Adventures in Swimming
By Guest Rachel a Baby Sitting Professional:
I have two children, one boy and one girl who are seven years apart. Both of my children were unique in their swimming techniques but both caused equal anxiety on the part of their parents. I have heard stories about learning to swim from many parents and it seems that everyone has their own way of coping or not coping with this time in their children’s lives. If you have a child that took to water immediately you are blessed because that is not the case with most of the children I have been around, including myself.
I have a healthy fear of water but my fear has not always been healthy. I was the kind of kid that was okay as long as my feet were touching bottom. If it was over my head then panic ensued. And if it was dark, murky lake water or the ocean then the panic doubled because not only could I not see the bottom but my imagination took off on what creatures could be luring beneath the depths!
I made a conscious effort to try and not pass this fear along to my children. As with my mom and dad before me I knew the value of being able to swim because the chances of my children being around water were pretty good with trips to the lake and pool parties and such. My own mother does not swim at all and she did indeed pass her fear to me but somehow it bypassed my two brothers; they were the zealots of swimming and made it their life goal to terrorize me at every opportunity.
My first child, my daughter, was not even willing to get her face in the water when she showered let alone when she swam. I enrolled her in swimming lessons when she was very young and the results made her able to do a pretty mean doggie paddle and after three years of lessons I was satisfied she would not drown. But like me she was not comfortable being in waters much over her waist. The third year she was in the swim class they expected her to dive off of the diving board. They invited all of the parents to come and watch the final tests for their graduation. When my girls turn came up to dive she was no where to be seen. I had not even seen her slip away but my first thought was the bathroom. Sure enough she was there and told me that she did not want to dive. I was okay with that, as long as she could swim enough not to drown I was okay. We were told she would not get her certificate for the title of Fish if she did not dive. It did not faze her in the least; it was fine with her as long as she did not have to dive.
She has done pretty well through her life and has not missed a thing. She has been as happy as a lark with her ability to dog paddle. Even when my son came along and started swimming, she was there to save him every time. My son started jumping in the water from the time he was just a wee little guy. He loved to jump in and just kind of sink down to the bottom. He thought he was swimming! My heart pretty near stopped on several occasions and we never let him near water unless he had one of his parents or his sister on hand. We were never far away even when she was around because we never knew what he was going to do. If he jumped into the deep end his sister would do her best to get to him but she was scared to death.
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.