Friday, October 7, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

Swimming is one of those things I want all my kids to learn. I think it's so important for them to be safe and confident in the water. If I had to choose for my kids to learn swimming or an instrument, I'd definitely choose swimming because I doubt that playing a 10-page sonata would ever save their life. But knowing how to swim definitely could.

We had Nathan in swimming lessons back in Toronto but after the first lesson, all he would do was cling to his teacher for dear life and refuse to get his head wet. He wouldn't even go down the water slide.

When we got here, the first extracurricular activity we signed Nathan up for was swimming. We were lucky enough to get him into a class with one of his schoolmates so it would be more fun. But despite getting all pumped up talking about swimming with his friend, Nathan's enthusiasm sank to the bottom of the pool once the lesson started.

Even with three different sets of floaters on, Nathan clung to the side of the wall, tense and shivering. I could tell he was very uncomfortable and he confided in me afterward that he was scared and that he thought he was going to sink to the bottom.

I assured him he had nothing to worry about - he could stand up and reach the bottom of the pool and it was the teacher's job to make sure he was safe, he just needed to be more confident.

Week after week, Nathan's confidence in the water grew. He learned how to kick, they worked on his strokes and breathing, and by the end of the term, he was able to do back stroke without the teacher's assistance, with a flutter board.

It may not sound like much, but he's come a long way in terms of his confidence in the water. And I'm so glad he had a teacher who knew just how hard to push him. Each week, she had a plan of what she wanted to achieve with him and each week, she was so encouraging, slowly taking a set of floaters off as his abilities improved.

Today, he started another term of swimming lessons and I'm excited to see what he achieves next.



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