A month after swimming pool season has officially ended, and Mason still asks to "go deep wa-wa" nearly every day. I need to find a good indoor pool nearby to keep him pacified and interested in the water. I don't want to lose the comfort he's developed in the water this summer!
As a former lifeguard who's given plenty of swimming lessons, I am trying to get Mason as comfortable in the water as early in his life as possible. I remember several parents faithfully paying me each week when their children were too scared to even dip a toe in the water let alone get their faces wet. These kids were obviously not ready for lessons.
Brad and I began taking Mason underwater last July, when he was about nine months old. We made it a ritual to submerge ourselves as a family at least once during every visit to the pool. Initially shocked, Mason never coughed or cried. This past summer, we maintained the ritual, also believing it important that Mason see his parents go underwater regularly. This summer's been fun as I've pulled out some of my old pool tricks to keep Mason entertained (hand stands, flips under water, front dives, back dives, etc.) while also demonstrating that I am not afraid of the water. I can certainly tell that it's been 20 years since I used to do these (and other) tricks regularly!
In addition to dunking Mason, this summer we also tried to teach him to blow bubbles. He hasn't mastered bubble blowing, but near the end of the summer, he would put his face in the water when asked. (We'd say, "Mommy's turn, Daddy's turn, May's turn!") Daily pool exposure during our week at the beach was a real turning point. He began the week jumping into the water only if holding tightly to our fingers. By the end of the week, he was running, jumping, and plummeting underwater all on own.
I'm determined to do as much as I can to help Mason learn to swim before I pay someone else to do it. When did your child begin swimming lessons/learn to swim? What's been your experience?