Eloise had her first swim lesson when she was 6 months old. She hated it. Hated getting wet, hated getting in the pool, hated the swim diaper, hated it. But we insisted on ‘lessons’ if you will, and by lessons I mean ‘let’s just get comfortable with the water.’ She continued to cry about swimming until she was four years old. It was about that time that her sister, then two, started jumping off the sides of the pool into our arms and seemed to laugh and actually enjoy this thing called ‘swimming’ because it seems most of the other kids were also having fun. Eloise decided to try it again and now loves to swim.
I admit the last thing I wanted to do was push swimming on any of my kids. I grew-up in a long line of women who were terrified of the water. My own mother would not be able to save me in a pool and my grandmother was rarely seen in water over her ankles. I was determined to change our legacy. But the last thing I wanted was for Eloise to associate the water with fear.
However, I felt and feel strongly that my kids need to be able to swim…..
Did you know that drowning is the 2nd leading cause of accidental death for kids ages 1-14? Now that Summer is in full-force here – the pools are open, the lakes are busy and most everyone is swimming. Our community has already been touched by the tragedy of a fellow child drowning and I would do anything to make it all stop.
I admit that I have a hard time relaxing at a pool or lake with my kids – even when there is a lifeguard present. I am constantly counting for them 1-2-3 and am doing a pool check nearly every second. I don’t believe in putting my kids in floatation devices like rings or wings because I believe they actually hinder their learning to swim and give them a false sense of security. So I am in the water with them at all times because I don’t believe they are great swimmers yet.
My kids are still in swimming lessons and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
I want to share a great resource with all of you today if you are looking for information about swimming. SwimToday.org is an online resource that provides parents with a one-stop shop to get all the information they need to make entering swimming as easy as possible for them and their children.
Learning to swim has so many benefits like Safety: Lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 80%, Fitness: Swimming is a whole-body, low-impact and life-long fitness option, and Social: Swimming is an individual sport and team sport which builds social skills and it’s fun!
I was honored to have the opportunity to chat with members of the USA Swimming organization last week. They provided so many great tips on getting kids into swimming that you can find on SwimToday.org – like the health benefits of swimming, lessons for adults, getting into competitive swimming, and the training tips and strategies.
Now I don’t know if my kids will join a swim club but I do know that they will continue to improve their abilities and thus the comfort and safety in the water while still having a great time with their friends. And maybe eventually I can just sit on the side of the pool and watch them. Or heck maybe I’ll even start doing some laps.
Do your kids take swimming lessons or are they on a swim team? At what age did they start swimming?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by The Motherhood for USA Swimming. I was compensated for my time but all words and opinions are my own. If you’d like more information on Swimming in your area please visit SwimToday.org and we would love for you to watch the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming airing live on NBC June 25-July2. Check your local listings for times. Also, this campaign is using the hashtag #SwimToday so watch for the tweets to follow along with important information about USA Swimming.