Swimming Lessons

We are teaching the youngest how to swim. This necessitates going to a friend’s pool as often as possible, which I am sure you can imagine is a terrible hardship for us ;)

Today he decided to let go of the foam noodle and actually try to swim. He’s in a life jacket until he is a stronger swimmer. His brothers encouraged him and he ended up surprising the life out of himself by swimming.

Boys being boys the brothers wanted him to learn to jump in and not be afraid. They taught him about holding his breath and not breathing in water. Then they “helped” him jump into the water a time or two (oy) and every time he bobbed up to the surface screaming (and smiling) at the top of his lungs “Ima, I can’t breathe” – I had to laugh because if he had air enough to scream he had air enough to breathe.

The kid was so darn proud of himself. I have promised to take him out for ice cream when he is able to swim around the entire pool without a life jacket and without panicking that he will drown. He is motivated and will get it done.

It was just so sweet how Squiggy was teaching him.  So much more patient with him than I would be. I just sat beside the pool cheering him on.

He’s nine – I feel he should know how to swim by now. What age did you learn or teach your kids?

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  1. Mark says:

    Here in Florida with so many pools around it’s different. All our kids learned to “swim” (i.e. comfortable enough in water to be able to get to an edge at a minimum) by about age 3 or 4. But our almost 6 year-olds are in formal swimming class right now to improve their swimming technique and to become stronger swimmers overall. It’s a very important skill and it’s also a mitzvah to teach your kids how to swim!

  2. lady lock and load says:

    Mine were around five. Rock on Mama Hadassah!

  3. Elayne says:

    We had a pool in the back yard. We took him for “swimming” lessons at 2! We wanted to ensure that if he fell into the pool he wouldn’t panic. And he ended up getting umpteen badges and became a waterfront and canoe instructor at camp.

  4. fncmullin says:

    I was in official swimmin lessons at the Y at about 18 months old. At that age it’s just getting babies (and their parents) used to and in the water. I could actually swim by about 5, though.

  5. IMA2FOUR7 says:

    I felt that this was my responsibility and a mitzvah I could do for my children. I took this on and I began them as infants in a “Swim Babies” class at our local Jewish Y. The class was mom and babies. We continued until they could swim on their own. They all swam by 3.

  6. 3-4 years old for all 4 of them. first informally, then at least one set of formal lessons….and all love the water and can’t get enough of it!

  7. Ariela says:

    I have a phobia of children drowning. We taught the oldest to swim 4-5 and I am currently working with the 4 year old. At a young age they don’t need good technique – they just need to know how not to drown.
    I personally witnessed two children drown – they were both saved. One was 3 and one was 4.

    • We had a two-year-old drown in the area of Los Angeles where my in-laws live. Terrible. Everyone became more careful afterwards about fences around the pools and teaching their children to swim. But still, people forget that it only takes a second of looking away for a toddler to drown. They think it’s one big bathtub and are curious by nature.

  8. I learned to swim when I was 26 years old because my doctor recommended swimming, aqua therapy and aqua aerobics classes. No longer allowed to swim but I do the latter. I’m a terrible swimmer. I know about two different strokes (is that even what they’re called?) but I was in no danger growing up in Washington Heights of drowning in someone’s pool and I remember being scared like crazy whenever I watched my mom swim across into the depths of the Atlantic at Coney Island and Brighton Beach. Scary! When she was growing up in Washington Heights, NYC high schools still had swim as a class you had to take.

  9. Ariela says:

    The Israeli Public School system provides swimming lesson to all children – I think in 4th or 5th grade.

  10. ilanadavita says:

    I learnt when I was 6 and I seem to remember that my brothers learnt when they were 5.

  11. Z! says:

    I don’t remember a time I wasn’t in a pool! My mom enjoys doing aqua aerobics, so I remember joining her at the poolside and sometimes going in, or having a swim lesson during her class. I remember beginning proper swimming lessons at age 6 at the local community center pool. Then, every summer in camp, we improved our techniques and increased a level. Yellow, orange, red, maroon… maroon was tough. I think I made it to Blue badge.

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