My son, Charlie is four and doesn’t know how to swim. He’s perfectly happy to play in a shallow pool of water and has no interest in learning. Up to now I was all Sweet! I don’t have to schlep him back and forth to lessons! But the conversation with my friend really got me thinking. If this kid fell into deep water alone, he would have NO chance of survival. That was sobering, so I got a recommendation from a friend and signed him up for swim lessons.
I just told the kids we were going to the YMCA to swim. I didn’t tell the WHOLE truth and for good reason. It would have given Charlie way too much time to work himself into a tizzy about it. So, I went with the ambush method.
Once he was aware of what was going on he was on my leg like a koala bear on a tree. The teacher was AMAZING and sweetly addressed and instructed him as if he weren’t crying from terror. Not drama, he was not being dramatic, he is genuinely (and for no good reason) terrified of water.
But he’s got to learn, right? It’s horrible to watch (and hear his crying and desperate pleas echo throughout the pool hall). Private lessons was definitely the way to go. He has had two and cried for 20 of each 30 minute lesson. She has him say the words to Twinkle Twinkle little star as he swims. It helps to distract him.
She also suggested he take lessons more often or suggested I come practice with him. Um, no. I do not want to be associated with making him do this, so I will gladly pay the fee.
Today’s the day. He asked me this morning if it was Tuesday and I know he was asking if he has a swim lesson. Poor kid. I’m kind of dreading this afternoon. I will have to wrestle him into a swim suit and when we get there peel him off of me like Velcro and hand him over as he pleads, “I want to sign out, Mommy. I want to sign out!” I just have to take a deep breath and keep doing what I know is good for him.
Anyone else have kids who are afraid of the water? If so, how long did it take to overcome it?