Suit up -- it's pool season
Swimming season is upon us and I can’t fathom how anyone raises a kid in Florida without teaching them how to swim. Both my kids could swim the length of the pool by the time they were 3-ish, thanks to swim lessons, almost daily play time in the pool and a paranoid mother who doesn’t hesitate to dunk the kid to get them used to putting their face in the water. I remember the horrified look on the face of two girlfriends when I stepped out of reach as my 8 month old jumped in the water, letting him go completely under for a second. Both these women had 5 year olds who wouldn’t put their faces in the water.
You can shoot me for it, but I think the biggest obstacle to kids learning to swim is a squeamish mother.
There are so many different types of lessons for kids that you really should get your kid into the water:
•The YMCA and the legendary “Miss Edie” Christiansen at the main St. Petersburg Y has been teaching everyone from toddlers to frightened adults for more than 50 years.
•The equally legendary swim teacher Joanne Walker (reach her by calling (727) 525-2915 or e-mail her at JBWJBW1@verizon.net), who has a gentle playful style for ages 3 and up, gets great results as do a number of other local organizations.
•And I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself in my friend Maggie’s pool in Tierra Verde but there are classes where babies — yes BABIES — are floating on their backs by themselves and paddling at Infant Swim Research.
Some knock infant swim lessons because they think it lulls parents into a false sense of security. What a crock. That’s like saying a kid who can ride a bike should be left alone on I-75. The logic does not compute.
Anyone else had success with a local swim program, video or teaching technique? Come on in and post away on the comments, the water’s fine.
— Sharon Kennedy Wynne