Author Topic: How to handle kids at the pool  (Read 2680 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Danismom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2030
How to handle kids at the pool
« on: August 11, 2010, 11:27:26 AM »
I regularly take my 3 yo DD and 15 mo DS to the local pool where we have a membership.  The great thing about this pool is that it includes a spray park area designed for little ones.  In the spray pool there are 4 little slides and 4 large animals that the kids can climb on that also spray.  It doesn't get more than about 2 feet deep in this pool and the pool is kind of bowl shaped so that the edges are ramped.  DD can run around pretty freely (but I can see her) in this pool and I can play with DS too.  It works well for when I've got both kids on my own.

Yesterday I had the kids there for about an hour before DH arrived.  There were very few kids there since we had some lightening earlier in the afternoon which cleared out the pools.  In fact, for much of the time in addition to my 2 kids there were 2 little boys around 4-6 years old and 1 girl around 9.  The issue I'm hoping for some help with is the 9 yo girl.  The boys had an adult nearby watching them but I was never able to identify who the girl was with.  There were no adults around watching her.

She seemed to latch onto my DD and want to play with her constantly.  It just seemed odd for a 9 yo to want to play with a 3 yo so much.  I stayed very close by and kept reminding her not to pick up either child when she would start to do so.  I would also tell DD to get off one of the animals if the other girl started to get too close to her on it/cuddle close.  "DD, it looks like she wants to sit there now.  Maybe you can sit on the frog."

I just didn't know how else to handle it.  I should note that this other child looked much to old to be in the splash area and there were other children her age in the big pool. 

MovieLover

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 333
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 11:30:23 AM »
"Please leave my daughter alone now and go find your mother".  I think that's all that needs to be said, you don't need to explain yourself to an interloper even if she is a child.

lilacbunny

  • Guest
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 12:03:11 PM »
Some kids love to play with little kids.  Sort of like a pretend baby sitting thing.  I loved to "take care" of little ones, even when I was really too young to do so.  I wouldn't worry too much about it being weird that an older child was enjoying playing with younger children.

That said, of course as the parent it's your right and responsibility to make sure your own children are safe, and if you're not comfortable with what the older child is doing there is no problem in letting that child know in very clear and simple language that she isn't to touch your child, hug your child, etc.  I think asking your daughter to choose other areas to play in was a good idea, since even though that child seemed too old for the area, she did have a right to be there.  (Just not a right to bother your daughter!)     

zoidberg

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2000
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 12:38:13 PM »
Some kids love to play with little kids.  Sort of like a pretend baby sitting thing.  I loved to "take care" of little ones, even when I was really too young to do so.  I wouldn't worry too much about it being weird that an older child was enjoying playing with younger children.

That said, of course as the parent it's your right and responsibility to make sure your own children are safe, and if you're not comfortable with what the older child is doing there is no problem in letting that child know in very clear and simple language that she isn't to touch your child, hug your child, etc.  I think asking your daughter to choose other areas to play in was a good idea, since even though that child seemed too old for the area, she did have a right to be there.  (Just not a right to bother your daughter!)     

I agree. Our family just attended a wedding where DD (10 months) had a little "babysitter" (6 years old). Her mother told me that she just loves babies. But yeah, I also understand being uneasy about the situation, especially as her parents were nowhere to be seen. I kind of think you did fine. I'm not sure that you could have done more.


Bexx27

  • Striving to meet the minimum requirements of social acceptability
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1887
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 12:48:01 PM »
I loved playing with little kids when I was that age. I didn't see them as peers, though, it was more of a proto-babysitting type of relationship. What bothered you about the girl's behavior? Were you afraid she would injure your DD by playing too roughly with her in the water? I think since she repeatedly ignored your request not to pick up your kids it would have been fine to tell her she couldn't play with them anymore because she wasn't following your directions.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

Roe

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6464
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 01:00:05 PM »
I also loved playing with younger kids when I was that age.  I've always been very maternal.  Luckily, I have tons of cousins so I never had to single out a strange child to 'babysit.'  :)  

However, if a child bothers you, it's okay to say "please let my DD play by herself.  You need to go find your mother."  I would have no problem doing this whatsoever.  (and have done it)


lmyrs

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1138
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 01:00:58 PM »
Not a parent here, but I have an enormous family and in my experience, girls that age usually love babies and toddlers. It's like the evolution of their dolls or something. So, I wouldn't be even a bit surprised to see a girl that age latching on to your child. You could just tell her to not touch and if she disobeys, then tell her that your child is done playing and she needs to go find her parents now.

