Reason #482 Why Defensive Thinking is Critical to Parenting

With the onset of warm weather, the boys are anxiously awaiting the day when the pool is set up and ready to use. Hubby and I have made an effort to make the back yard a fun place to be, with swings and a sandbox, the pool, and this year we added a new feature: a teeter totter.

Well. We had one that is much smaller, but that has been outgrown. When I saw this one in the store over the winter I just knew it would be an amazing addition to the yard.

Sure enough, the boys love it.

The first day after we assembled it, the little guys went out and played on it for an hour straight. Since then, the teeter totter has been the source of a great deal of adventure. It’s a purchase I’m thrilled with.

Fast forward to this weekend, when we dragged the pool up out of the basement and started setting it up in the yard. Of course, after we’d got it set up and started filling there was a huge frost warning for last night. Lol. That’s weather in Michigan. I filled it partially, then hoped for the best. Fortunately, there was no freeze so filling continued this afternoon. Here’s a shot of it today:

After dinner we all went out to play in the yard for a while. When Hubby took the boys in for snack I spent a few minutes checking the yard for stray balls and bats to put away.

I glanced around the yard one last time before going in, and that was when it hit me.

Well here. Take a look for yourself.

Do you see what I mean? Right there….see it?

Internets, if I hadn’t noticed there’s no telling what could have happened.

You do see it.


Boys…teeter totter…pool…I can only imagine what they would have done with that setup.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who need to think defensively.

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15 Responses to “Reason #482 Why Defensive Thinking is Critical to Parenting”

  1. Crissy says:

    Hi Amy,

    My kids would probably try to figure out a way to jump from teetertotter to pool. Where did you find the teetertotter at? That would someting I would like to get my kids probably next year or have santa bring it.

  2. Amy says:

    H Crissy. 🙂 I got the teeter totter at Sam’s Club several months ago. Hang on, I’ll go look at the brand name for you. Okay I’m back. It says Gym Dandy on the bar. I don’t have the box anymore, but I may still have the paperwork if you can’t find it.

  3. Lori says:

    I’m a homeschool mom myself! Not only do we have to be on the defensive when it comes to physical teeter-totters…. but the teeter totter of their moldable little hearts is so very important to defend. I’m sure you’ve spoken of that on this site as well. I’ll be back. Thanks for the reminder of how quick our little ones can be!

  4. Wendy says:

    If you keep it by the pool, it could be a really cool physics project…

  5. Christa says:

    Ah…I’d leave it there Amy. It could be interesting. Just set up a video camera to capture whatever it is! 🙂

  6. Yeah, I reckon it won’t make any difference where you move it (except maybe to Vermont). They’ll find a way to bring the two things together.

    And I love your new banner Amy. Uber cool

  7. Amy says:

    Lori, I’m pleased to meet you! Excellent point about their hearts. It’s something I spend a lot of time considering and hope I don’t totally mess them up before they’re 18.

  8. Amy says:

    Wendy, LOL. Yeah, and then we could get some math lessons in calculating how long it takes for the ambulance to arrive. Oh, and adding up how much the medical bills (or liability suits) would cost.

  9. Amy says:

    Christa. You have mostly girls, lol. Imagine for a moment your boy (4 of him!) and what he could do with the setup.

    The picture is a bit misleading, by the way, because I had to take it in 3 shots and stitch together so you could see it all. The teeter totter is in reality about two feet from the pool. The pic makes it look further. And no I haven’t moved it yet because that thing is heavy! It’ll be moved by this weekend. The water’s too cold to swim in so I figure it’s safe for another day or so.

    The camera idea made me laugh. I’d do it, except I know that someone somewhere would get hurt on this one and then I’d spend the rest of my life with regret.

  10. Amy says:

    Karen, thanks for the compliment on the banner! You’re right about the teeter totter in Vermont thing.

    I wouldn’t mind if they launched things into the pool (non-sharp things that wouldn’t cut the plastic). It wouldn’t take long to decide to launch a boy though,and that’s what both makes me laugh and shudder simultaneously.

  11. WW says:

    I’d leave it in the same spot, but spin it so the temptations are limited – it’s hard to leap sideways off a teeter-totter!

  12. Amy says:

    WW, Great idea!! Unfortunately the yard slopes down a good deal so I don’t know if that would work. I’m going to try it though, for sure.

    The reason I put the teeter there in the first place is to shield it a bit from public view. I was concerned about some of the littler children on the street trying to come and play on it (and getting hurt) when we were gone. In its current location only the “big kids” know it exists. If I move it down by the sandbox it’ll be openly visible.

  13. LaRene Ellis says:

    I’m so glad to see people are thinking ahead. With my children at an older stage of life. I do have some grandchildren and it’s so easy to not think ahead. Sometime, you get out of the practice worrying about safety.

    Yet, the teeter tauter might be perfectly fine where it is. You never know. The danger might be greater if you move it. It would be nice if you could have a crystal ball that would show you the future on the teeter tauter.

  14. Amy says:

    LaRene, thanks for taking the time to comment. Having different perspectives to read only makes everyone’s experience richer. You’re right, I’m taking chances either way. The only way to keep them completely safe would be to wrap them in cotton and stuff them in barrels until they’re 18. Wait…that won’t work either. 😉 All I can do is my best, which I think is moving it. I actually haven’t done that yet because the teeter is very heavy and really needs 2 adults to drag across the lawn. You’re right about the crystal ball being handy. Too bad I don’t have one.

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