I really struggled with if I should write this post but after some thought, I decided it was something that needed to be addressed because I’m sure I’m not the only person who has experienced this. So let me paint a picture for you. You finally get some time off and you head to the beach. You’ve been waiting for and dreaming of sunshine and waves for months. Then, just when you get settled and relaxed, in comes “Terrible Tommy”. You know him; he’s that kid running around destroying sand castles, screaming at the top of his lungs, begging for attention from Dad and trying anything he can to wreak havoc on those around him. And of course, he sits down right next to you.
You almost feel bad for the kid. You know and I know he’s just itching for attention, someone to play with and could use a little guidance and direction but from the looks of it, that’s not happening anytime soon. So, what do you do? You didn’t come all the way here to be miserable and have a bad time. One side of you says address it with the parents, another says just leave it alone. What’s the right answer? Well, truthfully, there isn’t a single right answer. You can’t control how other people behave or respond, only your actions. Knowing that, here are a few suggestions that may help you deal with those unruly kids and get your beach day back on track.
Relocate How to Deal with Kids at the Beach
Unfair I know! Deciding early on to grab your stuff and move to another part of the beach is probably the easiest way to relieve the stress of the entire situation and let you move on from it and have a great time. It’s a pain yes, but you’ll be so glad you went through the trouble.
Patience How to Deal with Kids at the Beach
No matter what transpires throughout the day it’s important you maintain patience. Not only will you need to be a voice of reason, your little ones will watch how you react and respond. Practice patience and kindness and you can feel good that you’ve done your part to help resolve the situation.
Choose your battles: It’s really easy to notice every single thing a kid does wrong once they’ve hit a nerve. I strongly encourage you to put things into perspective and ignore those things that don’t directly affect you or your family. So what if he’s running around destroying everyone else’s sand castles, it’s not your issue to deal with. However, if he’s throwing sand around, that can be incredibly dangerous if it gets in someone’s eyes and you might need to take action.
Distraction How to Deal with Kids at the Beach
Often times when children are acting out they are seeking attention. I’ve found that if you can find your teacher’s voice and redirect them to another activity as part of a group they will comply. “Hey Tommy, please don’t throw sand at Robert, it could get in his eyes and really hurt him. Would you guys like to play with the beach ball instead?” Add on a “Don’t forget to play nice.” This strategy really works for me; maybe it’s my voice or a conscious effort of how I am coming across. Keep in mind that once you decide to interact with a child, you run the risk of a parent not approving. That doesn’t mean you don’t do it, just be prepared for the backlash.
Mom and Dad How to Deal with Kids at the Beach
Ultimately it is the other parent’s responsibility to parent their children. If the unruly child is destroying personal property or being physical with the other children, that is the time to have a discussion and make a plea to the parents. Usually, I find that the parents aren’t aware because they weren’t paying attention or don’t realize how bad it is.
Everyone parent’s differently, your way isn’t necessarily the right way. Don’t approach the situation by telling them what to do. Instead, try introducing yourself and your child and asking for help. The majority of people will respond in a way that matches how you are coming across to them. Remember the motto “Ask Don’t Tell” and you’re golden.
Whatever you do, do not engage in a verbal or physical argument; ultimately this stresses the kids and brings about feelings of guilt and embarrassment. If it escalates to that, walk away. Even if the other parents aren’t receptive to the conversation there’s a good chance they’ll intervene moving forward now that it’s been brought to them.
Don’t let unruly children and a lack of parenting ruin your day at the beach; your family deserves it. In everything you do, practice generosity and love and I truly believe that will be returned to you. Rise above the chaos, be calm in the midst of a storm and make wise decisions to ensure your family has the best beach vacation ever!