Little man is all set for his first swimming lesson in a couple of weeks!
We’ve decided to book him into a Dad & Baby class in a small privately owned pool – so that the atmosphere is quiet and he is surrounded only by other dads and babies. The class also gives him a chance to bond with his Daddy in a (hopefully) fun activity that he can carry on for years to come.
When researching potential swimming schools I came across alot of information relating to the methods of teaching babies how to swim. There seems to be a lot of controversy on this subject, and varying opinions on the best way to approach the class. Some schools go with the “sink or swim” tatic with forced submersions and pushing boundaries on letting them tread water themselves. Others go with the theory of love and encouragement, letting babies take their time to get used to being in the water and accustomed with the feeling and their movements in it. Each method had its own pros and cons; from faster learning to more developed, stronger swimmers – or varying levels of confidence being in the water.
I know of people who have gone with the seemingly harsher method of sink or swim, and have had great results from it. Now in primary school, their children love swimming and are confident swimmers in all pools… But I’ve read other reviews online of families taking this approach and having their children terrified of water and refusing to go swimming or even into the sea as a result…
Personally I’ve decided to go with the more natural approach, I believe that each child will progress at their own pace, and that forcibly pushing them beyond their boundaries before their ready could cause them to backtrack or even fear the activity altogether. I want my child to be confident in the water, but also to enjoy it. The aim with this is not only to learn basic swimming skills from a young age, but to encourage bonding time with his Daddy. If all he takes out of a lesson is that he will be dunked under the water or forced into trying to stay afloat himself by the one person he should be able to trust beyond anything, then how is he to learn to trust and build relationships with anyone else?
I’m hoping that I’ve made the right decision and that he’ll enjoy his lessons. I guess only time will tell!