Friday, July 10, 2015

Adventures in Parenting - Swimming Lessons

Summer is here, okay...maybe it has been here for a few months...this is Florida I am talking about. In our family, the warm weather means one thing—lots of time at the pool. 

My husband and I were both swimmers growing up, so I think E inherited our love of water. Last year we did mommy and me swimming lessons. They were fun, but did very little to make her any safer in the water. 

Fun, but not much safety
This year we went all in and enrolled E in survival swimming lessons at the beginning of April. She was about 20 months old when she started. I was a little nervous about the lessons because they are intense. E swam 10-minutes a day, 5 days a week for about 5 weeks (we had some rain and vacation days in the mix, so it was longer in calendar weeks). Managing the schedule with work and all the other demands on my time was tough, but so worth it.

The first week was the hardest. There were a lot of tears from E and a few from me. Deep down I knew it was the right thing to do, but it is hard to see your child, who previously loved the water, start crying as you pulled up to swimming lessons.

I don't know if I like this floating thing
We turned a corner during the second week. There were some things she didn't like to do, but she (and we) were enjoying the lessons more. The lollipop at the end of the lesson didn't hurt either. 

As we moved through the rest of the lessons, it was amazing to see her progress. She started to understand that it was important to roll and float if she fell in the water. She also started asking to go swimming and was enjoying the water again.

Wrapping up by showing I can swim in clothes
After official lessons were over, we decided to stay on for maintenance lessons a couple times a week. E can now swim then float and then roll back over and swim again. She can jump in, come up to the surface and roll on her back. It is amazing how many comments we get when we are swimming at our neighborhood pool. I think that E may be part fish.

My little fish
I looked at a number of options in our area and decided that Cathy Perez at Swimspot Swim School would be the best option for us. She is amazing and has been wonderful working with our very stubborn child. Nothing takes the place of watching a child, but knowing she can help herself in the water gives me a little more piece of mind.