Thursday, July 25, 2013

Swim Lessons and Our Children's Fears

"We have nothing to fear but, AHHHHH!!!! What the heck was that?" - Sort of John F. Kennedy

   I grew up with a pool in our back yard. I can remember our swim lessons given, one brother at at time. Our back stroke technique sounded something like "farmer John, airplane, torpedo, glide." After the fear of swimming is gone and confidence is in abundance, it's sunny days from there on out. However, right now, we have our oldest two little ones in lessons. They've graduated from paddle boards and hand holding. As you can see from the picture above, they've quite literally been "thrown into the deep end."

   The fear of sinking is heavy in our household as of late. I can remember the overwhelming void of the deep end when I was young. As parents we can provide all the support and encouragement possible, but what pushes them in mentally in the end? I feel that it's partly their trust in us as their mother, father, or both. Have we earned that trust to be cashed in for bravery in times like swim lessons? I also believe it's their confidence in themselves. Some of it is innate, but I think there is a lot to be said for how we raise our little ones. Do we build them up with positive reinforcement? This kind of support will give them the confidence to try new things like swimming, public speaking, school performances, etc. 

   I have daydreams of pool parties, lake trips, perhaps a water polo player, and the like. Mostly, I just want my children to have fun in the pool and have a safe time while there.  The endless hours I spent in the pool as a child can be the same endless hours for my children very soon. The Wife and I try to compliment their bravery and hard work at practicing. They love to do well and want to get better, that much is evident. I suppose like anything else they will try, success comes through various channels. Attend to them all as well as you can, and hopefully there will be a lot of enjoyment along the way. 

   I leave you with a pic of my swim lessons (at around 7 years old, like my 'Lil Miss right now). I showed my two new swimmers in hopes they would see that I was learning at one point also. What I got was, "Why does your face look like that?" and, "Why are you so red?" I like how they focus on the obvious and skirt the real issues. In the end, it's another rite of passage and we all need to face the same obstacles. Swimming is just the tip of the iceberg my little ones. Here's to a lifetime of brave moments. 
Happy swimming!


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