Leave it to moms on the internet to turn a simple question into the most divisive and heated debate since Trump v Clinton. All this anger and animosity over The Slide Question.
It's a simple question: Would you let your kid climb up a slide (or would you only let them slide down)?
If I'm being honest, I can understand both sides of this debate. I don't think there's really a right or wrong answer here. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same! Many moms think there is most definitely only one right answer. And if you don't agree with their answer? They, Will. Let. You. Know.
This fighting couldn't be more frustrating, because we really don't need another reason to be at each others' throats. It's 2018 and it's time to END the Mommy Wars.
My Aunt Ann often comments on my social media when she sees me speaking about these types of disagreements. "I'm sure glad Facebook wasn't around when I was raising my kids. It's already hard enough without everyone constantly scrutinizing your every choice." PREACH, ANN! Say it a little louder for the folks in the back!
She's right. Part of what makes being a parent so hard isn't just that things are already difficult, it's that, inevitably, someone is going to judge you for the choices you've made. Social media has turned this practice into a past-time - just look at literally any mommy group out there. Some people just can't be pleased. Still, it's hard not to take it personally.
But hey - I'm not scared of the knee-jerk reaction this post will probably bring. You know what? Because at the end of the day, if we can take a tiny step back from the battle, we can remember that we're talking about playground equipment here. Not to downplay it, but it's a pretty trivial matter. Issues like vaccination, breastfeeding, and car seat safety are all a lot more weighty. Slides don't have a whole lot of lasting real-world consequences; it's not a life-or-death situation. Hopefully, this helps us take a bit of the fire out of the words we use toward one another. Animosity has no place in a community full of people who are overworked, underpaid, and being literally shit on all the time. We're all in this together. It's a slide, people.
Like I said, I can understand both sides of this discussion. I'm sure everyone has a well-thought-out and balanced reason why they've made the decision they've made.
If you've read my work, it shouldn't surprise you to know that I totally let my kid slide up the slide. I should add an asterisk to that, because it's not like I let him do it all the time; there are conditions on my permissiveness. I let him climb up the slide, so long as he's not preventing someone else from playing on the same slide. Basically, I follow the principle of John Stuart Mill: my right to swing my first ends where your nose begins. All that means is that I can let my kid go up the slide so long as he isn't disregarding the needs of others. I'm trying to teach him to recognize appropriate behavior for a variety of situations. And heck, people - it's a playground! Play should be creative and spontaneous and self-directed. It doesn't need to be to constrained by the same rules that all other areas of our lives are.
So, yes. I let my kid climb up the slide. But I certainly don't want his climbing - or my answer - to become weapons in the Mommy Wars.
Would you let your kid climb up the slide? Just need to tell me how wrong I am? Find me on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3.