Sunday, 24 August 2008

Who's right?

Being a nice afternoon, I went to Greenwich Park. I took Toddler Pangloss to play in the swing park there.

Whilst TP was walking up a ramp, a group of 3 older (maybe 8 or 9 years old), children came running around on the ramp. TP stopped at the top of the ramp to watch them/keep out of their way. They then thought it was great fun to climb onto the roof of the activity with their skateboards.

Uh oh........

Fortunately, my friend asked them to keep off of the roof and calm down as there were small children around. They didn't take much notice and my friend asked again.

Before you could say "Lorks a lordy I told you so", one of these boys ran into Toddler Pangloss and TP fell backwards and off the activity. A fall of about 2 feet - might not look that high to you & I but it's significant to a toddler.

I shouted at the top of my voice at the child whilst checking that TP hadn't fallen awkwardly and broken anything. I was pretty annoyed. I knew I'd broken the Summer atmosphere of the play park, but I just didn't care; it was instinctive. The boys had already been warned that they were being dangerous.

I spoke to the boy's father about this and he seemed unrepentant about what had happened, stating that it was an accident and that this is what happens in play parks. I accepted this, but then mentioned that we warned they were being dangerous and they chose to carry on being so. The father then put the blame in my court saying that if I want to avoid accidents then don't bring TP to play parks. I thought this was a little below the belt and said that I know children will get over-excited, but the parents need to monitor their little darlings, which he had not.

He clearly thought I was wrong and I clearly thought he was wrong.

What an unfortunate way to end Sunday.


J J said...

Fast forward ten years and there's another couple of yobs on the street.

Hugh said...

I am sorry to hear about your experience, though not actually surprised. The level of incivility and downright thoughtless rudeness is growing all of the time. So many young children are brought up with no respect for adults, or fear of the police. When I was a kid I lived in mortal fear of getting into "trouble" - and actually never got involved with anything of note. Kids now (and I know of quite a few polite and well brought up exceptions) are not afraid of the consequences of their actions. Their parents often condone their bad behaviour, rather than punishing them for it.

Anonymous said...

so sorry for young pangloss and you. as i always say, blame the parents! if the father won't take responsibility, why should the kids. dreadful!

Anonymous said...

Bless :0( That's terrible. I hope toddler Pangloss is ok now. You know that there are nice people in 'Plumstead Village' who sympathise. People with no sense of decency are to be found all over the country unfortunately :0(

Anonymous said...

Dreadful. You should have karate chopped said skaterboard kid and then told his Father that accidents happen...

Doctor Pangloss said...

Thank you for your comments.

One side of my brain questioned whether the boy's father had a valid point, which is why I posted the question.

The other side of my brain knew I was right and was kind of satisfied that the offending boy finally got the message when I shouted and actually had fear in his eyes. Fear that he cannot do as he pleases and that he should listen to people sometimes.

BTW Toddler Pangloss is fine. Thank you

The ReV' said...

Think your right, depends on the type of playground it was it "big kids" or Toddlers sized?
Either way the kids should be brought up to know to look out for smaller kids, yeah of course kids get over excited by it's bad form of the Father not to apologise accident or not.

I too was abit like Hugh till i discovered the fun of being the brains behind the trouble...
Not proud of it now but part of growing up I suppose.
Either that or I was just a bugger when I was a kid, I mean what kid hasn't planned arson, blowing things up with homemade explosives, shooting wildlife, playing with electricity, small scale vandalism, damage to public property...Huh ho...maybe I was just a bugger.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your experience and you have all my sympathy. Do we really need signs up these days to ask parents to take responsibility for ensuring that public playgrounds are safe and welcoming for all users.

It would be good to have some playgrounds on our commons here in Plumstead too - perhaps one for large, one for small to avoid such problems as you and TP experienced - I'd much rather be able to walk or cycle to a playground here than have to drive or take a bus or train... Yes, it might make them less peaceful, but might it also bringus together a bit more too? Would be even better, of course, with an associated (or nearby) tea-room / cafe (like that great one in Southwark Park - run by a very enterprising pair/group - great coffee and good food too all on a shoestring... a perfect spot for a get-together in the park..!)

What do people think?

Maybe there's a section you already have on what we would like to have here that you could copy this suggestion too as well -quite new to this blogging business (computer still steam-driven...).

Glad that TP is ok now...

Anonymous said...

Sory to sound anti kids here but i dont think its a good idea for playgrounds on the common, i mean we are al only too aware of how they will be vandalised and how im sure the rolling sounds of chavness will be drifitng through my windows opposite at all hours of the mornings, or when the charlton chiwahwahs are craping all over it, just like they do in the great tennis courts which have been renovated so well only to have kids in there on bikes,mini moto bikes and dogs shitting everywhere, so me personally i dont think its a great idea, this is somthing thats really baffled me, they spen so much money on new nets re-surfacing and stuff only for the uths to trash is i mean you would of thought the council would take care of it to be honest.
Right im of to work to get even more p****d off

Anonymous said...

Re playgrounds on the common, there is a half decent playground on The Slade, across the road from the Common, that caters adequately for younger kids. Admittedly it needs a spruce up, and it could do without being used as dining room for Plumstead Manor kids at lunch times. There's also the adventure playground at the other end of the Common that good for older kids.

Nigel said...

says it all above really.
I'm guessing that the person calling for more playgrounds hasn't actually had a look around?

gerbiltamer said...

Sorry to hear about your experience Dr P; I too have a young son and have encountered similiar things whilst in playgrounds or soft play areas. Quite frankly, the other parent is in the wrong and if my son starts pummelling other children then I remove him from the situation. Skateboards and people riding bikes on the pavement are really rife at the moment.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Nigel. I haven't looked around much yet - just moved into the area with a baby on the way - and looking forward to having a chance to explore.

In Southwark Park, close to where we used to live, there's a cafe which apparently has become a sort of "unofficial mums, dads and toddlers/babies meeting spot" on Monday morning. I'm wondering if there is a similar place in Plumstead... Does anyone know?

All the best and thanks for this blog everyone.


Mikey G said...

Dear Dr Pangloss
Can I ask you to mention the Comedy on the Common in your next posting? It really is a great resouce for our area, but one of the organisers told me that often they are not breaking even,& one cannot expect the Rugby club to continue subbing it. The next scheduled dates are 26 October , & 15 and 30 Nov, then SATURDAY 13Dec. It is a great evening with a bar for £7, & the show actually kicks off at 8.30ish. I should add that I am a resident and not tied to the RFC(I believe i spoke you at one of the evenings). Many thanks

Anonymous said...

I used to use the playground at the Slade.

My mum took me there until I was about 9 or 10 and it was a safe, clean place. Believe it or not, it used to have a little hut, which had a playground attendant who looked after the place and the kids.

Hard to believe today!

Back then (the 1970's), there wasn't much for the attendant to do. Today, he or she would be kept busy - but it's obviously not important for our kids to have a safe place t play.

I'm due to leave London in a few weeks to live with some civilised people in a small northern village. After 40 years of watching London self-destruct, I'm not going to miss it.

Ta ta,

Rick and Carole