So… summer is official apon us, hooray! What to do now? Getting out for a little summer fun perhaps? Well there are manners involved with sharing public spaces like a pool, park or even at a neighborhood party. Knowing how to act and react this summer while out and about will make for a more pleasant time! You remember the “Lions and Tigers and Bears…oh my” in the movie Wizard of Oz? Well they can all co-exist, and so can we if we are mindful of our manners…check out these unlikely friends at the zoo.
I guess you are asking is how? Well Mother, May I can toss you a lifepreserver of mannerly tips that will keep your summer cool and enjoyable!
So for the pool…
- Mind your manners! Unless you are at an all inclusive in the islands, leave food and drink poolside. The last thing anyone wants is a taco floating in the public pool.
- Don’t stare! It is impolite to stare anywhere, but a pool where people are in bathing suits, the temptation to look longer at a swimsuit faux pax is greater. Use your indoor/ outdoor voice…though it is understandable have excitement levels high about being outdoors, there is no need to rachet the decible levels up on your voice or your music.
- Be mindful of your space and others: This goes for laying out your towel or when you are leaving and shaking off your towel. Take a look at those around you to make certain you are not going to disturb. Splashing in the pool is fun, but when it continuous and reckless that is rude…so no cannonballs when lots of people are in your splash zone.
- Don’t bring things to the pool that you may not be willing to share. This is for you parents, if your child has a favorite toy that you decide to take to the pool, understand that other kids may like it too. To avoid any hardfeelings or a meltdown, I would leave those important toys at home.
So for the park… the suggestions for the pool apply to heading out to the parks this summer, but there are a few others that are park specific.
- Leave No Trace Ethic. It is very simple: leave the place you visit the same or better than you found it; leave no trace of your having been there, so that others – both human and animal – can enjoy the place the rest of the year. With 75% of Americans admitting to littering, well cutting that in half would make a huge impact on the ecology and the economy!
- Respect Mother, Nature and the rules of the park! If there is a sidewalk or trail that will get you to your destination, use it vs. trampling through the grass or forest. Practice this with your kids by suggesting they use the sidewalk vs bolting across the grass at your next neighborhood party.
So speaking of parties… again the suggestions for the pool and the parks apply to heading out to parties this summer, but there are a few extras to be mindful of.
- RSVP! Just take the extra 5 minutes to check your calendar and respond. There have been huge gaffs when people don’t…take the client party for the Blue Ribbon Bag Company for instance. Why put your gracious host under pressure by having to handle your showing or no-showing.
- Kids will be kids… but at someone else’s home it is your responsibility as parents or guardians to keep your children under control. The best way to do this is decide with your children the ground rules and the penalties before you step out of the car.
Mindful manners is what can make a good time great! So get out there and share some sunshine!
As the Beetles sang so sweetly “Here comes the sun…and I say, it’s all right.”
Thank you for reading and enjoy your summer!
Lisa and Demetria…
Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts