We had the great fortune of finding out about “Miss Karen,” an incredible swim teacher. When I discovered that her program is designed for groups of four, I was quite excited. I had been wanting them to take swim lessons since before they were born. I imagined having one at a time and doing the ‘Mommy and Me’ swim classes during infancy. It is funny how often the vision of how I would have done things if I had one at a time can turn into feelings of guilt. If I had a dollar for every time I had one of those thoughts, we could have hired three other people to help us take those classes! I realize that their experiences are different than children born one at a time and that they have advantages and disadvantages being the same age. As I write this, they are building rocket ships and sharing their outer space adventures. At times like this, I let go of the guilt and appreciate the advantage they have with built in playmates.
They had that advantage in swim lessons too. It was fun to see them enjoying the lessons and supporting each other at the same time. Miss Karen got them from zero swim experience to swimming to the wall and climbing out on their own. They even jumped into the pool by themselves. I was completely floored! Other group lessons spend months progressing to that stage. By the final day, Miss Karen had them swimming to the bottom in the shallow end to recover colorful swimming rings. They had an amazing time and have come a long way in terms of swimming skills and water safety.
As a psychologist, I loved that Miss Karen constantly told the Sugar Snaps that they were having “so much fun.” She used their names throughout the lessons too. They had not yet decided if it was fun and her words of encouragement led them to decide they were having a great time. Fear quickly melted away as they truly enjoyed themselves.
Miss Karen gave all of the Sugar Snaps a ride to the deep end so they could practice ‘muscling it out’ of the water and jumping back in.
We can’t wait to work with Miss Karen again next summer. In the meantime, we are practicing what they learned. When did your children or grandchildren first start swim lessons? Do you have any stories or tips to share? I would love to hear from you in the comments.