As a parent, did you ever have a swimming pool and invite neighbor kids?

by 4thgen 17 Replies latest social family

  • 4thgen

    Hello All! Being 4th generation, I realize that am socially stunted, in regard to those that are not JW‘s. I am forging ahead and endeavoring to build a life outside of JW's. I am trying as I can to socialize my child to make friends and be a normal kid. I am off work this summer and am thinking about setting up a 12 ft swimming pool in the back yard. I'd invite some of his school friends over and teach my child what it is to be 'normal'. (We are learning this together) He LOVES the water!

    Have any of you done this? My house is small, so it cannot be a gathering place. I'm also considering the liability of it all. What if they slip and hurt themselves on my property? I have homeowners insurance. I usually have worked in the summer and had the child go to summer camp. Friendships are made, but not lasting because it is out of our neighborhood. Any/all thoughts would be welcomed. Thanks! 4thgen

  • blondie

    Insurance good, but why should you babysit the neighborhood. Public pools have stated hours, why not have times listed for visitors?

  • Listener

    We've had a pool whilst the kids have been growing up and there are a lot of benefits but it is a serious matter and as a parent actually takes a lot of the pleasure away.

    Home insurance is good but it is of very little significance as you do not want any child to drown or be badly injured.

    The most important responsibility is to keep a constant watch on the children and I mean constant, don't even think of taking a telephone call even if you are near the pool. It is amazing how easily distracted you can become. We had a horrible scare early on but it did teach us how important it was to always keep your eye on the kids. When children are in trouble they may not make any noise at all.

    It is a very bad idea to have a bunch of children in the pool at the one time. At the most we found three little ones in the pool at the one time was easier to cope with. They love to play and do silly things. I used to hate it when one would go underwater and stay still to see how long they would last, I would be thinking 'how long have they been under now?'. Oh the joys, it brings back memories.

    Another big responsibility is to ensure that the water is clean and you need to constantly test it and add chemicals as required. Children are much moer susceptible to the waterborne germs and can become much sicker than adults.

    We found the kids loved to be constantly in and out of the water and we found it very disrupting to our day at times but this becomes manageable over time when you set rules.

    In our state we are required by law to have the pool fully fences and with a lockable gate. This is a safety measure and absolutely essential when there are little ones around.

    You don't need a big house or a pool to invite school kids over. Your children don't need more than one friend at a time either. Actually, I personally think that it is much better to have only one friend over at a time, two at the most. It allows the kids to forge serious friendships. You are only making more work for yourself to have a group of kids over with no long lasting benefit for your children. Birthday parties are a different matter. In that instance we would give our children the choice of having two or three friends over for a sleepover or a two/three hour party with up to 10 children.

    Once the kids know that they are welcome to invite their friends over the matter will then be in their hands to deal with as they feel comfortable. We actually found that the kids were happy to make friends from the local neighbourhood when they were little.

  • exwhyzee

    Sounds fun...maybe a few of the other Mom's might be able to help out.

    If you're concerned about your insurance coverage I suppose you could ask your agent or review your policy to see what liability coverage you have and what it covers exactly. If a pool is covered, then do your best to eliminate possible hazards and have a plan in mind in case something should happen.

    We have a lake in our neighborhood so our boys grew up practically living on the water doing all kinds of stuff, all of which had safety hazards. Kids are kids JW's or not...I do know one thing and that is, it's good to create a safe setting for your kids to have fun with their friends but it's also good to let them have at it....stay in the background yourself so that they can become their own person without having to sensor themselves too much because ol' Mom and or Dad are hoovering around. This will be a little harder to accomplish since there is a pool involved but worth the effort I'd say.

    If the pool idea scares you off, you could have a water baloon fight or get a few of those super soaker water guns maybe set up a bunch of sprinklers. Maybe you could set up a few shallow kiddie pools and have a tug of war where they tried to pull eachother into the pool. Have all the stuff they'll need gathered and let them set it all up... that's part of the fun. Kids and water are automatic fun.

  • ruderedhead

    We have almost always had a pool. No more than a couple friends at a time unless another Mom/Dad is there to help watch. If you are diligent and never leave them alone, you should be fine. Eagle eyes at all times! It's a great way to get to know some parents of your child's friends as well. Invite them over with their child to swim, have some lunch or whatever you wish, and get to know them.

    Just remember pools can be a lot of work!

    Have fun!

  • villagegirl

    What Listener said , all good - you never leave children alone under

    age 14-16 , certainly not elementary school age. Limit the time they can be

    in the pool. Fence it, so no-one sneaks in when your not there.

    One friend at a time or even numbers. Like three and your boy is the fourth.

    You can NOT just leave, and give children access to a pool. Do DAY camps

    so the boy is with other kids in your area and probably your neighborhood.

    Invite the parents over, the whole family for a barbeque. Be social yourself.

    You can have the boy join the Boy's Club, or the YMCA summer programs.

    They have Day-Hikes, supervised swimming, summer day camps, supervised group activities.

    There are also Science Camps, Music Camps, Horse back riding camps, Sports Camps.

  • 4thgen

    Thanks for the comments. We will move ahead with the pool idea and limit it to one or two friends at a time. Hopefully the Mom's will come, too so we can continue to rebuild our lives. God, this is so tough when you've been brainwashed to believe everyone but Jw's are evil. We're fighting through the cult conditioning and moving ahead one step at a time. Thanks again!

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    There is liability. Your insurance company might have a list of DO NOTs so you can skip the cost of a lawyer. Of course, I was a kid a long time ago but the kids with pools were popular. My brother and I were often invited over for a swim. Of course, it is not just the pool but anything on your property. I am glad that parents still encourage it despite the potential liability. WE had our own pool and friends came over. It wasn't as much fun as a whole bunch of kids in th epool.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    You can always invite the neighbor families over for BBQ or whatnot and a swim. Get some beers, burgers and brats; parents should look over their own children imho, once they're all off to bed, the parents can stay for a drink. You'll probably find out that not just the kids but also the adults are generally responsible, friendly, non-judgmental people.

    As far as liability, as long as you have home owners insurance - accidents will happen with or without you present, that's what insurance is for after all and honestly, parents should look after their own children. Accidents happen, in JW-land as among regular people, you can take your precautions but don't be overly worried. The kids are much more likely to get hit by a car getting to your pool than actually drowning in your pool.

  • Amelia Ashton
    Amelia Ashton

    My kids could only go in the pool with their friends if I was outside too but usually parents were invited as well and we did a barbeque. It was up to the parents to watch their own kids not me.

    Sunburn was the biggest problem with one little red-head who would not wear her t-shirt.

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