Diving In! (Country Kids)

As parents one of our jobs is to prevent our children from being afraid of the things we were; to prevent irrational fears.

I always enjoy going to the swimming pool, and I do like swimming, but I have a real fear of water in my face and I can't contemplate swimming underwater or even with the correct head position for front crawl. The minute water splashes up in my face, the fear kicks in that I'm not going to be able to breathe. And just as with every irrational fear, there is something that started it off. For me it was swimming with my dad when I was around eight years old, he left me on the side of the fairly shallowish water while he went and tried out the diving board and plunge pool (he's not the most responsible of people), but unfortunately the pool's wave machine was turned on during that five minutes and I lost my footing and went under. I remember every second vividly and I was petrified that I wouldn't be able to get up again. Obviously I did, but it was one of the scariest moments of my life and accounts for my claustrophobia and fear of putting my face in the water.

I don't want to pass this onto The Boy, and I try really hard to bite my tongue and assess the situation first before rushing forward to him. However sometimes I am aware that a little slips out, and there might be an occasional "let me wipe your face".

So going to a birthday party of a friend whose water confidence is first rate filled me both with terror and hope for The Boy's own confidence.

Diving In 1

You can see the difference between the two boys: one has been swimming once since last September due to chronic glue ear in both ears (and even then that was probably only his tenth trip, at a generous guess), and the other boy has been swimming since he was a tiny baby. One has a few drops of water in his face and is rubbing the water out of his eyes, one has water pouring down his face. I'm not criticising my boy, it's just a stark contrast in the ability levels of both boys of the same age.

The Boy happily stayed in the pool for around thirty minutes before getting out to play on the bouncy castle, or with swing ball (playing a leftie is the easiest way of playing this!), and soon wanted to get changed back into his clothes.

Then after dinner, and once all the other party guests had left, both boys returned to play in the garden. Burton quickly stripped down to his pants and went into the pool, The Boy took a further ten minutes before he followed suit.

And this is what happened…

Diving In 2

And then, after another hour or so, we end up with this:

Diving In 3

And then the final shred of evidence that he is becoming the swimmer I'd like him to be?

Diving In 4

We'll be going swimming this week!

coombe mill

Learning for Life
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  1. says

    i think it is easy to pass on bad habits and worries that we as adults have onto our children, i have to be so careful when there is a spider around that my phobia of them does not make itself evident and obvious. i dont want the boys having the same fears as me, but it is hard!
    i think it wont take long for the boy to be water confident. he did soooo well yesterday as did you and MrTBaM and look at the results! a boy who got stuck in and got soaking wet! brilliant!

    thank you also for the lovely comments about my boy, and thank you for coming down to be at Burton's party x

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      To be fair to him, Mr. TBaM isn't afraid of the water and can sit cross-legged on the bottom of a pool for a minute or swim the length of a pool underwater. It's me that has the water issues, Mr. TBaM just wraps him in cotton wool a lot!

  2. says

    I love to see children's confidence grow. They really just need time and to get used to situations i think. Often I find just leaving my wee man to it a little bit before I know it he has relaxed and is doing it on his own or with support. Hope you all enjoy the swimming. Well done mummy for managing your own fears it's always hard to suck them in!

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I'm normally really good with leaving him to it, climbing a tree or whatever, it's just water that I'm not great with. Thanks for the comment :-)

  3. says

    well done to the boy! despite Jack's underwater swimming as a baby he's not always been the most confident in the water but having the pool in the garden the last couple of weeks he is so much more confident in his swimming lessons – apart from the lessons I admit we don't take him often enough. You definitely need to keep taking him now that he has become so confident as it disappears so quickly.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Jack did have a set back last year though with his leg didn't he? I love that image which you used to use, so iconic.

      I think we'll try and get to the pool on Thursday evening after work, just half hour a week would be good for him.

      Thanks for commenting :-)

  4. says

    I think this is testament that some children need more time than others! It looks like the confidence his friend has rubbed off on The Boy that day and I hope it continues as being able to swim is an important life saving skill. Thanks for sharing your water adventures with Country Kids.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      It is definitely the case; three hours in Burton's company and he was so much more confident. He still wanted his face wiped occasionally, and I must confess that I got him out a minute or two after he'd vomited slightly from swallowing too much water, but I did wait until he didn't think it was associated with that.

  5. says

    What a lovely post and great to see them playing and the boy gaining confidence. I am a competent swimmer and Mr E isn't and I think a lot of it was down to him hardly ever going swimming and me doing lessons and going a lot. I keep meaning to get Mads enrolled or to at least take her but some how we always manage to do something else instead.

  6. says

    He may even become a champion swimmer at this rate! ;-)

    A couple of hot summers days and a largish paddling pool are always brilliant for bringing on swimming skills and water confidence.

  7. says

    I can't swim at all, I regularly buy swimwear with all the intention of going and whenever we go on holiday I end up sat on the side with my legs in the pool. just splashing around. I wish I did know how to swim and do it well. The weird thing is that I did my 25 metres at school – then just lost the ability along the way somewhere. OH ends up taking Little Z in all the pools. The Boy looks like he's having a brilliant time!

  8. says

    ah he looks like he is having a blast!! my mum was a firm advocate of kids swimming so i dont even remember learning to swim! We have tried to have the same approach with our kids. Not always easy with so many!
    Hope you have a fun swim this week xx

  9. says

    Ah, this is fantastic. My mum got a large paddling pool similar to this from work at the end of last Summer for us and I remembered it last weekend, we've had it up all week and Bud loves it. I've struggled to keep him out of it. I'm not a good swimmer at all and we don't often manage to make time to go swimming but we really should. I want children who are strong, confident swimmers without any of my water issues. I really need to build it into our weekends so we can take both children.

  10. says

    Loving all the paddling pool pictures. Perfect weather for them! Looks like the boy is having a lot of fun! Swimming is such a fun way to exercise and such an important life skill. Good to see him really getting stuck in!

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