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Kids at the Beach
In previous articles I discussed pool attire and expectations at the pool. This article covers topics revolving around your children and what is expected of you - the parent - to ensure both their safety AND the enjoyment of those around you when you venture to a beach with kids. When I say "beach" I mean a sandy are adjacent to water in a stream, river, lake or the ocean. A truly great day at the beach will allow your kids to enjoy all the fun possibilities water and sand can deliver.
Being a parent, I am well aware of how great a day at the beach with your kids can be. I have, however, witnessed several instances where it may have been best to forgo the beach adventure and just stay home. Usually this has occured when the parent or caregiver didn't plan in advance. There are so many fun possibilities, though, when it all works out. You just need a little pre-planning.
Beaches are the best. There is water. Kids and water go together like peanut butter and jelly, BLT's, Tequila and limes....OK you get the point. The beach gives kids one of the greatest creative outlets there is: digging, building, combining their creative efforts with other kids at the beach. Who doesn't love to build a sandcastle and be expected to get totally dirty? Kids and beaches are a winning combination.
Watching kids totally entertaining themselves and having a blast on a beach is a timeless memory. Your kids, however, are still your kids. Laughing and playing is encouraged. Screaming and fighting over the shovel and pail requires an intervention by the parents or those in charge of the children. While you may allow them to duke it out at home, coming to blows in a public area - any public area, not just a beach- is unacceptable. And I'm being dramatic when I use the term, "coming to blows". If your kids are physically hurting each other, you missed the opportunity to step in a long, long time ago. It's time to do more than just stop the fighting. They (and you, apparently) are forgetting that others at the beach are witnessing your children's poor behavior choices and your neglectful parenting abilities. Step in - and if that means getting wet or sandy, then so be it. Stop the fighting. Call a time out. Referee like an adult parent should and stop the chaos.
If you have little babies and/or toddlers, please make sure your child is fed, rested and happy. Fussy, unhappy children and babies are much easier at home. At the beach make sure you have lots of swim diapers, sunscreen, snack, Wet Wipes and water at the ready.
Supervision by you, the parent, is expected when at the beach. If there is a lifeguard on duty it's their job to make sure people don't drown. That doesn't mean you are absolved from policing and protecting your child. Watch them!! It's fine for them to bob around but be sure to stay close by. Also, play with them while they are in the water. Nothing is more annoying (and sad, really) than hearing a child beg their parent(s) to come and play with them in the water. They will love it and you will too. However, because there are waves and possibly water craft, plus rocks, currents and drop offs, let them play, but please, watch them when at the beach.
Be sure to check out my other articles about kids at the pool, what to bring to the beach, clothing that works poolside and finally the difference between having fun and being obnoxious when playing around the water.
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