Teddy’s Line…Staying Safe at the Beach

I originally wrote this post three years ago and feel  the need to repost it every year. This technique has been so helpful over the years.

From the very first time he went into the ocean he loved it. He kept crawling toward it and we had to pull him out because as Ted says, “He’s braver than he is smart.” He will just keep going out into the water and not think anything of it.

The first time Teddy went to the beach when he could walk (1 1/2 yrs old)

He didn’t have to go in holding someone’s hand (2 1/2 yrs) and stayed there until dragged out

Two years ago this became a big problem. He didn’t want to get out of the water and I didn’t want to spend the entire day standing there with him, so I would let him go in by himself.

Don’t worry, I didn’t let a four year old just wander around, at this point in time I didn’t take the kids to the beach by myself. We would go and there would be at least five adults, someone was always watching.

I had to keep going and telling him he was in too deep. My dad said something about a line, and it dawned on me. I had a Sharpie in my bag. I called Teddy over and drew a line right on his stomach. I told him he couldn’t go out in the water past that line or he would have to come and sit down.

His first line (it was high because someone still sat close to the water)

Well, he went into the water and after every step he took, he looked down to see if he past the line.

I worked like a charm. I am a genius! I don’t have to keep getting up and telling him to come closer anymore.

The level of the line can change depending on the waves or how well he stayed below it the last time.

This week’s line

He knows if he sees me standing at the edge of the water with my hands on my hips that he went too far. He doesn’t even argue about it anymore. He comes out, he sits down (it’s usually the only time I can reapply sunscreen), has a bite to eat and then he goes back out when he’s done his time.

This is what happens when you go past the line

It usually happens once or twice at the beginning of the summer, the more he does it the longer he has to sit.

We’ll see how many times he has to sit this summer.

28 thoughts on “Teddy’s Line…Staying Safe at the Beach

  1. Such a great idea! I Love it. I also love the "he's braver than he is smart." Stephanie is the same way! No fear whatsoever and she loves the ocean. Gives me a heart attack every time.

  2. That’s actually a brilliant idea. I think I am going to do that with my two the next time we hit the beach.

  3. That’s actually a really good idea. I don’t know if I could really do that with my girls because of their swim suits though…but I do love this idea. It’s a great way to keep kids safe.

  4. This is a fantastic idea. I wish I would have thought about doing that with my kids. I was always worried they would go in to far.

  5. There are certain times in our parenting careers where we have ideas that are just so genius, it’s almost unbelievable. This was your time. That was absolutely brilliant thinking.

  6. It’s very important to keep the kids safe at the beach. My daughters love going to the beach and building sand castles. They also enjoy getting their feet wet in the water! We’ll be heading to the beach in a week or so!

  7. What an ingenious idea. My kids were that braver than smart kid at one time. My husband usually spent as much time in the water as the kids did. Don’t know if that was because he liked the water or he wanted to givve me peace of mind.

  8. Oh my gosh! We are going to the beach next week and I was wondering how I was going to deal with this exact problem! Now I have the perfect solution! This is so smart!

  9. I take the kids to the ocean all of the time and my sons are super fearless, well mostly the youngest one. I will have to try this technique on him. Curious if it will work!

  10. Wow! This is such a great idea! What a great visual for the kids to see as they become a little more independent in the water. I never would have thought of this! Kudos to you, Mama!

  11. I have to admit that this is indeed an awesome idea especially for boys. This is something I have to share with my sister and nieces for their little ones who love the water and think they are invisible. Thanks for the tip.

  12. What a great idea. I am that mom though that has to go in with my kiddos. I would love to use this for my boys, would still be very useful!

  13. This is such a great idea to keep kids from going too far out!! I have a couple of independent nieces and nephews and this trick would work great on them!!

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