Dealing with a Pool and Neighbors- wwyd? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-08-2006, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In October Dh and I moved into our first house. Its in a nice neighborhood in the suburbs and it came with an above ground pool- a fairly large one. Well, apparently the prior owners let the whole neighborhood use the pool- they did have a rule about having an adult present, but they let them use the pool even when they weren't home. Now all the neighborhood kids are asking when we are going to open the pool, and they seem to think they will all get to come use it. Dh and I are rather uncomfortable with this. We are worried about our liability and don't want people in our yard when we aren't out there. But we also don't want to seem unneighborly, and its not just the kids that want to use the pool.

So how would you deal with it? What would you say to the neighbors/kids?

BTW- we have one dd who is 3, earlier this afternoon there were 4 girls about age 12, a 4 year old and our dd all playing in our yard- dd loves the other kids, but I don't even know if their parents knew they were here. All went home nicely when I said it was time for us to have dinner.

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:17 PM
 
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I'd turn into the neighbourhood meanie REALLY fast. ONLY invited guests would be allowed to use the pool.

You do have a good fence that is locked, right ? Not something the neighbourhood kids could climb.

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Old 05-08-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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I'm too scared of being sued. I'd really discourage any idea of pool sharing.
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizaBear
I'd turn into the neighbourhood meanie REALLY fast. ONLY invited guests would be allowed to use the pool.

You do have a good fence that is locked, right ? Not something the neighbourhood kids could climb.

I agree. Also, get a good pool cover. Leave it one unless you are using it.
Good grief. So sorry you have to deal with this...you should just be able to enjoy your pool!!!
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:30 PM
 
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:33 PM
 
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See, I *long* to know my neighbors, but no one seems really interested. It's a bit lonely. I wish I had a neat way to get to know people. I can't address the liability concerns, but I'd just set hours/supervisory ground rules, and if legally advisable, post them in the yard.

Only on x,y, and z days per week, only if there's a car in the drive, only with a 1:2 adult:child ratio, etc. Keep them mostly out of your hair but still allow what is apparently a neghborhood tradition to continue.

Perhaps ask the families interested to pool their resources and consult a lwayer about ways to limit liability, or consult one on your own if it's affordable. I think that this could pontentially be a really good way to integrate into the community and keep community going. At least find out to what degree you can limit liability rather than simply acting out of fear of litigation.
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:38 PM
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Ooooh, sticky situation!



You could just take the darn thing down.


Ok, so I'd just say, to adults, "Oh, we're not sure. I understand it was like the town pool with the previous owners, huh?" ANd then, just drop something like, "Well, we're kinda quiet and a bit anti-social. (haha) You know how it is with toddlers." Make sure it's fenced in, and locked. And, due to the circumstances, I'd put a sign on the pool gate, "NO ADMITTANCE!"

To kids, I'd say, "Sorry, we aren't having everyone swim here this year. our kids are little." And if they bugged me, I'd say, "Why dont you ask your parents to buy a pool?"

Don't worry about how you 'look' to neighbors who only want to use your pool!

Also, 12 yo are too old to be 'playing' with your 3 yo. Ok on occassion, but not often. I'd sit outside with my dd when older kids stopped by. If you want to be friendly, offer homemade popsicles to anyone who stops by.


And if any adult DARES to question the new pool policy, i'd start off with teh dangers of someone getting hurt, not wanting to be sued, and then, if desperate, suggest THEY put in a pool for neighborhood use.


Honestly, we have one GREAT family of neighbors and the only pool in the area. Their kid is invited over, we rarely see the others. (rural area) THe other neighbors wouldnt' DREAM of coming by!
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:40 PM
 
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I agree with pp about maintaining/increasing security for the pool. I think letting neighborhood kids use your pool when you're not home is too risky. Liability aside, how awful would it be if a child drowned in your pool?

