I spend a lot of time in the pool in summer. It is my happy place. And no matter which pool I go to I see the same thing over and over again: parents not getting in with their kids. I am always one of the very few parents in the pool and I always have been. When I was little I spent time in the pool with my grandparents and I loved it. It is one of my favorite memories of them both. They never sat on the sidelines, they never just watched - they jumped right in with us grandkids and had fun!
As the only adult in a pool full of kids sometimes I hear things. I hear kids talking to each other and wishing their parents would come in. Just yesterday these three boys were having a great time in my apartment complex pool but they would keep asking each other if they thought their dad might want to come in too. One said “no, he just doesn’t want to” - and I looked over at Dad, on his phone watching a movie in a poolside chair. He just does not know what he is missing, or how much he is missing! My heart went out to those boys.
It may seem small. It may seem inconsequential. It may seem petty. But your kids want you in that pool with them. I can promise this. They want you there no matter what age they are. They want you there no matter how you look in a swimsuit. They want you there no matter if you freak out about getting your hair wet. They just want you with them.
Being in the pool with my daughter is one of my favorite and most cherished things to do with her because we are both absolutely in the moment. There’s no distractions. No devices. No phones, no video games, no worries. Just the water, the sun, splashing and fun.
Childhood passes by so fast. We all know this. Think back on it. We all know how fast it goes. So, I am pleading with parents - get in that pool with your kids. Not only is this safer for them - meaning you can watch them up close, make sure they are safe, rescue them if needed, but it is more fun and special for them - because their Dad, their Mom, their parents are right there with them laughing, having fun, swimming, and playing.
Take some time this summer to play in the pool with your kids. I promise you, you won’t regret it and they will always remember it.
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