The Swim Wars

There are the mommy wars and the potty wars, but these days I'm facing the swim wars.

As we've done with potty training, my daughter is fighting me tooth and nail about the pool. What kid doesn't love the water? Well, many I suppose since I was one of them. I didn't learn to swim until I was 10, and I taught myself. I had swim lessons before that, but for some reason I was stubborn or my parents didn't push it or I didn't respond. But I will not let this be my kids.

It's awful to be the kid at the pool who can't swim. I'm not talking swimming properly, I'm talking staying afloat.

So, needless to say, it pains me watching one of my kids not enjoy the water and be stubborn as well.

Alex grew up in the water. His first jump into the pool was at four months. From there he learned to love it or at least tolerate the luxurious pool living of Qatar--meaning the cleanest and most perfect temperature pools you'll ever know, with a pool-side bar.

He has progressed at a reasonable level and I hope by the end of the summer--at 4 1/2--will be swimming without assistance.

Anna, however, is another matter. Her definance in the water is like that with most everything. Phrases like "I will NOT go under the water", "I will not ever swim", "I need you to hold me" scare me a bit into thinking, will she be 10 years old and unable to swim?

Today at her swim class when the instructor put her in a little time out for not listening about not climbing on the railing, she then refused to do anything--no sitting in the water, no face in (which she will do), no kicking feet, no swimming with the noodle. Her response was to refuse to participate. She sat on the side of the pool for 25 minutes and seemed pleased with her tactic the whole time.

I told her that tomorrow she needed to at least go in and play the games and at least try. Afterall, swimming is not like ballet, soccer or gymnastics. This is not optional. Learning to swim is survival and is mandatory in our house.

So this afternoon, I slapped on the swim arm floaties and we headed to our pool. I decided I couldn't have her scared of the water--even it meant using flotation devices to get her there. Then we followed up with a bath, complete with water over her head. She cried and then exclaimed that getting her head wet was fun.

Can we transfer this excitement to the pool tomorrow? Any tips are appreciated.


Ainsley said...

Wyatt is the same way. He just turned 4 and I had to use water wings this summer to get him in the water. Just yesterday he hung out in the water without them. But getting his face wet is a whole other story. Dylan, on the other hand, will jump in the water - no matter how deep or if anyone's there to catch him. I can't decide which is stressing me more!

Anna from Canada said...

One day Evan was clinging to me for dear life whils in the pool. Now I can't get him out. It will come. LEt's hope its sooner than age 10 though .
Anna from Canada