You might consider having one morning or afternoon a week be "open pool" and have additional adults around to supervise. I guess that's what tie-dyed is saying, too, but I think you shouldn't allow *any* pool use unless you, personally, are supervising.

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Old 05-08-2006, 11:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tie-dyed
Perhaps ask the families interested to pool their resources and consult a lwayer about ways to limit liability, or consult one on your own if it's affordable. I think that this could pontentially be a really good way to integrate into the community and keep community going. At least find out to what degree you can limit liability rather than simply acting out of fear of litigation.
I don't see how this would be possible. It's private property with a known hazzard - and the property owners are liable for EVERY INJURY that happens on thier property. Regardless of signage, rules, etc. They are liable if someone gets hurt - or worse.

Canadian mom to Boo (Aug '02), Bug (Aug '04) and Bear (Dec '06).
Jesse (July '09)
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:45 PM
 
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It's not worth the risk.
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:48 PM
 
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:59 PM
 
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In our old neighborhood we had similar problems, our rule was they could come to the door and ask, only once per day, all the kids and some of the parents were outside all afternoon/evening so they could pass the word around. If we were going to be swimming(we swam every night we were home ) we usually said yes BUT they had to have at least one parent/adult from their household at all times and DH or I were outside at all times. Also no one could come over to swim after DD was asleep.
Erin

I should add that the parent/adult rule meant alot of times it was their own parents saying no.
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizaBear
I don't see how this would be possible. It's private property with a known hazzard - and the property owners are liable for EVERY INJURY that happens on thier property. Regardless of signage, rules, etc. They are liable if someone gets hurt - or worse.
I don't believe that that is necessarily the case. Laws vary, and limitation of liability agreements can sometimes be very effective. I don't see how it can hurt (other than in terms of cost of course) to consult a lawyer and find out what their options are.
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Its good to know I'm not the weird one.
Thanks for saying how you handled it Erin. I like that idea of making their parents part of the situation.

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:34 AM
 
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Does it have a fence around it with a locking gate? I know most places thats the law anyway, but I'd be sure of that.

I think I would personally probably not allow anyone but close friends. If you do decide to let neighbors in, I would go with only if you (or DH) and the child's own parent are both going to be there. And limit it to one or two times a week, unless you guys are going to be out there a lot, too. Don't put yourselves out too much.
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:34 AM
 
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If you could rule out liability and request that parents be present when any kid swims maybe you could open the pool for an hour or so once or twice a month? Of course if you aren't interested in having them over at all just say "Sorry guys, but we aren't planning on having the pool open to the neighborhood."

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:38 AM
 
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Took me several hours to finish that reply, guess everyone beat me to it.
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:47 AM
 
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Everyone else said it better than I could.
I am thinking of putting in a pool and my neighbor with 4 kids has already said they'd be over "all the time" if I put one in. Her kids aren't always well supervised and have ended up in neighbor's yards before, so that worries me alot!
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Old 05-09-2006, 01:05 AM
 
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OakBerry, in your case, I'd tell your neighbour that you will be charging admission. Make it a joke, but getting your point across. The op, unfortunately, has inherited a precedent.
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Old 05-09-2006, 01:16 AM
 
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If i wanted to still be nice i would say well the last friday of every month we are having a pool party. And leave it at that. If pressed i would talk to the liability and your inability to babysit at a pool with little ones.

I know how crazy it can get once you let a little in. I am the neighborhood "mom" On any given day there are 3-7 kids in my house/yard. I am the "cool mom" becasue i dont scream and have fun toys. DD is barely 2 and these kids range in age from 4-10 years old. They like playing with dd, they like our toys and i think mostly they like being around a mom who isnt screaming at them.
BUT i normally dont mind but it is a hassle to have the doorbell ringing when dd is napping. If you put rules in place right away hopefully you can avoid toomuch insanity.
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Old 05-09-2006, 02:03 AM
 
