swimming boy

The turning point – risk taker or cautious swimmer

According to my former sales director, a risk taker will happily go on roller coasters, while someone who’s risk averse, won’t.  I’m not sure how true that is, but given he had me down as risk averse (probably true as I’ll only take risks once I’ve assessed it fully so it’s not really a risk), it can’t be as I love roller coasters.

I don’t think I’d ever class N as a risk taker either.  He’ll have a go at things but only once he’s checked them out, seen other children doing something, or with encouragement.  But he’s definitely getting more daring and I think this week’s seen a big change in him at his swimming lesson.

While other children in the class have been happy to be ‘chucked’ around by their parents, having likely been swimming a lot outside of lessons.  With N, he’s always wanted to be closer to me, and we’ve only ever been swimming with 1 adult, me, so there’s not really been the opportunity to have him swimming between 2 people or horseplay.

But at this lesson, he seemed much more daring.

We had them jumping off our knees and having to turn and swim back to us. Cue lots of pre-schooler belly flops, but they loved it.  N wasn’t panicked at all although I think he missed the point of swimming back to me, as he was happy turning himself round in the water!  A couple of times I was also able to remove my support with him swimming a little way on his own.  I reckon give it a few months and he might be well away on his swimming progress.

One of N’s favourite parts of the lesson is climbing on my back with his arms round my neck as we sing the closing song.  They’re meant to try star floats instead, but N refuses to even try.  If I put him on his back he just tries to flip over as quickly as possible.  So instead he has a piggy back round the pool.

This week though, he decided that a piggy back wasn’t exciting enough.  No, instead he was almost using me as a surf board, pretty much crouching on my back, toes digging into it.  I guess it’s good for balancing, although I’m not entirely sure he knew what he was doing.

Maybe this turning point means he’ll be more willing to try more things out when swimming (and out of the pool) and we’ll see some more progress.

Did your children have a turning point in the pool?  Are they daredevils or a bit more cautious in the water?

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  1. Yes, you never know you like it unless you try. It’s good that he is swimming. knowing how to swim, potentially saving someone’s life and getting exercise conquers a lot of things at one time

  2. Great post. My daughter is nearly two and has been swimming from an early age. She’s definitely a risk taker! Stopping by from LAB club x

    1. I think it’s definitely better to start early before they should have any fear. It’s great how they’re all so different in the water though (and out I suppose!). Thanks for stopping by Kerry.

  3. I had the problem of two children and only me to take them swimming so I never did. Once my youngest turned four I started to take them every week, neither could really swim at the time. Now nearly a year later and having been swimming every week in the meantime they are both like fish in the pool, so it is never to late to start…….

    1. It’s definitely hard when there’s more than one of them and neither can go in the pool on their own. In the end, it just takes time and confidence from the parent to take them regularly, and for them to not have any fear early on. Sounds like your two have done brilliantly. Thanks for commenting

  4. Nothing wrong with being cautious..especially from a mum’s point of view. It’s lovely when they start to build up more confidence in the water though. I’ve never been confident in the water but I’m hoping that my children will be (so long as there is someone else to save them if they get into trouble because I’d be useless)

    1. It’s interesting how many people aren’t that comfortable in the water. I thought that was quite unusual but it seems not to be. I’d prefer sensible over totally daredevil. I guess it’s about ensuring they know their limits and to only muck around or play in or near water when people are around to keep an eye on them.
      Thanks for commenting

  5. There are times I wish Harry was a bit more cautious; he is a proper dare devil both in and out of the pool that my heart often skips a beat (or 10!). Lovely that N is gaining more confidence! x

    1. Sometimes it can be a bit scary. Although at the other end of the scale, you do sometimes want them to try things more readily – or explore on their own without you showing them all the time. Thanks for commenting

  6. This is an area where I have really bad mummy guilt! I have a 3yr old and an 18month old and neither can swim. I don’t get any help with them from family/friends and with them both being terrified of it I don’t think I could handle taking both on my own to a swimming pool. I’m hoping it doesn’t hold them back when they are older as I will take them once they are both a bit bigger and I loved swimming as a kid so would like them to too x

    1. It’s definitely hard with no help as you can’t go in the pool with 2 that age as one adult, I don’t think. I know people who swim at our lessons with 1 child while the other sits during that lesson with the other parent/relative, then the next lesson has a child changeover.

      Hopefully they’ll get over the fear once they’re learning at school.

      Thanks for commenting

    1. I reckon it’s great if you can go as a family as it definitely helps having an adult to a child as there’s always one who wants to do something different to the other. It’s really hard as fewer schools now seem to do swimming lessons throughout the school, only in certain years.
      Thanks for commenting

  7. We don’t take ours for swimming lessons (they’re 2 & 17m) but we do go swimming as often as we can. I can’t swim very well at all and am very nervous but neither have inherited this – they’re both real water babies! #lab

    1. That’s quite often worries that parents have when they’re not so keen on water themselves, about ensuring they don’t pass on their worries to their children. Sounds like you’re doing great making sure they get swimming- I know I need the structure of lessons otherwise I’d never get round to taking N.
      Thanks for stopping by

  8. Both our daughters are real water babies, our 16 month old started swimming at 4 months old and now will “swim” on her own a little way, I’m so glad we started swimming with her so early, as she really does love the water 🙂

    1. That’s similar start point with N, he started at just over 3 months. We did have a year of nightmare water wobbles but thankfully he’s come through it and it’s great to see the progression now. Great to hear how yours have got on with their swimming too.

  9. How lovely that he’s not being pushed into something that makes him a bit apprehensive! As a child, I was really pressured into getting the hang of things in the pool and I just wasn’t ready. As a result I hated it for most of my life and still won’t swim unless I have to. it’ll come, as long as he associates positive things with the experience, he will learn and grow! Enjoy the ride .. 🙂

    1. Interesting you should say that, as we had almost a year of water wobbles from about 9 months old. We stopped for a term, but it was like a switch suddenly flipped and he went from moaning all lesson and refusing to take part, to the next week loving it. Thankfully we’ve not looked back, and for him it was the right thing to carry on through the wobbles. If it hadn’t been for the support of the teachers knowing what to expect from water wobbles, explaining through it, and reworking what we could take part in during the lesson, we’d have given up and he’d not have been anywhere near where he is now. I think it’s often dependent on a lot of other things. One girl in our class started hating it (she went with her dad), then they tried one week with her mum, and would take part again and is getting on better/enjoying it. Seems children are odd creatures who can never make up their mind!

      (My OH’s like you, won’t go swimming unless he needs to save himself!) Thanks for commenting.

  10. We haven’t started swimming lessons with the children yet but I’d like to start LP’s fairly soon as I know how important it is to be able to swim. From her overall demeanor I think she’ll be more cautious than a risk taker! x

    1. I guess you never know until you try. Some quiet children love it, others are over confident but they get a bit scared of the water. It’s always great to give it a go so it becomes the norm though.

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