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Swimming pool politics

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My daughter had a friend over yesterday. They were invited to go swimming in a pool and there was a mad dash to put on swimsuits, get towels, and slather on sunscreen. In all the excitement, I forgot to ask if the friend could swim. I took over some armband floaties for the friend just in case.

Now, these were my daughter’s old armband floaties. She hasn’t used them in years. In fact, she’s told me armband floaties are for babies. So I did run the risk of insulting the little girl.

As it turned out, the friend couldn’t swim, and needed the floaties. My daughter swims well and I wasn’t worried about her. If I had I taken my daughter the floaties she would have been embarrassed. So imagine my surprise that my daughter became jealous and spent the whole swim period sulking by the pool. She got her feelings hurt, thinking I favored the other girl by bringing her water toys.

I didn’t know my daughter was so sensitive. More and more it seems like I always do the wrong thing. I can’t win. I imagine this will get worse as she develops into a teenager, and I really don’t know how to fix this. I guess I’ll just have to keep plodding along, being the mom that always screws up and does the wrong thing. If she wants to see things that way, there is really nothing I can do about it. Sob.

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About Parker Owens


    Kids are kids. You could have whispered to your daighter how proud you were that she didn’t need floaties and told her how proud you were of her swimming ability out of earshot of her friend.

  • She could have been told to share.

    My two and a half year old has had enough melt downs over this issue but has finally understood that other kids temporarily play with his toys and leave without taking any of his precious cargo.

    It will get easier provided you stick to your guns and explain the concept of sharing

  • jarboy

    seems the key (as in most things) is communication. next time, before you give your child’s things to someone else to use, talk to her about it first. “honey, i brought along your old water wings just in case your friend doesn’t know how to swim as well as you do. do you mind if she uses them? maybe you could ask her if she wants to use them.”