Parents often ask me,
“When is my child ready for swim lessons”? The real question is, “When is the parent ready for swim lessons”? What did she say? Yes, parents must ask themselves, “When am I ready for swim lessons”?
Looking out the pool windows into the parking lot here is what I see: parents driving in on two wheels, they cannot find a parking space, and the kids are throwing the doors open before the car makes a complete stop and kids jumping out. Mom is grabbing the backpacks and the kids are ‘running’ to the pool by themselves. I close my eyes, say a silent prayer and hope they didn’t forget their swim suits!
But wait, there is more. I have to wonder what the conversation was like on the drive over to the pool. Was it pleasant? Did they talk about how “fun” swim lessons were going be? Or was the “drowning” word mentioned(i.e., “You kids need to learn to swim so you don’t drown like grandpa”). Are the kids hungry? If they are, that means they will be cranky. Lucky me!!!!!
Did you just get off work and catch the 5 pm class at Cross Fit? Are YOU ready for swim lessons? Maybe you stopped for an oil change at Jiffy Lube and picked up a couple of things at Target. These things take time- the clock is our master… Are YOU ready for swim lessons?
Did you just pick your kids up from “another activity” (soccer, golf, baseball, gymnastics) and now you are squeezing in a swim lesson? Ok, let’s reverse this. Are they going to another activity after swim lessons? Are THEY ready for swim lessons? Do they have the energy? Do you? Do you see where I am going?
Can you be separated from your child for 30 minutes? Can you feel comfortable without hovering over the swim teacher? Are YOU ready for swim lessons? Can your child focus for 30 minutes. Can they follow directions? Are THEY ready for swim lessons?
Yes, learning to swim is important. It takes time, energy and commitment from both YOU, as the parent, and your child. Swim lessons need to be scheduled, not as an after thought, but as an important activity for exercise, social enjoyment and above all else, SAFETY. After all, we don’t want them drowning like grandpa!