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Spin off ~ would you have spoken up


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I went on a outing with two other homeschool families the other day. One has 1 child the other has 10 , I went with my youngest 2 children. Some of the children (not mine) decided that they wanted to go paddling in the ocean. So they get changed and go into the water. fine and good, though I find the water in winter to be a little cold for me. her older ones , plus my two youngest ask if they can go for a short walk in the bush. no problems :coolgleamA: the mother then said to us adults lets go for a walk along the beach.. we start going for a walk and after about 500 meters I ask about her children in the water and leaving them unsupervised The mother replied that as long as the children were obedient and didn't go out above heir waist they would be fine. :ohmy: I am talking about the OCEAN! there are waves over children head. :scared: The oldest in the water was 8 the youngest 3 five children total in the water. the mother wanted to continue on our walk around the point of the beach. So would you have said something to her?

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I mentioned something to the mother about leaving children unsupervised on the beach and she told me she wasn't worried as her children are mostly obedient. I replied that I was worried for her and insisted in us all walking back to where the children were swimming. I know for a fact ( as the beach is just about in front of my house) that 3 adults have drowned at that beach in the last 5 years... and that her children can only doggy paddle.

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I would have told her about the people drowning. People often don't realise how dangerous a particular beach can be. A stranger came up and warned me in March when I let my 9 and 12yo daughters go waste deep into the waves that it was much more dangerous than it looked because of a strong back current. I was very glad that he did and called them back.

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I think at least 1 if not 2 adults should have been with the kids. My dd just turned 3 and can swim some. I would not let her in ocean without an adult in the water within reach of her unless it was right along the edge where she were filling up a bucket or something. No way would I consider an 8 year old capable of being an adult in this situation.

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that was the thing that struck me as well.

 

 

Sad that she doesn't realise that. Maybe you could talk to her about it in the future, don't allocate blame or she will get defensive, but try and educate her to the dangers?

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I would have stayed and told her that I am a little paranoid and couldn't enjoy our walk if I was thinking about those kids. I don't let my 11yr old out of my sight at the ocean and even get concerned if I can't find DH and both of them swim. I don't usually think of myself as a worrier, but for stuff like that I guess I am. The combination of water, crowds, and kids worries me more than almost any other type of kid situation.

 

We were at birthday party with a big inflatable water slide that had a pool at the bottom that was about 20 inches deep. It was crazy with probably 10 kids 6-10yrs old who did not know the baby going up and down and jostling each other. Some lady brought her 1yr old out there in his diaper and went back into the house to chat with the other moms. :confused1: I spent the entire party by that pool/slide even though my kids were out and done because I couldn't stand to walk away from the baby. The mom kept telling me he was fine but I could only picture the baby falling and none of the boys noticing him.

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I'm another one who would have said something and insisted on watching them swim myself if the parent wouldn't. I do try to be kind with my words and say something about my concerns.

 

I'm often surprised at how so many people think accidents are somehow planned or only happen to non-obedient children.

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We don't live near an ocean, so it is not often that we swim in one. However, when we do, I am super-paranoid about my kids being out in the water. Last summer, my kiddos were 8 and 4. Neither of them were allowed to go out in the ocean (even just to their waist) without an adult. My oldest is a great swimmer - he's on the swim team and swims several times per week. But I do not want him out in the ocean alone!

 

I definitely did the right thing. I could not have walked off and let my friend's children alone out in the ocean. I agree with the PP who suggested that maybe you can bring it up again in a non-confrontational way.

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My kids are strong swimmers, but the ocean??? No one should swim unsupervised in the ocean.

 

We have a pool and I still keep an eye on my dd15 and her friends when they are in there. Accidents are just that, accidents. They are not planned, and sometimes no one is even at fault. Things happen.

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As a teen I was a strong swimmer and had Red Cross advanced training in the ocean- yet one day I almost drowned (a girlfriend saved me) in the ocean in an area I knew well because of being more tired than I realized and a stronger than normal rip current and a malfunctioning bathing suit. No way would I leave children. Insane.

