Good manners at the beach!
Has it ever happened that your children cut themselves on a piece of glass on a beach? How many times has it happened that you found a piece of a can while playing with your child in the sand? Are you okay with your child playing in the sand full of cigarette butts? Do you like it when a chewing gum sticks to your swimming trunks? Do the same rules which apply at home also apply at the beach, that a banana skin or chewing gums are thrown into a trash bin?
I’m not sure that the parents would dare to let their kids walk barefoot or crawl at the beach if they knew about all sorts of things one can find in the sand. On the other hand, I want to believe that all parents spend some time with their kids explaining what good manners at the beach are, demonstrating themselves how to behave at the beach and where they can find a trash can.
Rules of conduct, no matter if you’re on holiday with your kids or alone, apply to the
As you sow, so shall you reap: You want your child stop using diapers. Okay, you’re not the only one. It happens, once you make your child comfortable, especially at the beach, that the child starts leaving things behind. Nothing to worry about. But, once the child leaves the thing behind, don’t cover it with sand. Get down and pick it up with a beach bucket or a little shovel and take it to the place it should be taken. Tomorrow your child will play there again, and not only your child, but other children as well.
On the other hand, it is desirable that babies wear the water-resistant diapers, and I hope that older youngsters know exactly where the toilet is. It also applies to adults.
Let’s not leave traces behind: The beach and the sea are not a trach can, or an ashtray. If a trash can is far away from the place where you’re having your time with your children in the sand, or alone, put the trash aside in a bag, but don’t forget to take the bag with you once you leave the beach. If you leave the trash behind, and your child sees that, don’t scold him/her in the future for doing the same, because you were his/her role model.
You’ve spotted a little blue flag on the beach, it means that someone has put the effort to make the beach clean. You should know that the place with the blue flag is a place of a high quality water, clean beach, safety, quality service.. So, leave the beach in the state you would like to come back to in the morning.
They haven’t written it for nothing: If you hear the whistle sound on the beach, check if the child the beach lifeguard is warning is maybe yours. It’s not without a reason that a warning states that swimming or diving is prohibited beyond the marked parts of the coast, or near the rocks, not to mention jumping. The beach lifeguards are not police officers, they are there to help us and ensure a safe surrounding for all the swimmers.
After the whistle sound and the announcement of the end of swimming by a beach lifeguard, I sit down and observe the parents playing cards undisturbed, while their kids are still swimming in the sea. Let’s follow the rules, which are there for us and for the safety of our children…
Fish don’t eat watermelon and crisps: We enter their world on a daily basis, the world I love so much and the one that makes us feel great, but on the other hand, we don’t pay much attention to whether it makes them feel great too. It could if we followed the rules of their world, and if we didn’t throw fruit or food rests into the water. Well, it’s the sea, it’s huge, nothing bad will happen, it will clean itself eventually… WELL, IT WON’T! IT’S FULL AND CAN’T DIGEST ANY MORE TRASH!
It breaks my heart when we take our morning walks at the beach and I see some crisps bags and pieces of watermelon in the shallows, a few dead fish, jellyfish, starfish thrown out by the sea…
Apart from these apparently banal rules, every beach has its own rules of conduct. It’s not bad to talk with your children about this sometimes, because it’s unbelievable how quickly we forget what our parents taught us, and what we teach our children. So, let’s start from ourselves and show our kids, with our own example, that the beach also deserves to be clean!