Danismom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2030
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 01:02:57 PM »
Just something about the child seemed "off" to me.  It felt too much like she was trying to be my DD's peer.  I wish I could really put my finger on it.  I guess I should've just told her to go find her mother.  She sure disappeared quickly with DH got there.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21525
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 01:04:22 PM »
Is it possible that she might have a slight developmental delay? 

kitty-cat

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2779
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 01:05:42 PM »
I used to always play with little kids- I was in 5th grade and played with the first grader down the street. I liked the little kids because they didn't know that they were supposed to make fun of me; they were just happy someone was playing with them.

Case in point- in 4th grade (aka as the darkest time in my life) my best friend was a 4 year old who would stand on her porch and ask "can you play with me?" Her family became a haven for me to go visit and spend the night on Saturday so I could go to church Sunday.




NE Florida

heartmug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2350
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 01:07:54 PM »
Some kids love to play with little kids.  Sort of like a pretend baby sitting thing.  I loved to "take care" of little ones, even when I was really too young to do so.  I wouldn't worry too much about it being weird that an older child was enjoying playing with younger children.

     

POD.  My oldest daughter would have done that at that age.  She still thinks babies and toddlers are so cute.  My other daughter wouldn't bother.
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.

sparklestar

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2257
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 01:48:14 PM »
She's allowed to be there, even if the area was designed for younger kids. 

What is a bit odd is that there was no one with her and most pools insist on kids being accompanied by an adult.  I would have asked the lifeguard if they knew who was with her, and then either asked him to approach the parents or done it myself.  Lifting other kids up in a slippy pool area is, after all, a safety hazard.  Ditto not being supervised properly by an adult. 

The creepiness?  Just in your head so not something you can actually complain about politely.

faithlessone

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2731
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 03:32:25 PM »
Some kids love to play with little kids.  Sort of like a pretend baby sitting thing.  I loved to "take care" of little ones, even when I was really too young to do so.  I wouldn't worry too much about it being weird that an older child was enjoying playing with younger children.   
POD.  My oldest daughter would have done that at that age.  She still thinks babies and toddlers are so cute.  My other daughter wouldn't bother.

Ditto for me too.

I'm trying to come up with reasons for this girl's behaviour. She might a bit awkward and doesn't have many/any friends her own age. She might have much younger siblings/cousins, and is just used to playing with smaller children.

If I was you, I might have mentioned to the lifeguard that she was unsupervised (if that's the thing to do in your area). As MovieLover said, you could have told her to find her mother, but aside from removing your own children, I don't think there was much else you could do.

kingsrings

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9708
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 03:51:33 PM »
This thread reminds me of my friends' daughter. I don't know if she's still crazy about babies, but for a time she was, and once when they were in the store, she came upon one. She went running up, happily screamed, "Baby!!" and planted a big kiss on the baby. My friends were mortified, but fortunately, the baby's mother just thought it was funny and cute.

Danismom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2030
Re: How to handle kids at the pool
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2010, 04:10:40 PM »
As far as being socially awkward with kids her own age, this is a strong possibility.  I don't know about developmentally delayed though.  I had intentionally not mentioned her physical description because I was afraid it was coloring my perspective (and I wanted feedback without it coloring anyone else's).  She was quite obese and wearing a very skimpy bikini.  I'm sure kids her own age would be quite cruel to her about her appearance as they tend to be at that age (or really any age it seems like).  So perhaps some of the discomfort was that she seemed to not fit in with her age group and was using my child as a refuge.