Beach House Diaries: 7 Tips for Hosting Kids

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I spend so much time running through the potential pitfalls of Pictou Island that the parents of some prospective young guests have asked if I was intentionally trying to discourage them: occasionally I am. Not every child is cut out for our kind of extreme beach housing; however, even if your place is a palace issues can still arise. Here are some tips for handling incoming kids.
  • If you suspect that a particular tot would have a hard time handling bugs, bad weather or even a strange bed, don't issue an invitation.
  • Hungry kids are grumpy kids, so are tired ones. Hence it helps to know in advance if you have a finicky eater or insomniac on your hands.
  • If a youngster is coming for the first time unaccompanied, do everyone a favor and explain the house rules in an age-appropriate manner.
  • If Mom and Dad are tagging along, gently remind them that you're not running a daycare -- in other words, they're not absolved of all duties.
  • With that said, accompanying parents should defer to hosts' judgment. There may be a reason why they won't let your toddler drive a Jet Ski.
  • Although scavenger hunts, beach house Olympics and such can be fun, you shouldn't overschedule. Remember, children like to relax too.
  • Guests of any age should be game for games. OK, maybe charades are lame. But if playing is a host-family ritual, it's polite to participate.

Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb will report on life at a summer beach house in AOL Travel's weekly Beach House Diaries. Follow along with her or share your beach house tips in the comments below.
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