Park Etiquette / A Parent's Responsibility
We have heard many a horror story about skaters and even older, or "street" scooter riders getting salty with even the littlest of kids at a skate park. Oftentimes, after the fact as many parents "drop & run" leaving their kiddos to enjoy their day while they run errands or otherwise enjoy theirs. While guilty of this myself, it doesn't change the facts. IF YOU ARE GOING TO LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN AT A SKATE PARK, MAKE SURE THEY ARE FULLY AWARE OF PARKE ETIQUETTE FIRST! This goes for both supervised and unsupervised parks. Park owners are not your babysitters.
Much of the conflict that arises between scooter "kids" and skaters can be avoided by this one simple lesson. The park is a shared space. And as cute as you think it is to see junior out their crisscrossing around the park in his spikey helmet, it is equally as frustrating to those more advanced riders and skaters who are trying to land a new banger or get a line down. After about the 3rd time junior cuts them off, tempers will flare. And Junior is in the wrong. Though the park is a shared space, there is a "right of way" as to who gets to go when. And yes, that kid yelling across the park to "MOVE" has (in most instances) the right of way. He's not being rude, he just doesn't want to land on top of junior.
YES. Park etiquette is mostly "unwritten rules" made up and handed down from OGs to Groms. Sometimes through hard lessons like bad crashes or even bullying (not that we condone that of course). But they are rules nonetheless, that once learned will make junior's day much more enjoyable and SAFER. As parents we have a responsibility to understand these rules and explain them to our kids before we dump & run, or go rushing in with puffed up chest to "protect" our kiddos from the mean skater.
Side note: We all know that no matter how versed in etiquette and courteous scooter riders are, there will always be that "one dude" at the park who just likes to be a D**k and will go out of his way to throw a board out into the path of a rider, or start taunting and name calling in an attempt to get you out of the park. I've even seen older riders or "street" riders do this to younger scooter riders, which makes me sick, but it happens, In these situations it honestly is better to just pack up and try another park. There's nothing to be gained by escalating the situation other than possibly getting into a physical altercation which teaches your kids the worst lesson, to solve things violently and does nothing to ease tensions between to two worlds of skater vs. scooter. You might try talking rationally with the guy one on one to find out his issues, maybe ask him to help you teach park etiquette to your kiddo, that sometimes works. But bottom line, we want scootering to be accepted everywhere so us going out and getting in fights is counter-productive and just makes the whole community look bad.
So, what to do? If you are lucky to have a supervised indoor park nearby, ask the owners or the older locals about doing a "park etiquette" camp or lesson. Or just explain to junior how to "be aware of people around him" and to flow around without getting in other people's way. If you only have unsupervised parks or don't know who to ask for guidance. Read the following. Its a brutally honest, but is honestly right on point. Its also kind of funny. So take it how it is intended, with a little humor. (We adapted this from a meme we found on the web, I'd love to take credit for it, but someone else wrote the majority. Until I track them down its credited to "author unknown."