There is only one activity that the geekdaddy and I have insisted the kids do, and that is to have swimming lessons. We see swimming as an essential, life-saving skill, and we think it’s really important that both kids know how to handle themselves in water as early as possible. Both of them attend weekly lessons with our local Puddle Ducks franchise, and we’ve been really impressed with how the programme focusses on water safety skills rather than just plain swimming. And something happened recently that made us realise quite how important those skills are…
The geekdaughter was invited to a swimming party by a friend from school. It was the same day as the geekdaddy and I were due to attend Play Expo, so we’d initially thought she would be unable to go, but then the parents of one of her other school friends said they would take her. The party rules were that there be one adult for every two children in the water, so that seemed fine, and the geekdaughter has been getting on very well at her lessons, and can swim, although only for short distances. We didn’t have any concerns about the arrangements until the geekdaughter got home that evening, and announced in a rather proud voice
“I drowned today!”
Errr… What?! Drowned?! But you’re still here!
“No, it was OK Mummy, because I reached for the side and then I monkey walked back to everyone else”
(for those unfamiliar with the Puddle Ducks programme, monkey walking means holding on to the side of the pool with both hands and then “walking” yourself along by moving your hands one at a time).
By asking more questions we managed to establish that the geekdaughter had managed to get herself to the deep end of the pool on her own, where she’d tried to put her feet down and ended up going underwater. Rather than panicking about being out of her depth she had remained calm and got herself out of trouble. And the reason she’d been able to do that was because of her Puddle Ducks lessons.
I should stress that the lifeguard spotted her getting into trouble and came to check she was OK, so she was never in any danger, but I was dead proud of her being able to sort herself out. Thank you Puddle Ducks for teaching both my kids the skills they need in the water.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. I have written it because I think it’s important to share the benefits of kids learning to cope in the water from an early age. Other swimming programmes are available 😉