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You could also use the "flag" rule -- if you have a flag (or whatever) in the front yard the pool is open (and then tack on "if your parent is with you."). It used to drive my dad crazy that neighborhood kids would ring our doorbell all through dinner, so we had a cardboard stop sign that we put up while we were eating. Every age can understand it.
Good luck,
Erin

Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

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Old 05-09-2006, 03:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyMommaToo
You could also use the "flag" rule -- if you have a flag (or whatever) in the front yard the pool is open (and then tack on "if your parent is with you."). It used to drive my dad crazy that neighborhood kids would ring our doorbell all through dinner, so we had a cardboard stop sign that we put up while we were eating. Every age can understand it.
Good luck,
Erin
Excellent idea!
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:56 AM
 
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Keep dumping ice in your pool. If you keep it cold enough, no one will want to use it. Well, no one ever wants to use my pool even though I invite people over. I don't heat it most of the time, and it never really warms up.

I hate having a pool. If I had it to over again, I would not have bought this house.
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Old 05-09-2006, 04:56 AM
 
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Large, locking, unclimable gate with No Trespassing signs on it. That's the first step.

Next step is to talk to the parents (not an older sibling or babysitter) directly. Tell them you understand what the previous owners did, but you won't be allowing neighborhood kids in your pool.

Don't get lax on it, either. If it were me, the kids would have to supervised by a parent (not another adult or sibling) and could only be over if we were already out in the pool.

Jenn
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Old 05-09-2006, 06:31 AM
 
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Is it movable? If it is sell it to someone else. I personally will never have a pool in the yard. It's too risky for little kids. You can always have a small kiddie pool for just your DD. Or you can simply not fill it with water. Tell them you guys can't swim, don't want to risk it, or want to save water...etc.

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Old 05-09-2006, 10:21 AM
 
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I like the having to have a parent with you at all times. Bet most parents would love to let you watch their kids in your pool. The parents would just say no and get on with life in their own yards. I would want to watch my child in any pool so I would hang and we could possibly become friends. You could try it this year and if people don't follow the rule, close the pool for the season to the neighborhood. It is not worth all that.

I love the flag idea that way people will know and not have to bug you every 15 minutes. If people balk at the adult thing, say then I have to hire a lifeguard and charge admission to pay for that lifeguard.

My SIL has an inground pool and her pool has a gate. Her mom planned to just go whenever she felt like it. My SIL said not if she wasn't there. We go over a few times a season usually for a party but never when they are not there etc.

Good Luck,

Doreen
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Old 05-09-2006, 10:38 AM
 
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A fence is the law where I live.

I would take it down. One mishap and you could be sued and lose your house. Not worth it to me.

But if you choose to keep it, you MUST have a fence and a lock.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:05 AM
 
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I'd put up a fence (it's the law here) and discourage people coming over (unless invited).
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:47 AM
 
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What a pain for you! Sorry. My DH liked the idea of buying a house with a pool and I said "No way!" As much as we would enjoy it, I'd hate to deal with your situation. I had a similiar one with a playset in our previous house. The kids all congregated there -- which was fine for a bit but got a bit out of hand (and my son wasn't even 2 at the time). I had to fight the other kids to get MY kid on OUR playset.

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Old 05-09-2006, 12:10 PM
 
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UGH! That stinks. We had a pool growing up, and were the only ones in the neighborhood who had one. The direct neighbord that we had been friends with forever were could use the pool at their leisure. Everyone else was an invite only pool. As in, don't come, unless we invite you. We would occasionally invite people over to swim, only children with adults. But in general, it was "our" pool.

Maybe you could have a neighborhood picnic, and just politely say that you don't want anyone coming over to use the pool with out permision and without an adult, because you're afraid, that your children might decide to wander out there without you, and you aren't sure about liability. Also probably out how may people are allowed in the pool at once so that you can keep the number down. And I love the flag idea too. Afterall, there may be times that you would like to be out there with just your family and no one else to worry about or have to talk to!

 
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