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Tweens: Safety with Water

by Michele | June 23rd, 2016 | Seasonal, Tweens

11-12-year-old-at-lakeSummer is upon us, which for many means it’s swimming season. Whether you have access to a pool (in your yard or elsewhere) or make regular trips to the beach or lake, it’s important to review water safety rules with your tween. Of course, as an all-knowing tween, your child might express dissatisfaction with this review, but it needs to be a condition of swimming and water play.

The first rule of swimming for tweens is that the buddy system must be used at pools. If you or a friend has a pool, after letting grownups know that they will be swimming, your tween can swim only if he has a companion who you trust. Your tween is old enough to swim without a mom in or near the pool, but he is never to go alone.

Second, swimming at ponds, lakes, or the beach is different than at a pool. More than likely, your tween will want to swim in deeper water, perhaps out to a raft or the outer limits of the swimming area. While a buddy is still recommended, this condition alone isn’t enough to permit swimming. If your tween and her buddy run into difficulty, there will be no one to help. Thus, swimming at a pond, lake, or beach is only acceptable if there is a lifeguard on duty or a parent (or responsible adult) in attendance.

The third rule to be reviewed regards diving safety. Your tween should never dive into a shallow pool. This no diving rule also applies to lakes, ponds, and the beach. If your tween has access to a pool with a true deep end, diving is fine only in the deep end and, again, only when accompanied by others.

Fourth, your tween needs to understand when horseplay is appropriate and when it isn’t. Splashing and games of chicken are fine things when in water. However, if a friend expresses distress, this is to be taken seriously. If your tween or his friends thinks that pretending to be in distress is a funny gag, his swimming privileges need to be revoked. He needs to understand the responsibilities that come with swimming.

Swimming is a wonderful activity for the summer. It will keep your tween cool and entertained. It also will provide some exercise that gets her away from all of her electronic devices. However, as your child is maturing and seeking more freedom, she also needs to understand the great responsibility that comes with it.

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