Following on from our post – #4 Ways to overcome Challenges at the Playground, I’m back , as promised, with #4 MORE Ways to Overcome Challenges at the Playground.
Bullying is different from teasing in that it’s repeated and often escalates over time. It can include name-calling, insults, threats, exclusion and even physical violence. Sensitive children and those with learning and attention issues can be the target of bullying. Even if your child isn’t the target of the bully, witnessing others being bullied can be traumatic.
How to help: Be approachable and proactive. Explain what bullying is and make sure your child knows she can come to you or another adult if she experiences it or sees it. Tell her it’s ok to walk away if she feels unsafe or if using words to defend herself isn’t working. If you witness bullying behaviour, be a role model for your child by intervening in a calm, positive manner. Be aware that children with learning and attention issues may not be intentionally bullying but instead lack impulse control and have trouble filtering what they say, so bring the behaviour of the child to the attention of their parents, in a diplomatic manner, as they will be better able to deal with it sensitively.
We all tend to have a competitive streak and the playground is one of those places that can bring it out in us. Children who have trouble with impulse control and regulating their emotions may gloat about winning and make other kids feel bad about losing. Likewise, they may get disproportionally upset when they lose a game and then insist others cheated or insist that they will never play the game, or play with the people involved, again.
How to help: Point out that if your child makes other children feel bad, they aren’t going to want to play with her any more. Remind your child that playground games are just games and that it’s ok to feel good about winning, but not to make others feel bad. Teach phrases that show good sportsmanship, such as “Good game!” Tell them stories of good gamesmanship & positive quotes from athletes about losing.
Playgrounds are designed to encourage risk taking in a controlled environment, but children can have trouble with impulse control and act before they think. Children with sensory processing issues may not feel pain as strongly as other kids. This can result in risky behaviour like jumping from too high, swinging too hard or horse-playing too much with other kids.
How to help: Talk to your child about taking a breath and thinking before he acts. To lower the risk of getting hurt during falls, visit playgrounds, such as Adare that have sand, wood chips or synthetic turf and make sure your child is supervised. Playgrounds are segmented into age appropriate zones, keep your child in the one best suited for them.
In the excitement of being at the playground, sometimes children get carried away with themselves and play too roughly with other children. It is important to remember that children with learning and attention issues sometimes lack impulse control and have trouble filtering what they say. They may push or shove other kids, run without paying attention or be unknowingly insulting. It’s also possible they don’t realize when they’re being too forceful.
How to help: Set ground rules for physical play, so that your child knows the consequences of being aggressive ahead of time. Encourage her to use words instead of her body to communicate. Remind your child that getting hit or shoved hurts: “It’s not appropriate to hit other kids. If you want a turn, ask, ‘Can I have a turn please?
Have a great time at the Playground.