Monday, July 26, 2010
What with the beach practically in our back yard and pools open year-round, it made sense that CC learn to swim -- and early.
That's why Ian and I teamed up with another mom and dad to have a swim instructor from Head Above Water Swim School in Beverly Hills come to our pool to teach our preschooler daughters the basics about staying afloat.
Our instructor, Jessica, was extremely patient -- more so than we parents would have been -- and taught the girls positive, age-appropriate techniques for getting comfortable in the pool. That meant incorporating fun games into each lesson (monkey hands! going on safari! bubble toes!), which kept the little ones engaged. They learned how to climb out of the pool, blow bubbles under water and kick their legs to move forward. It was great to see.
Not only that, but the best part was that she came to us.
Head Above Water specializes in private and semi-private lessons, and while they have their own available pools, they are more than happy to come to yours. (They serve all of Southern California.)
Ensuring that CC is comfortable in the water is key, but even more important is teaching her to be safe.
We had a scare just before one lesson, in which she jumped into the pool by herself. There were four adults standing there, including myself, and when I thought she would just bob back up like a cork, she instead was treading water just below the surface.
I immediately leaped in and pulled her out. Ian and I comforted her and told her she always needed to wait for one of us to be in the pool with her.
At the same time, I didn't want her to be permanently freaked out by the water, so we continued the lesson as if Ian and I hadn't just had a collective heart attack.
After a couple of minutes, CC jumped into the pool with her instructor and fellow pint-sized swim student and splashed and played and learned -- a testament to her eagerness and enthusiasm.
Click here for the American Red Cross Summer Water Safety Guide, which emphasizes that parents/adults should always stay within arm's reach of young children while in or near the water.
Head Above Water Swim School