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Monday question: Pooling resources

Posted by Robin Abrahams  September 10, 2012 08:58 AM

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Oh, it still feels just a little summery out there, doesn't it? So let's do a Monday question that celebrates the end of summer. Can your advice help this family have a better Summer '13?

I need some advice. My wife and I decided to put in a pool and build a family room at our house when our 3 daughters were toddlers. We were hopeful that upon becoming teens they would want to hang at home and have friends over. The idea was to ensure their safety and provide for pleasant childhood memories for them and their friends. Well now that they are all teenagers, it seems that our goals have been realized - we constantly have their friends over to hang out or swim.
 

The unanticipated problem we now have is that it is hugely expensive. While many parents are tremendous and do reciprocate hosting at their homes or do send their kids over with something (a bottle of Coke, some cupcakes, a bag of chips, etc.) many do not. They constantly drop their kids off empty handed and sometimes without so much as a towel for the pool. This creates an enormous burden financially. We know we created this situation and we try now to have kids over outside of meal times but it is rarely possible. I mean their kids are eating, drinking, snacking, flushing, etc., don't they get that? Are we rude to directly ask people to bring a pack of hot dogs or case of water once in a while or do we just stop entertaining those kids altogether?

What do you think? Whatever the LW wants to do, he'll be in better shape if he starts off a new pool season with new policies, so let's give him some good advice for next summer. I'll summarize your takes on Friday. 

Also! -- I'm going to try to get a chat scheduled for Wednesday, and don't forget I'm back on Facebook! And don't forget, folks, the minefield-strewn holiday season is just around the corner -- if you've got an impossible in-law coming for Thanksgiving, or an office party to plan, get those questions in today!

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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