When you decided to install a swimming pool in your backyard, you probably considered all the benefits that would come with your decision: more family time, a healthier lifestyle and less time sitting on the couch. What you may not have realized, however, is that your swimming pool would become a magnet for the neighborhood kids.
Some homeowners admit that their swimming pools attract the neighbors. And it’s understandable why.
It’s hot in the summer, and parents don’t always have the time to drag their kids to the local public pool or the money to invest in a pool pass. They also may not want to waste the entire day sitting at the pool, chasing their kids around or dealing with hundreds of other kids. A couple of hours in their neighbor’s clean, close and free pool sounds much more appealing.
But, even though you can understand the appeal (that’s why you bought a pool after all), that doesn’t mean you want to share your swimming pool with the neighbors. So how do you handle this issue without causing tension?
Know What You’re Comfortable With
First, decide what you feel comfortable with. It’s hard to be honest and direct with your neighbors if you haven’t committed to your own set of rules. Here are some things to think about.
- Is it acceptable for neighbors to come over with an invitation? Or would you rather keep your pool personal and private?
- Are you comfortable with kids swimming in your pool without their parents being there?
- Are you OK with your kids inviting friends over on their own? Or would you prefer them asking you first?
- Is your swimming pool equipped with the necessary safety features, such as a fence? Is the water sanitized and balanced?
At the end of the day, it’s your pool and you get to make the rules. Discuss the rules with your family members so that everyone is aware of what the expectations are. This will keep the lines of communication consistent with your neighbors as well.
Be Honest with Your Neighbors
Honesty is the best policy. Be direct and upfront from the start, otherwise you are going to give off mixed feelings and your neighbors may continue to ask. If you want your pool to be your own personal oasis, say so. It’s perfectly acceptable to want to enjoy your pool on your own and not have to be a lifeguard to other children.
If you’re okay with neighbors coming over on occasion, tell them you’ll be happy to give them an invitation when you’re ready. Also make sure that you are clear about the rules, such as the fact that you may expect the parent to be there.
For most people who have swimming pools, they do enjoy inviting friends and family over from time to time. But they also enjoy having their pool to themselves – which is why they made the investment in the first place!