This post brought to you by Stearns Puddle Jumpers®. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Stuff Parents Need.
Darah, our 5 1/2 year old, has been enrolled in swimming lessons on two separate occasions. We’ve been enrolling her in group lessons, which were realistic for our budget (coming in around $6/class). The down side to group lessons is that your kid doesn’t actually get to spend much time practicing swimming. She might get a grand total of 7 or 8 minutes active swimming time because she has to wait her turn while every other child practices.
All this is to say, we have a child who is still doesn’t know how to swim. And I have noticed that we are starting to venture into territory where she feels much more uncertain and scared in the water. She used to be fearless! The time to act is right now. We have a very clear goal to have a swimmer in our house by the end of the summer.
We will be enrolling Darah in semi-private lessons and then in private lessons if needed. We are also going to be doing a lot of work on our own before those lessons start to help her increase her confidence and practice the skills she has already learned in the water. One of the items in our pool bag is the Stearns Puddle Jumper. This is a Coast Guard approved flotation device, and it is also a confidence booster for Darah.
When we took Darah to the pool this weekend, we explained to her that her Puddle Jumper would serve as a buddy of sorts while she is working on her swimming skills. At first, she was not too sure about whether or not the Puddle Jumper could help her.
That fear we have been battling surfaced immediately, and she didn’t want to let go of a grown up. So we talked a bit more about the importance of relaxing and trusting yourself in the water, and letting the Puddle Jumper be a support element. We started saying, “Trust my Puddle Jumper. Trust my body” over and over. And before you know it, she believed that her Puddle Jumper could help her stay afloat! Once she felt secure in the water, we started working on paddling/kicking skills. This is where we started to really have some fun! What a HUGE boost it was to her confidence for Darah to get herself from point A to point B by swimming! Darah asked if we could go swimming again the very next day. This is a big difference from earlier this month, when she would get a bit frustrated/reluctant at the suggestion of a trip to the swimming pool. Stearns Puddle Jumpers are exactly what we needed at this stage in the process of learning how to swim. We can push forward now with more technique work and with increasing confidence in the water!
You can find Puddle Jumpers and other flotation devices at StearnsFlotation.com.