Thursday, June 14, 2012

We can all swim!

Yes, even Buckwheat! We finished up another round of swimming lessons this week so I can stop freaking out about my kids drowning. Bubby is now proficient in: swimming the width of the pool and jumping in. Buckwheat knows how to turn around and get back to the side if he falls in (or gets dropped in). It's pretty awesome.

See? No tears from my little fish.

We used the same swimming teacher as last year -- my neighbor and friend Ms. Rolayne -- and I will never regret this decision. Six short classes later, my 2-year-old can save himself if he falls in by turning around and kicking back to the side of the pool. My 4-year-old can motor around the whole pool and cannonball in with the big kids. It's pretty awesome.

Rolayne doesn't baby them. At all. She is kind and mindful of their feelings and rewards them with OtterPops at the end of their lessons, but she insists they continue with the lesson whether they're bawling their heads off or not. She enforces good techniques and really works them. This is why her method is so successful.

As a parent, I knew I had to be strong and power through my kids' cries the first few days. Especially helpless little Buckwheat. But guess what? Buckwheat LOVES swimming now. He loves to go under the water and kick over to the side of the pool. No more tears. And he can basically swim, so that's what counts. I was doubtful nine days ago when he started. He sure proved me wrong.

I've heard so many sad tales of, "Well, we spent hundreds of dollars so our kids could have two months of swimming lessons through Parks and Rec but they're still not swimming so we unfortunately have to do the Starfish class again." I have been to the Parks and Rec swim classes. The kids still scream there, but the difference is, the teachers can't guarantee the kids will be swimming by the end. Rolayne does. Her approach is intense, but it works. And my kids still love her, so I guess it's all good!

P.S. I'm not saying this is the ONLY way for kids to learn to swim. I'm a product of the no-tears method and I know how to swim just fine. Except for it took until I was about 8 to be fully confident in the water. And EIGHT YEARS of not knowing how to swim in the state of Arizona is insane. I wish I'd had Rolayne to break me of my unfounded fears back then!


  1. Could she come to Idaho to teach Jack how to swim?

    I am impressed with Buckwheat! What a big boy now to swim. I want Jack to learn so badly but everything is limited here in Burley... *waa waaaah*

  2. I want my two-year-old to know how to swim. I need this woman's information, and I need it, like, yesterday.
    If she can get kids happily swimming in just over a week that's amazing. My husband was a lifeguard for his entire teenage life, but he never actually taught lessons. And Monkey is a crazy independent kid, I worry about putting him in a class with other kids. PLEASE send me her info!

  3. I want their information too!

  4. They are so cute.

    Thank you for doing this. There have been 20 drowning deaths in Minneapolis so far this summer. Just since May. One of them was a little 6 year old boy, who I blogged about. My heart is still breaking about the whole thing.

    My co-worker who has two daughters and I got lunch the other day. She was telling me how much of an investment swimming class can be, it's not cheap! I know it's not. Thank you for making the sacrifice so that your kids can be safe.

    I just wish there was something I could do. I cannot believe the stats on drowning: #1 cause of death for kids under 18, very high in the black community...

    Sorry to be a debbie downer. This is just hitting so close to home for me!

  5. I would like her information as well. We had a little pool scare a month ago, so any help in teaching my 3 year old how to safely maneuver in a pool would ease my mind.

  6. I probably learned in a method similar to your kiddos. Mom taught me how to swim before I could walk...something she made sure to continue teaching with my brothers. We're all pretty good swimmers with no fear so I'd say the method works. Good for you on getting your kids prepared!

  7. These are such cute pictures! It took forever for my nieces to learn how to swim, but they had someone who kept working them, as well, and that was the only thing that actually worked.


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