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Don’t Let Parenting Slide

, , , , , | Right | August 11, 2023

I am a lifeguard at a large water park. We have several water slides, with some being quite the thrill ride. Children smaller than the minimum height requirement are obviously not allowed to take the slide. This is signposted everywhere, especially at the start of the line to the slide to stop people wasting time waiting for a slide they can’t ride.

I see a kid with his mother and from experience, I already know he’s too small to ride. He excitedly runs up to the slide and I stop him.

Me: “Whoa, there, buddy, let’s put you up against the measuring stick first!”

The kid stands on his tiptoes, but I take this into account.

Me: “Sorry, buddy, you’re too small for this ride. We have lots of others for you though, such as—”

The mother immediately jumps in.

Mother: “How could you! He had his heart set on this slide! You need to let him on it!”

Me: “Ma’am, for his own safety I can’t do that.”

Mother: “He’s going to be upset all day! As his mother and I say it’s okay! You’re just a lifeguard! All you have to do is stop him from drowning!”

Me: “Ma’am, by preventing him from going down this slide that is exactly what I am doing.”

The mother opened her mouth to protest but others in the line shouted at her for making the rest of them wait. She walked back down with her son, who seemed mildly disappointed but more embarrassed about his mom’s behavior. I hope the little guy had a good day in the end.