I’ve taken T swimming from a young age? I think she was 10 weeks old on her first trip and she has always loved the water. Well I say loved It, she loves swimming as long as she doesn’t get any water on her face! As long as I can remember she has never been brave enough to jump in, has never liked being splashed, and has never wanted her ears or head under the water. I suppose I didn’t push this or encourage it because she was happy enough bobbing along with her float on the surface and I didn’t like getting my head wet so why should she? Being the one to take her swimming the most and then being on my own with T we were happy with where we had got to and didn’t see any need to move on from there really.
The last family holiday we had abroad was 2 years ago and all I remember was T’s confidence in the water soaring over the week and she had actually stopped crying if she got a drip of water on her face.
This holiday was so completely different. The first day we had the usual drama and upset when she got splashed and so in the end we bribed her, Yes it got to that, just to put her head under the water. It worked and she was soon walking along the bottom with her head under the water to huge cuddles and kisses at the end!
T could see how proud of her we were at how well she was doing so she tried and tried everything she was given. Firstly seeing how long she could stay underwater for then swimming underwater a short distance, then gradually longer. Throughout the holiday T was able to jump in to the shallow end, swim a short distance on the surface and jump in from the deep end swimming underwater a short distance to Scott or I.
This is a huge huge deal for T and we couldn’t be prouder although I have to give most of the credit to Scott. Without him pushing her to challenge herself further each and every day she would never have got this far. He encouraged her and told her she could do more and more to show Mummy so each time I came back to the pool there was another milestone reached. I am so proud of the way T has responded to him and the way she strived to make us proud and do well each and every day.
It only makes me feel why couldn’t I achieve with her what he has managed to? Because I was happy with her swimming the level it was at and didn’t push her to go further does that make me a bad parent? As I don’t jump into the pool or swim underwater very often she had no example and no one to look upto doing these things but now she does and look how far it’s got her. I’m proud of my baby girl each and every day but this holiday has made me extremely proud at just how much she has conquered her fear and achieved. Also i’m proud of the bond her and Scott have built, how they have worked together to move her forwards becoming ‘pool buddies’ only makes my heart melt.
Teaching your child to swim is a minefield, like the rest of parenting it doesn’t come with a manual but once you get it right you can be sure the struggles were worth it.