As a parent there are many things that are very important I prepare my children for. For me, one of those things is the water. I am not the best swimmer, I mean I can swim, but I can not jump in without holding my nose or dive or do flips in the water and all of that fun stuff. My husband on the other hand, without ever even being taught, is a fish! It is just his personality to be daring and try everything and anything, so he was fine with learning later in life and being great at it. So for me, it is very important that my children learn how to swim and how to swim well! Not only for the survival part and for the piece of mind, but also for socialization and confidence. I want them to be confident in and around water and I want us as parents to be confident in them around and in the water.
Last year Gianna started parent and child swimming lessons when she was about 8 months old. She was the youngest one in the class and did wonderful. She loved the water. Parent and child lessons aren't anything too crazy, they are just getting the kids used to the water, teaching them to kick, helping them climb out, dunking them a little bit and putting them on their backs. Then, all winter passed and we hadn't been back in the water. In May we signed up again. This time she was a little older, but still one of the younger children in the class. She wasn't that fond of getting dunked or having her ears in the water, but she did wonderful- again! Classes are 6 weeks on the weekend, so when the session ended we immediately signed her up to continue, why not, right?! So 2 weeks ago when she began her 2nd session, the teacher knew she had been already and was comfortable with her so she let her do a little more advanced skills. She let her swim under water. She pushed her under and she swam and kicked under water towards her daddy. About 5 seconds later she popped up screaming. It felt like eternity and I almost jumped in to rescue her, but when she popped her head out I was screaming Yeah! That's my girl!! I was one proud momma!!!
My husband and I have been on the fence about the infant survival swim lessons ever since last summer. One they are a lot of money, about $700. Two, they are a big commitment, daily for 6 weeks. Three, they are pretty brutal on the kids. The graduation for the course is literally throwing the kid in fully clothed and having them come up, float on their backs to the side of the pool and climb out. AMAZING!!! Especially considering they teach this course to such young children and totally worth every penny, but I just don't think I can do it. I mean my husband is all for it, but I am still on the fence. I still have faith we can teach her to be a great swimmer with these traditional lessons and I am sure we can, but definitely not as quickly as this course. My husband was so gung ho, I actually reached out to sign her up, but there was a LONG waiting list (relief) so for now we will continue with the traditional lessons and try to bring her even during the winter months so she stays comfortable with the water.