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Teens: Stay Out of My Kids' Park!

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Our local parks have became Makeout Central.

teenagers kissing

Meanest Mom Jana Mathews: The parks in my town serve as designated meeting places for several groups of people. In the middle of any given weekday, you will find moms with toddlers and preschool-aged children, grandparents and grandchildren, and truant teenagers from the alternative high school.

Last week, we had a playdate at a park that had a large, tubular slide. My six-year-old daughter climbed up the ladder and then climbed back down.

"Why didn't you go down the slide?" I asked her.

"I tried," she explained, "but it's clogged."

I stuck my head up the bottom end far enough to see a young couple making out. "GET OUT OF THERE NOW!" I roared.

A few seconds later, a teenage boy wearing skintight jeans and shoes without laces exited the tunnel. A few more seconds later, his equally well-dressed lady friend followed. Without a backward glance at the picnic table full of evil-eyed moms, the couple sauntered off hand in hand.

The next day, we tried a different park, one with no enclosed spaces and no public bathrooms. Within a few minutes, a compact car pulled into the parking lot, blaring uplifting music. Five teenagers piled out and made their way to a picnic table at the far end of the park. Within seconds, the sweet aroma of marijuana wafted onto the playground.

Since I had broken up the lovebirds the day before, the task of breaking up this party fell to one of my friends. She went over to talk to the teenagers and came back having been told where to go and given the bird.

I've talked to moms all over the country and their experiences at the park are remarkably similar to mine. This begs the question: WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR PARKS? Is the park still a positive environment for our kids?

next: A Lesson for Mothers of All Black Boys
15 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen July 8, 2009, 7:37 AM

My question is, why confront the teens? Just CALL THE COPS!!! Smoking pot is DEFINATELY illegal and well truancy is if they are under 18. Also if the people hanging out these parks starts getting harrassed by cops all the time, they will STOP coming.

MamaLost July 8, 2009, 12:48 PM

My husband and I have been lamenting the same thing. Hey, I hung out in parks when I was younger. And I took off if kids showed up — hard to look cool around munchkins!

There is a beautiful park where I live, but the hippie kids (I can say that because I was called one myself)have taken it over… we’ve found condoms, needles, booze bottles, etc. there. I simply no longer go. It is apparently a park for partying, not for playing.


Jason Jones July 8, 2009, 1:00 PM

stay out of YOUR kids’ park? Last time I checked most parks are PUBLIC. I wish I could go to the park and not have to see your ugly kids.

Ben July 8, 2009, 2:05 PM

I’m sorry, WTF? I’m 15, and none of my freinds do that! further more, these high-class assholes are giving us all a bad name! There are sensitive, mature teenagers out there you know! this is like a brand of prejudice! just for standing there, I have gotten yelled at by parents more than 5 times. also, at my high school, it’s only the really bad crowd that does that. I’m really sick of stereotyping!

ame i. July 8, 2009, 6:40 PM

I’m lucky in the fact that police officers frequently patrol the large park/soccer/baseball fields I take my kids to,as there is a sub-station 1/4 mile away.
The park rules are posted twice along the long driveway leading into the park area. No drinking, no profanity, no obnoxiously loud music…no excuse for the ones breaking the rules, no sympathy from the police for offenders.
On the same note, I’ve “tattled” on kids well beyond the age specified that were trampling on younger kids in fast-food restaurant play areas & have had managers remove teens sitting 2 feet away from my young children, spouting the f*** & sh**, etc. every other word. The places designated for younger kids are off-limits to older youths for a reason.

cougarwife July 8, 2009, 8:39 PM

I took my 2 1/2 year old to a park here in town, she went through the tunnel and came out telling me balloon, it was definatly not a balloon, it was a used condom. We went home and I called park services and they said “at least they were using protection”! Like I care, I would rather them not use it so my little girl doesn’t find it!

Karyn July 8, 2009, 8:57 PM

At first I chuckled when I read this because I remembered when my currently 17 yo son was in 7th grade and he and his g/f made a plan to have their first kiss in the slide at school. He chickened out (you are probably wondering how I knew all that — I saw their instant messaging).

I was very protective of my kids when they were small and would have don’t exactly what you did, or maybe call the police on the 2nd group. I would ask people to watch their language. Of course, now that seems to be a lost cause. It’s amazing how many people use bad language without a second thought…but that’s another issue.

I have 3 teens, and I know that teens get stereotyped and that there are a lot of responsible teens. But there are many, many teens that are not considerate of those around them in public places…bad language, loud music, and worse. Just because it’s part of being a teen doesn’t mean we have to put up with it!

mama bunny July 10, 2009, 1:01 PM

Luckily, the park we go to was just renovated….they put in all this new open play equipment, and they also put a fence around the playground area, with latches on the gates, so that not only will you hear who is coming in, when you’re the one walking in, everyone looks at you lol! The worse thing I have seen is parents not watching their children well enough because they are on the phone, and a child has fallen off the slide or something.

dean July 10, 2009, 1:47 PM

I was at a park where two teens came out of a don jon together!

Mousuke July 10, 2009, 7:14 PM

Um, it is not “your kids’” park…it is a public park and open for everyone to use.

You should not have yelled at the teens in the slide, that was uncalled for. How would you like it if someone yelled at your child to get out of the slide so they could use it?

Teens go to parks to make out/smoke because they aren’t allowed to do it at home. Parents ban all forms of PDA from their homes, thinking it will stop their teens, so teens find other places to do it.

If you’re that irritated, get your own swing set or go to an elementary/preschool playground.

j. July 17, 2009, 8:51 AM

You and Your kids do not own the park. Kids making out on a slide - give them a break. As a previous poster stated, next time I see your kid on the slide I’m yelling at them to get off so MY kids can use the slide they own. As for pot smoking kids - if they weren’t right next to you leave them be or if you want to bust chops, call the cops, but YOU nor YOUR children own the park so you need to lay off.

Chela July 18, 2009, 4:02 AM

Parks are the best places for teens to hang out because it’s free but we usually head over there at night. I’ve seen kids having sex in parks and of course doing drugs but parents shouldn’t be as worried as they are. Teens don’t want to have to deal with small children and parents so they’ll leave if there’s a lot of kids. And don’t try to take problems into your own hands. Like someone else commented, if you see people doing pot, call the cops.

Reason August 18, 2009, 11:26 PM

If I remember correctly, which I do, there is no law against kissing in public. The kids in the slide had just as much right to the slide as your daughter.

I wish I could make an article:

“Babies and Pussies: Stay Out of Our Park!”

Cal October 25, 2009, 9:20 PM

Hi, I’m sixteen and adore hanging out at the park with my friends… though we make sure to stay out of the kids’ way and we just play… or if there are no kids we sit around and talk about teenage things. The swings are personally my favorite. I too have seen many teens making out and/or smoking pot. I’ve been offered pot. I hate it. My friends and I hang out at the park for nice clean fun and these teens think it’s their bedroom. Yuck. Agreed.

And people who say you are being selfish or whatever are stupid. Most new playgrounds have a sticker that says ‘recommended for ages 5-12”. I know this isn’t a rule or anything but really, it’s for kids.

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