Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Learning to swim

Summer is upon us and that means it’s pool season! And though my five year old does not know how to swim and does NOT like putting her face underwater, she does love playing in the water.

We’ve tried a couple of different swim schools. The first was a little too sink-or-swim style for my sensitive girl (or maybe for her momma). She didn’t cry, but as we arrived each night there would be several of the older kids sobbing and sopping, sitting on the edge of the pool, dreading their turn to be prodded into the water. I just don’t believe kids learn well when they’re that miserable. And as far as my daughter went, there wasn’t really enough one-on-one time to inspire her to push forward.

The second location was more in sync with her learning style. We signed up for the sessions early in the spring, before every class was booked to the gill, resulting in a couple of nights she had an instructor all to herself. She did well and was much more comfortable with the water and some of the exercises by the end of the lessons. She would still declare “I’m not going to put my face underwater!” as we drove to lessons, but complied with the dreaded task when required (usually at the end of the lesson time.)

This year, our spring flew by with birthday parties, Easter, spring break and life in general. I still thought I might try to fit lessons in, but also believed if I could get her around other kids her age who were swimming - or at least enthusiastically floating, splashing and sticking their face in the water - that would be the best motivator around (learning by peer pressure! – a benefit us Moms of only children have to be a little more intentional about pursuing.).

Sure enough, at a family reunion this weekend she got to swim with kids who swim. At first she refused to try her goggles (all the other kids were wearing them); but when one of the boys mentioned that there were roly polys at the bottom of the pool, that did the trick! She donned her goggles in search of the beloved insects. No – I didn’t warn her they’d all be dead. I’m not about to squelch something that finally motivates her to stick her face in the water! She tried it and did great - wasn’t too traumatized by the current state of the bugs. And although she insisted on holding her nose each time, she proceeded to wear the goggles and bob her head into the water.

Last night, a friend posted her own frustrations with the swimming saga on Facebook, and someone offered contact information to a nearby “swim whisperer.” Not above taking full advantage of the networking powers of FB, I quickly requested the information, checked out the instructor’s own FB page and saw her post notifying that she had a few openings for the next session.

So guess who’s going to swim lessons today! I have high hopes. I truly believe that it’s going to be one of those things that, once it clicks, she’ll do great and really “dive in” to the fun.

Did your kid(s) come out loving the water and ready to go in, full face forward? Or were they a little more cautious like mine? Any tricks to motivating a little fish?

Amy McCall is a Marketing Manager for Texas Health Resources and Mom to one daughter.

No comments:

Post a Comment