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Sunday, September 26, 2010

All in time

I am not a good swimmer at all. I can swim enough to stay afloat in a pool, I can even swim in a lake if I must. I am confident that I could swim enough to stay safe should I accidentally fall into some deep water and I'm not weighted down or tangled up. That being said, the reason for my swimming deficiency is because I grew up with a fear of water, one that was only overcome because of a desire to graduate High School. You see in my high school one semester of swimming was required to graduate, so I took the non-swimmers course and learned enough to get me by.

Now, because of my experiences as a child I took a very different approach to teaching my children to swim. I kept their swimming experiences positive allowing them whatever floaties, suits, and vests that they felt they needed in order to be confident and feel safe. My oldest boy has done well over the years, he's always been a bit of a fish and loves the water. He has always been the one that jumps right in as soon as swimming season hits, and he's always been the more daring one when it comes to jumping into the water, going under water, and trying to swim without floats. My middle boy however, was always the child that took a full month to decide it was safe to come off the second step and into the water, he has always required that we give him a life vest to wear in the water to keep him from drowning. He was the child that I thought would never learn to swim.

As it turns out, this summer they both learned to swim on their own time, at their own pace, and without floaties. It is quite an accomplishment for them, and they are very glad to have learned. They now swim both under and above the water, and at the rate they are going will be better swimmers than their mama in no time at all! I know that some don't like floaties for children, but for us allowing them to use the floaties until they were confident in their abilities was the best choice.

I am one happy mama, I have two swimmers now, who love the water and never had to overcome a fear of it just to graduate high school!


  1. Aren't children different. One of my boys was like your 2nd son ~ honestly it used to drive me batty because he could actually swim. Then there was Star who is really bouyant ~ in the rear end. Put her in water & she goes *bottom up* immediately. We didn't use floaties & vests but I used to hold my hands under their chests & gradually let go until they realised they were self propelled. If they paniced & started to sink I was right there. Similar method for learning to ride a bike. I must have been made. And delusional. I know I was exhausted. Wonder why. ☺

  2. @ Seeking - Yes, just one more, and he already is in love with water. Next year he'll have one of those suits with build in floaties and we'll see what happens.

    @ Ganeida - Yes, they are all so different. It will be interesting in the coming years to see how the little one will be. I think I would have held them up in the water myself as well, except I only have two hands and three little boys...

  3. Birbitt, have you seen this? http://infantswim.com/

    You really have to see a video of it in action...so cool!


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