"Dear Vonnie" Pool Problems

Each Thursday, I will do my best to answer your questions. I don't pretend to be an expert, but I know it's not easy being a wife and mother. It can be frustrating and discouraging, yet very rewarding. I'd be glad to listen to you, pray for you, and share some of my thoughts with you.

So, ask me something... anything...

Dear Vonnie,

I love the summer weather but we’re a private family with an above ground pool. In the past neighbors pretty much dumped their kids off thinking I was able and interested in having them stay and even swim. I’m very safety conscious and don’t want that responsibility and frankly, my family doesn’t really want the other kids around all the time, either. What’s a good Christian way to handle this?

Pool Problems

Ahhhh... the joys of summer fun! We never had a pool, but we had neighborhood kids that seemed to always appear when we drove in the driveway. A pool complicates things a little more because of the risks.

There has to be a balance between building your family ties and ministering to those around you. It is necessary for you to have time to talk and laugh and work and play with your children. These times are when you learn about them, their strengths and fears. This is when they learn from you.

But...part of growing is learning to reach out to others...even to those who are difficult to be around. How can they know true Christian love unless we show it to them?

"Those that are hardest to love are the ones that need love the most."

I suggest that you talk to the parents. Explain that you and your family have a busy schedule, but their children are welcome to visit occasionally. Tell them that they are allowed to come over to swim with your family at certain times. Maybe it's once a week for a couple hours. Maybe it's once a day for a few minutes. Use it as a time to teach your children to be "missionaries" to those on your street.

I once became bitter about having to babysit a youngster more than the agreed time. The parents would not pick him up until past our supper time. Day after day this happened. Later, after they moved away, the boy said that when he thought of "home", he thought of our house. I was humbled and ashamed. I should have realized that God put him in our home for a reason.

Begin praying for your neighbors. Look for ways to shine for the Lord in your corner of the world.


Lydia said...

Hi Mama, Mind if I take a crack at this one as well?

If the parents would like their kids to get use out of your pool, I would suggest you make a rule that they have to stay with their children and supervise. If the parents have to stay with this children, chances are they won't be there quite as often, AND this will give you an opportunity to be a witness to your neighbor!

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same as Lydia. Neighbors shouldn't just leave their kids with you. Maybe
once or twice a month pool party with all parents present. Sunny

Anna said...

I like your suggestion, Mom. I like Lydia's too, but it reminds me of our Day Camp at church...we don 't want parents to think we're running a free day care, but we also don't want to lose the interraction with the families. If the kids are the only way to talk about the Lord with them, so be it. But MAKE POOL RULES!

Yvonne Blake said...

Yes, that's a good point. Thanks, girls.


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