This summer has been a busy but fun one!
We’ve been working so hard this summer to get this little girl out of floaties and swimming ! She was so dependent on them she didn’t want to get in without them.
Whenever people ask I always say, ” Teach them to have fun in the water but to respect it. Work with and play around with them, teaching them pool safety but don’t really push swimming until age 4. ” Some children are ready before then but some are not.
It’s been like dejavu ~ I had to beg, bribe & make her momma jump in by herself, jump off the diving board & go down a pool slide.
After all the kids & adults I taught to swim, you think I’d have kids & grands who were water- babies !
But, hey, you’ve got to be patient & celebrate EACH Little Win !
Teaching a child (or adult) to swim or do anything is challenging.
Some are hesitant to try or fearful of how they’ll do.
Being in a class setting is both helpful and hard at the same time. They get to see others doing the activity and may be encouraged to try. Some are afraid of how others will view them if they struggle or are not successful.
As the teacher, you know they can do it but it’s a matter of convincing them that they can. This is an even tougher challenge when it’s your child or grand…teaching and parenting requires a lot of psychology !
I encouraged Whitney to enroll Maeley in our cousin’s swim class while we were going to be gone on vacation.
When she finished the lessons, she was still hesitant to put her face in the water, something we had been working on for a few weeks and something that is very helpful when learning to swim.
We’ve had her in the pool practicing as much as possible and the day after she finished lessons she started swimming. Mind you, her strokes were not pretty. at first She was slinging her arms around but she was swimming !!!!
Maeley continues to improve each time she swims and yesterday she swam across the width of the pool, coming up and taking a couple of breaths in the process !! We are so proud of her efforts and she absolutely loves it.
We’re still working on building her confidence and challenging her.
We’re working on going from the shallow end to the deeper water and the diving board.
We had a couple of children over to swim and they were going off the diving board. One was an older girl who is swimming well and the other a 2 year-old who was using her “puddle-jumper. ” Maeley wanted to try it with her “floaties” but they were at home so our neighbor let her borrow the “puddle-jumper.” To our surprise, she got up on that diving board and jumped off without hesitation !
Now to get her doing it without a device…. that will take a lot of encouragement and patience.
That’s the way it is when we start anything new or challenging.
We’re scared of new trying things.
Our brain tells us there may be danger and tries to keep us from putting ourselves at risk.
We know there is a healthy fear and then there’s the one that hold us back from doing living and enjoying activities like swimming.
My mom never learned how to swim because her mother was scared of the water…
The other thing is that we have a fear of looking foolish because we generally don’t do new things well at first.
We usually look clumsy and feel very awkward but as we practice we get better and better. After 7 years of running, I’m still working on my form!
I want Maeley to be less fearful about trying new things and not be as concerned about how she looks doing it.
If you’re not challenging yourself a little now and then you’ll get stagnant.
Don’t worry about how you look to others when you’re trying something new.
Better to try and fail than to live with regret.
It doesn’t matter.
As Mark Twain said:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you don’t do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
And I’ll add this one: Learn to Swim !