifle their curiosity and creativity, letting them know they’re loved to the moon and back while not crossing that line from parenthood to being their best buddy. Nobody’s a perfect parent. I’m glad you have this media to support each other as you take this journey. Your worries and joys will always be many…and then the grandkids come along and it all starts over….God bless you and your family! I enjoy your articles…you young gals are much wiser than I ever was! 🙂

  2. I remember as a kid how much of a challenge it was to learn to climb up the slide the wrong way. It was physically and mentally tough until I grew strong enough (old enough), and gained more coordination. But I remember that the “bigger kids” could do it, and so that was my main reason for wanting to, as well.

    Perhaps establish a rule that a child can climb up the slide the wrong way, if they are being careful of themselves and those around them. This could mean that you CAN climb up, but as soon as someone gets ready to come down, you have to turn around and go back down. SLIDERS have right-of-way over CLIMBERS.

    Great articles, Meghan.

    • Meghan Zeile says

      Thanks for reading, Mike. I really like your rule on who has the right-of-way. A good lesson on taking turns that will have real consequences when not followed. 🙂

  3. Rebecca A says

    Slide etiquette as I see it, if the cost is clear, climb on up, if a child is ready to come down, they have the right-of-way, move it, before you get a face full of feet. Slide etiquette. Thank you, Rebecca A

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