Into the deep end

Setting the scene.

Olympic Pool is just that - an Olympic sized pool, so it is huge.  It is separated across it's width with a large removable but 'permanent' type barrier sporting 'Please Keep Off' signs on either end.

One side is relatively shallow.  Several times during the week there's Nifty Fifties Aqua Aerobics, school swimming classes, canoeing lessons and on the weekends it transforms into a kids wonderland with a blow up run along thing, hanging rings etc.

The other side, the deep end, is well deep. It's 3.6 meters, featured a high dive platform & several dive boards. During the week most of it is in lanes with the equivalent of two lanes reserved for aqua jogging & there's a steady stream of swimmers and aqua joggers. The high dive is opened for kids on some weekends.  There's a row of flags running widthways to signal to the back strokers not to hit the wall and these swimming lanes, and aqua jogging lanes are strictly reserved for adults, swim club at allocated times and the occasional parental supervised child partaking in the jogging.

The event.

On Sunday we three adults were partaking in the aqua jogging (best in region) and a little lane swimming (go Al). By Naenae Pool standards, it was a quiet Sunday.  A boy of eight or nine, walking poolside (on the drain), reached up both hands, grasped the flag rope and as he swung himself out over the pool I called out "Hey, get off", loudly enough for the pool staff yawning in the corner to look up,  but not do anything. The child crawled to the side & heaved himself out gave me an indignant look and stomped off.

But only as far as the centre barrier. He then maneuvered himself past the 'Please Keep Off' sign so he was standing on the barrier where he is supposed to keep off, again in full view of the yawning pool staff.  As I was down that end I called to him,.
"Hey, did you read the sign"?
"Yes", he replied, continuing to walk along the barrier.
"Well get the hell off", was my astonished retort.
"There's no need to be rude! We're all equal you know",
I was flabbergast.
He climbed back over the 'Keep Off' sign and stomped down toward the shallow end.
Then he watched us.
When I was at the far end jogging back toward the barrier, he looked at me and put a foot on the barrier before stepping over it and walking on.  This continued for the last 10 minutes we were in the pool with even Tony instructing the child to get off. And the pool staff yawned on.
Impunitive little shit!

The outcome

We're all equal you know. Amazing statement. All rights and no responsibilities. Indeed this is what is called entitlement.
I doubt the person who taught him equality also imparted importance that means all are expected to equally follow the rules too. The pesky responsibility part.
In fact this syndrome is now considered so serious there's methods documented to counter the damage (considered abuse) of entitlement syndrome.

Al, my eldest son, waxed on 'the beating' he'd have received for 'breaking the pool rules' and in his day (as a kid at Naenae pool) the staff were much more on to controlling behaviour and keeping order.

I should have gone to the child's adult (yes I identified what I assumed was a female parental unit), but I didn't. If the child thought itself above the safety rules of the pool, I doubt the mother (a good Jeanette Fitzsimons fashionista) would have appreciated a parental admonishment.

Don't sweat the small stuff has been the child raising mantra for a decade or two.
Bullshit.
It's the small stuff where our kids learn their boundaries. If you ignore 'the small stuff', they will quickly escalate. Thanks, but I prefered that my kids know mum means 'business' on the small stuff. Actions equal consequences. If you get into trouble at school, you are also punished at home. You are expected to follow the rules even if you don't agree with them. And I also extended this to their schools, I have marched into school on more than one occasions with a copy of legislation for them to follow.

It goes both ways.  I also sent a school a letter thanking for the detention my younger child had been given, he handed his absence notes in after that.  I wrote a letter to a PE Teacher advising to administer detention as required as my elder son had lost his PE gear, and until he replaced it he wouldn't have any.

Laws and rules are there for a reason. If you don't agree with them there are legitimate ways (in all sectors of NZ society) to affect change. Use them.

Hold yourself and your kids to account.  It's simply personal responsibility.






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