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Give her a copy of The World According to Garp, there is an extended bit about currents and undertow there.

 

It is no question not safe to leave a little kids alone in the ocean unsupervised. No question.

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i don't leave adults in water without a pair of eyes on shore, so no way would i leave children.

i would have done as you did... and then perhaps not gone to the beach with her again.....

 

is she australian? does she remember/know that an australian prime ministery drowned taking a dip?

the currents are notorious. it just seems so odd.... (notice we aren't even talking about sharks....)

 

curiouser and curiouser,

ann

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I grew up on the ocean. Everyone I know had parents that made them take swim lessons. Even with swim lesson and being in the ocean since we were tiny, we never went in unsupervised.

 

I would have told the mom, "Sorry, I'm just a worry wart, I"m going to stay here".

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i don't leave adults in water without a pair of eyes on shore, so no way would i leave children.

i would have done as you did... and then perhaps not gone to the beach with her again.....

 

is she australian? does she remember/know that an australian prime ministery drowned taking a dip?

the currents are notorious. it just seems so odd.... (notice we aren't even talking about sharks....)

 

curiouser and curiouser,

ann

 

Yes she is Australian. she use to be more concerned about her children.. but lately she has become very vague.

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Yes she is Australian. she use to be more concerned about her children.. but lately she has become very vague.

 

 

This change in behavior/attitude would worry me more than any other aspect of the situation.

 

Did she give birth recently? (thinking PPD), or any trauma, major life changes? Maybe she's just overwhelmed raising several children.

 

Whatever the case, I would suspect depression. I don't know how well you know her or how much you could do to intervene, but she should see a doctor. I would be worried for her dc's safety in general under those circumstances.

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:blink: :huh: :scared:

 

Yeah, I would have stayed with the children while the others left. No way would I have allowed children to swim in the ocean unsupervised.

 

 

I would've stayed as well, no matter what the mother was saying.

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Somebody should have actually been in the water with those kids not just watching. That is so dangerous. Is this woman not used to the ocean so ignorant of its danger? They are FAR too young to be left alone. We don't even leave our 15 year old alone yet as she is not a strong swimmer.

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There should have been an adult who is a strong swimmer in the water.

 

Even when children are good swimmers and even when they are "obedient", they are children and have all te maturity and judgement of an 8 year old or a 3 year old. Water is dangerous at a pool. The ocean is incredibly dangerous. I am a very strong swimmer, I love swimming in the ocean, and I am extremely cautious swimming in the ocean.

 

Is the woman depressed? Her lack of care is disturbing.

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I don't think even great swimming adults should swim alone in the ocean.

 

If she isn't normally stupid and is normally more concerned, I'd have a private conversation with her, maybe? You have to be very close to a woman for that kind of convo about her mothering, iykwim.

 

ETA: maybe I'm paranoid. We just got a 4' above ground pool and no one is allowed in it unless I am outside. So the ocean? No way.

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When we were recently at the beach, we had four adults watching four children (11, 8, 4, and 1), and only the 11yo was allowed waist deep without an adult right next to her (and even then, we did call her back when she went out too far, because of the strong under currents). No way do you want to mess with water safety. I'd have said something or gone back to keep an eye on the kids.

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My dc are 13 and excellent swimmers. On ocean beaches when they are playing in the surf, I am constantly reminding them to stay ONLY in the area with lifeguards. Waves are not always uniform. You think you're OK and then a giant wave comes -- if you are not watching you WILL be knocked over.

 

Once, in the Caribbean, I was standing on dry sand at the water's edge after a hurricane. The waves were tiny. But one of them had some kind of hidden power. It knocked me down and swept me 20-30 ft up the beach. I'll never forget the feeling of utter powerlessness. It didn't help, either, that the beach was a coral one, so I cut and bloodied when the wave finally finished with me.

 

I agree with Ellie. I would have stayed with the kids and tried to get another adult to stay with me. If I couldn't get another adult, I might have pulled the kids out of the water.

 

ETA Of course I am speaking with benefit of having some time to ponder. In the actual situation, I would probably done exactly what you did and agonized about it later.

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