Pool Rules for Adults

Now that you are all grown up, and a responsible adult, of course you don't need a bunch of Rules governing your behaviour in your own back yard - but your kids absolutely need you to have some Rules in place, both for their own protection and for the safety of other pool-users

Parents should make sure that kids understand that there are limits to acceptable behaviour and, if they overstep those limits, there is a price to pay

So, tell the kids what the Rules are and then tell them what the Penalties are

Rules are whatever you consider to be reasonable but here are a few suggestions that might be appropriate for your pool and your kids

Three Strikes and You're Out!

Explain the following carefully to the kids, before they get to the pool

Strike one!

  • When a kid breaks the rules the first time - they have to sit out of the pool for the next ten minutes
  • No arguments, no whining; just sit quietly and think about how they can improve their future behaviour, then apologize to other pool users

Strike Two!

If the kid breaks the rules a second time

  • They have to sit out of the pool for thirty minutes
  • Then they must apologize to the other pool-users and ask their permission to get back into the pool

Strike Three!

Immediately remove the child from the pool, pack up, move inside the house or away from the pool, with no further warning

  • Very probably the child will whine, cry, apologize and promise to be good from now on
  • Their promise to behave is a big step forward, but we both know they are only saying it to get a reprieve and be allowed back into the pool
  • Tell them that the NEXT time they come to the pool they can behave but THIS time they've blown it and they are NOT using the pool again today - even if it IS their birthday party!
  • Threats, or a 'good stiff talking-to', rarely work but 'tough love' can be very effective
  • Most kids live in the moment and what works with kids is the immediate effect that their bad behaviour has on their personal level of fun
  • The lesson is learned at a far deeper level and retained for a long time
  • This is a two-way street - good behaviour should be noted, commented upon and suitably rewarded; maybe a little treat or an organised game or two?

Young children are sponges when it comes to learning - teach them the right way to safely have fun in a pool and they will be far less likely to drown, to hurt themselves or to accidentally hurt someone else

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Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©