Here are some tips on how to use your best manners at the community pool this summer. By you using these tips you teach the same manners for kids.
High temperatures mean that the crowds flock to your local community pool. Teaching manners for kids is important when it comes to this special type of place because it is slightly different from many other places where the public gathers. The most important thing to remember though is to keep your children safe by watching them closely and staying with them if they are not yet good swimmers. Then you can get into all the other particulars of teaching your kids manners to use at the community pool.
First Come, First Served
By using some basic rules of respect, you know that if you were the first one there, you should have priority. This applies big time during the summer at the community pool, especially when it comes to chairs, loungers, tables and areas with shade. Be respectful of those around you by not taking up too much space, either. This means using four chairs for four people, not a fifth and sixth chair to hold your bags and coolers if the area is crowded. If you were late to the pool and there are no chairs or tables left for you, be understanding not hot-headed. The community pool is not a place to display your temper.
Swimsuits are fine and expected at the pool but be respectful with your cover-ups, too. Do not put your children, or yourself, in clothing that has any sort of foul language or inappropriate pictures or cartoons on them. You do not want to have to answer your child’s questions about why that finger is sticking up on that person’s hand on the t-shirt, so neither does anyone else. If your child, or yourself, have any rashes or cuts check with your medical provider to see if it safe to swim. If it is safe, cover the skin area affected with appropriate waterproof bandages and then a pair of shorts or shirt as needed. Even if your child’s rash is not contagious, or the cut is simple and uninfected, other adults do not know this and might worry about the repercussions of the cut or rash might have on them in the pool water.
Be Respectful of Other People’s Space and Belongings
Beach towels are like invisible lines in the sand. Be respectful of these low-lying property lines by walking around them and not messing them up if you are passing by close to them. This goes double for claimed beach chairs and tables, because even though these items are public property they represent a claim on a particular section of the facility. If you are looking to keep an eye on your children and they are moving around, be ready to move with them. Do not expect them to behave perfectly without you close by. You need to stay with them not only to make sure they use their manners, but also to make sure they are safe.
Understand that Kids Will Be Kids
Playing in the pool when you are young is fun, splashing, playing games like Marco Polo and general merriment are things to expect. Do not take your children to the pool and expect them to be quiet and sedate unless it is for something serious like a swimming lesson. While it is appropriate to expect good behavior, do not go so far as to expect them to be perfect. Take the visit to the community pool as a learning experience about the best manners for kids in all types of situations. This way you will all enjoy yourselves and maybe even reinforce a life lesson or two.
Rules are Meant to Be Followed
If adults do not follow rules, you cannot expect children to, so make sure you set a good example. Even if it is something simple like leaving swimming lanes free for possible lap swimmers to use, make sure your children heed these rules. If your child is too young to read, you should be with them to watch their behavior and go over the rules with them before they get in the pool. Take the time to observe the signs and especially observe behavior that is being corrected by pool monitors or lifeguards. These are great ways to show your children that not only do we follow the rules, but we also try to avoid calling attention to our inappropriate behavior by requiring someone to come correct it. Spas or hot tubs are especially important areas to observe the rules posted and obey them. Adults often see the spa or hot tub as an area to get away from the children and relax, so if there is an age limit on the sign nearby observe it to avoid any uncomfortable situations. If there is no lower age limit on the spa or hot tub, a good rule of thumb is to at least watch your children especially closely in that area and make sure they are being respectful of the adults in the water with them.