Swimming’s a funny thing. Some people love it, some can swim purely for the safety aspect, others hate it. Some find it really easy, others are scared of water despite never having had a problem in the water.
I’m on the side of ‘love swimming, can do it well enough, enjoy doing lengths when I get into the habit’. But swimming is definitely an activity I want N to be able to do from both the safety aspect and the fun side. Surely summer holidays have to include splashing and playing confidently in the pool.
To me it seems madness that children end up leaving primary school unable to swim. It was something we didn’t even think about when we were kids. You just went to swimming lessons at school and that was that. But if there’s no opportunity at school, and parents aren’t confident in the water themselves, it’s understandable that children might not have the chance to learn something that most of us assume is obvious. You also have the whole time issue. I know when our swimming lessons are off for the school holidays, I say we’ll go each week still, but everything gets in the way, and we don’t.
Some parents who aren’t keen on water worry about starting their children swimming when they have to go in the pool with them. From what I’ve seen at Water Babies lessons, it’s not really an issue like parents think it will be.
In babies classes, we were only ever in the shallow end. The most challenging part would be doing a glide holding your child, from the side of the pool underwater. That is pretty difficult to do, but if the parent wasn’t sure, then the teacher was able to help. For underwater activities, parents could always wear goggles.
In toddler classes it obviously gets more advanced, but even so, there’s not that much swimming needed by the adults. We do head down to the deep end with the toddlers swimming on their woggles. I tend to scull down, but there’s the option to take an extra woggle or float for the parents. It saves treading water at the deep end.
So, I think taking a baby swimming when you can’t swim isn’t going to be a major problem. It might encourage you to learn to swim as well. It’s never too late…my OH’s aunt is learning and she’s going to be close to 70 if not over. Being able to swim and confident enough not to fear the water is definitely something to relish and enjoy as your child experiences it and learns to swim.
Disclosure: We swim with Water Babies and blog for them. All words and views are my own.