It’s hot and humid here in our part of the world. Summer will soon be upon us! Summer is a fun time of year, especially when you live close to the beach like we do. I find myself discussing our “summer safety” rules with the children.
Go In Groups
Whether they are biking on the boardwalk or just walking through the neighborhood, it’s best to encourage your children to stay in groups, even if they are older.
As your children age and want more independence, it can be a worrisome thing. While you don’t want to be “over-protective”, you do want your children to be safe. Staying in groups is a great way to accomplish both goals.
Water Safety Is Important
Many summer time activities tend to happen in or around the water. It’s important to discuss water safety rules with your children or teens. For example, don’t swim on a full stomach; don’t run on the wet pool deck; and if you hear thunder or see lightening, you need to immediately get out of the water and find some shelter.
Set Boundaries Along With The Rules
Our house is the neighborhood congregating spot. This doesn’t bother me too much because I know where my children are and I know what they are doing. However, I found that it is necessary to set some boundaries with neighborhood kids and their parents.
For example, we had one mother send her child to swim in our pool. I discovered that the child couldn’t swim! I called the mother and told her that I was not able to take responsibility for her child if she couldn’t swim; she could come and swim with her child or her child wasn’t able to swim. She told me that she was busy and couldn’t accompany her child in our pool. I sent the child home.
It is also OK to set limits on play dates. It really is OK to tell children that they can stay to play for an hour, or to say that your children are busy. It is also OK (and necessary) to set some house rules. For example, there will be no hitting or pushing, or rude behavior. After a warning, the child who is not obeying the rule will have to go home. If it is your child that breaks the rule, they’ll have to go to another part of the house and not participate in the fun.
Keep Communication Open
One of the best ways to keep your children safe is to keep open lines of communication with your neighbors. Get to know your neighbors and their children! In our neighborhood, we organize family activities to try to promote a sense of community. Such activities are fun, and go a long way to creating a safe neighborhood.
I hope that you and your family have a safe and fun summer season!