After a forced vacation from blogging. Thanks to that great virus that going around, and before that, let’s give a huge shout out to the not-so-wonderful family who sent their 11-year old daughter down to Franklin Pool after hours (no lifeguard) on her own with one sibling and two other young kids (ages 4 to 8?) to swim in the deep end of the pool on their own. Yeah, I know. 1. it’s illegal in the State of California for anyone under the age of 14 to babysit particularly in an area that requires adult supervision for safety, and 2., the Alameda Swimming Pool Association membership rules REQUIRE a lifeguard- and CPR-certified adult to be present if/when any kids are in any of the pools….  Tell THAT to her parents.

The parents refused APD mediation to talk with me….I guess the parents would have preferred I asked the police to arrest their child for assault? Why did I ask for mediation? The kid’s ELEVEN and she was out of control. … She got pissed when I told her to keep the three little kids she was watching in the deep end out of my lap lane (swimming under me, hanging off the lane line). I was unaware that there was no parent or guardian supervising her and the three littler ones (you know, I had my head underwater doing laps!) But during a glide, after pushing off the wall upside down (backstroke), she grabbed my lane line, stretched her body all the way under it into my lane, and began repeatedly kicking me in the head, only stopping when I grabbed her leg at her knee (yes, she was THAT far into my lane that her feet were pummeling my head!) and held on until I surfaced. Nice kid. NOT.

Apparently this is the social culture of our middle schoolers now: they will not tolerate being told what to do or what not to do. If you dare to be a responsible adult towards them, they will escalate their behavior against you and feel justified in escalating to an outright attack like it did against me.

So silly me; I thought a parent would want a discussion. Would want to know what had happened. Apparently, not so much.  I’m guessing the parent didn’t want to A. do the hard work of parenting and/or B. wasn’t interested in getting busted for taking the illegal route to getting a summer evening break from the kids in the house. Or maybe this kid’s parents are already afraid of their own kid’s reactions. Either way, it sucks when you get busted for failing to do your job as a parent, right? As that must be the more important issue for them here. Embarrassing that any parent would behave this way; screwed up priorities or what?! I’m guessing the APD will see more from this family in the not so distant future. And that’ll be a shame because good parenting in the moment is key towards guiding the development of a young ‘un and protecting her future.

Me: I spent the next two weeks seeing doctors and in recovery from a seriously re-ignited old neck injury. So that was a neat couple of weeks. NOT.


About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

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