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|