Requests and Responsibilities

I am a counselor so I have to be flexible and listen to all sides of a story. You have to use your instincts to trust what people say. When it comes to your own kids you have an advantage. You already know their point of view. This became important when there was a big family discussion/argument over putting in a pool. The kids were adamant about needing one for the summer and they would invite friends and family, not to mention neighbors to indulge. It would be the center of their social life, not that they didn’t already have one. I understood. Water recreation is really fun for kids and in our area, few families had pools, above ground or otherwise. So the kids had to get a ride to the community center and they complained that the pool had too much chlorine and that it was often too crowded. They wanted to be at home where they could rest on lounge chairs or have a snack.

I listened attentively and decided to concede. They could use a new form of recreation to get them away from video games. It is a positive that they wanted to have guests. Kids need social outlets and to learn to get along. I agreed, however, that it would be an above ground pool as I felt it was safer, not to mention cheaper to install. They come in large sizes and I would pick one that would be suitable for our size yard. I wanted lots of kids to be able to swim at the same time. I might add a heater if I thought they would use it year round and of course we would need a vacuum to maintain cleanliness. I laid out my rules. Safety was a priority. They also had to be willing to vacuum the pool once a week so I would not be the one getting rid of debris and leaves. I would take care of the chemicals for the water and make sure they were non-toxic, but still did their job. So everyone would take part in the pool effort which would make it that much more enjoyable. It was a source of fun and also responsibility. Never, as a parent, overlook possibilities to assign chores. Even at a young age, kids can do many things and it isn’t difficult to vacuum a pool. The device isn’t heavy and it works quickly, making it a snap job.

When the pool was in, everything proceeded as planned. The kids used the pool enough to justify the expense. They were well behaved, obeyed the rules, and took care of maintenance. Their little friends were only too willing to help. They actually thought it was fun. I thought it was marvelous. I had inaugurated an effective pool system.