parent opinion

From The Kidult to The Seeker: The 5 types of parents you always see at the playground.

As mum to a two-year old I spend a lot of time at parks and soft play centres. I am not much of a fan of either but sometimes, needs must be met.

Where possible I will organise playdates and catch ups with fellow parents to hawk-eye our respective children in between snatches of adult conversation and sips of coffee. On the days when I can’t get someone to come along for the ride, I’ll try my best to engage at Leo’s level before my mind inevitably wanders off. I love to see his happy little face having a great time but there is only so much enjoyment I get frolicking around in the dirt or the ball-pit.

As a curious and chatty sort, I’ll always check out the other parents to see if there are any potential friends to be made. Through my observations at child-centric play areas around my home town, I have come up with a definitive list of the five most common types of parent you’ll see – I’m on there – but which one are you??

“Ironing? Awesome!” and other things mums never say.

Video by MMC

The Seeker

‘Hufflepuff’ by nature, this overly-friendly parent is to be found smiling and making polite chit-chat at the edge of the action in desperate hope someone (anyone) will join in to chat and be outraged by the latest MAFS news while pushing the little ones on the swings.

If you do not want to engage with The Seeker, do not make eye contact or they will be in your personal space, asking for your phone number quicker than you can say Cedric Diggory.

I am The Seeker so please come and chat to me if you too need some adult interaction in your day.

The Kidult

Down on the floor covered in sand or semi-wedged in the tunnel playing ‘chasey’, this parent makes everyone smile, but also feel really bad about their own lacklustre parenting.

The Kidult is the slightly sweaty, wild-eyed ‘fun dad’ or ‘fun mum’ having a ball with their little person. Watching them is exhausting and it’s hard to know if they genuinely love the park, or are just really great at acting.


The Kidult is the parent we all wish we could be 100 per cent of the time, if only we had more than three hours of broken sleep last night.


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The Incognito

They might be working on a tight work deadline, text messaging their sick mother or just scrolling Instagram, but The Incognito is glued to their device while wearing sunglasses and a look that says ‘do not approach’.

Everyone needs some screen time to distract from those monotonous parenting moments – but The Incognito barely notices if little Johnny knocks over a tot with the swing or throws sand at little Alice – they have not looked up for 20 minutes. They won’t make eye contact with anyone (especially The Seeker) as they couldn’t give a stuff what you think.

Total badass.

The Helicopter

Completely opposite to The Incognito, this poor nervous parent is to be found hovering at the foot of the slide or the climbing frame with a look of absolute terror on their face.


The Helicopter may have witnessed previous falls and broken bones to explain their extreme caution and they definitely have no time to make idle chit-chat with other parents when there is supervision to be given.

If you realise you came to the park without sunscreen or bug spray to hand, or you need a band aid, go straight to this parent, they’ll definitely have some spare in their beautifully packed nappy bag.

The Paparazzi

Monitoring their little charge with a camera trained on their every move – The Paparazzi might be recording baby’s first go down the slide, or maybe they are professional videographers.

Either way, they are intent on recording every second of this play experience for posterity and possible fun family movie nights.

The Paparazzi is also highly likely to not be the parent at all, but instead a doting grandparent loving every second of the whole experience, making all of us park parents feel a bit warm and fuzzy.

Do you enjoy spending time at the park with your little ones? Do you make eye contact with other parents or prefer to stand back? Can you relate to any of the above? Tell us in a comment below.

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