Today is not only my daughter’s 4th birthday, but it was also both of the minions’ first day at swim lessons. Having attempted this before, I was crossing my fingers hoping it would go well. As a baby, Jake positively detested water on his face, or in his ears and would scream the entire lesson. He didn’t like the instructor, who was wonderful, and by the end of class, he didn’t care much for me either.
Fast forward nearly 5 years and we have made serious progress!
The first lesson included kicks, splashing, back floating and the usual first class activities to acclimate them to the water and build their trust with the instructor. By the end of the 45 minutes, I sat poolside trying to pick my jaw up off the ground.
Here are the take-away lessons I learned never taking a step into the pool:
•Push past the fear. Sometimes you need a coach (or your sister cheering you on) to give you the boost of confidence you need to take that first plunge. Take that boost where ever you find it and use it to push forward. The people in your corner will help you if you need it. Or, they’ll clap when you finally do what they knew you could all along!
•Trust Trust in the people around you that have earned it. When they’ve earned your trust – they won’t let you drown.
•There is value in letting others love and teach our kids. I don’t know everything. Yes, I know my kids better than anyone else, but professionals, be it teachers, speech therapists, counselors or what have you, all deal with many children. They have all kinds of tricks up their sleeve!(and I will beg, borrow, and steal any and all effective tactics!) could be a way to handle a difficult day, or even a way of communicating that works like a charm. I was emotional watching the kiddos bond with this teacher, and not from a “I want them to myself” kind of way, but more just joyful in watching her work with them and have them both respond so positively. Seeing their little pride-filled chests puff out as they did something for the first time was incredible.
•When you accomplish something awesome, celebrate the heck out of it! My car was so loud for all the talk coming from the back seat! “We are so cool!” “We can swim now!” “I got water on my face and didn’t even freak out!” “I’m a water master!” Do your happy dance. You’ve earned it!
•Know when to throw in the towel (for the day). When you are at your limit, it’s okay to take a break, take a step back, or come back to it later. Knowing our limits keeps us from getting frustrated, losing our temper, or even giving up. Small doses are a good thing sometimes.
The kids’ next lesson is on Saturday. I can’t wait to see what we’ll all learn!