After spending several days lounging at a pool on vacation, I have some specific observations…
Pool Rules are always posted…
So that the life guards and management can hold the guests accountable…
Are your House Rules posted?
If not they should be.
It will make it so much easier for the management (you the parents) to follow through if the rules are posted.
Have your drawn out a plan for your pool rules that are visual and easy to see… You may want to keep this rule list laminated or in a sealed plastic Baggie in your pool bag.
Focus on Go behaviors
When kids are running at the poolside instead of yelling STOP RUNNING! (Which is always a pool rule)…
Try yelling… WALK…
Giving kids the GO behavior to focus on is more productive than barking at them about the STOP Behavior.
Make your self crystal clear (like the sparkling pool waters).. Click here to Read more
Speaking of Stop Behaviors if you have to say stop make sure you are crystal clear about what it is they need to stop. Instead of throwing out a multitude of STOP IT’S, QUIT IT’s , ENOUGH of THAT’s… Get specific and crystal clear on what you want your child to put an end to. Also teach them to be crystal clear with each other so they can tell their friend or relative what they do not like about the play situation.
Instead of saying Stop it… Say, “Stop hitting your brother with the pool noodle.”
Instead of saying Quit it… Say, ” Quit splashing the lady while she is reading her book”.
Instead of saying Enough… Say, “Enough crying and fussing over going to the snack bar again.”
Try not let the Pool Scene stand in the way of your Follow Through…
The Pool is one of those dreaded places where kids are naturally apt to make a scene…
They are hot and bothered and overwhelmed and so are their parents.
All eyes are on the parents when their child acts up and the whole pool arena becomes a
parent judge-a- thon where all the other parents can critique and evaluate how you handled a sticky situation.
Don’t let the parenting pressure at the pool affect your rules, consequences, and follow through.
Make a Plan that is leveled and logical.
Have a plan that involves sitting out or rewinding the situation if you have misbehaved.
Taking a break at the car or in the bathroom (if you are fussing… Have another mom ready to help you with your other kiddos if needed)
Or simply going home (taking a loss) …even if you just got there
To avoid the bad behavior in the first place…
- Make sure you leave before the afternoon “I need a nap” fussing ensues.
- Make sure everyone is well hydrated and well fed
- Break it up with different options for play and fun… Not everyone wants to swim all day.
- Connect with your kids… Play with them, join in the fun a little or else they will try to get your attention in inappropriate ways.
- Just like you would never forget to pause and put on sunscreen, Pause before they jump right in and go through the plan and the rules of how this pool time is going to look.
The moral of the story at the pool is clear…
Set rules and boundaries and don’t be afraid to follow through even if it means packing it up and trying it again tomorrow.