We belong to the neighborhood pool, and the kids are having a blast with their friends swimming this summer. I find the experience to be a bit nerve-wracking though, as my kids are not expert swimmers (actually they are hardly even considered novices). I wanted them to take lessons, but they wanted nothing to do with getting to the pool early in the morning when it’s cooler out. I asked again and again, but they really DID NOT want to and I wasn’t about to battle it out with them every morning. In any case, I decided I would help them on my own. I was a lifeguard for years growing up, I was on the high school and summer league swim teams, and I even trained lifeguards to receive their certifications. I have taught others to swim, so why not my own kids?
They are listening and doing well, but they are also getting REALLY brave and that’s what makes me nervous. I know I need to let them try and learn on their own as well, but after reading about drowning as a silent killer, like in Elizabeth Atalay’s post, I know it can happen and happen quickly. My son jumps off the side continuously for an hour, and many times he comes close to hitting his head on the side (no matter how many times I tell him to, “Jump out farther!”). My daughter also wants to go in the “deep end” all the time, and I can tell she gets tired a lot swimming back to the side. I know I need to let it go a bit, let them explore and have fun, and let them improve and learn for themselves without being afraid. It’s just very hard to do (especially on float night – UGH!). Maybe one year soon I will be comfortable enough to sit and read at the pool while my kids swim and play? I hope so! We’ll see!
* How do you deal with kids that are learning to swim?