A few year ago we got a pool put in. At first Jake, you had no issue getting in and playing around. We would hold you and pass you back and forth. Then last year you started getting a little bit leery of the water but we put you in your inner tube floaty thing and you would kick all over the pool having a great time. Then something traumatic happened. You and I were going swimming, we have rules for you about not going near the pool without an adult and you have to stay sitting in a chair while we open the cover and clean the pool. While we were getting in, you started freaking our about a bug being in the water, I turned to take care of it and when I turned back around you had fallen off of the step and were under water...scary. I grabbed you up, you coughed and were fine. We got in the water, both a little shaken up but fine. We played in the pool a few more times that season and I thought you would be ok.
Well a few weeks ago we got in the pool for the first time this season. You were a wreck! You cried and sobbed clung to who ever was holding you. Fear had gripped your little heart. There was no reasoning with you, you were sure you were going to sink. You had even started hating getting your hair washed and taking baths...oh no. I grew up swimming, being on a swim team, taking swim lessons, teaching swim lessons and being a life guard. I had seen my fair share of water aversion but not I had to deal with it head on. You knowing how to swim is VERY important to us. So, I did some reading, looked over my old swim lessons and tapped into my motherly intuition. I love knowing you, we are very much a like and I am your mama, we are together 24/7 pretty much. I know you. So, I prepped you yesterday. I offered to start your lessons and you said that today you would start them, I knew you would need warning and time to prep, you don't do spontaneous. So today, you had it in your mind that we were starting swim lessons, you got dressed headed down to the pool with out a hitch. I was staying positive in my head. I went over the pool rules with you and you listened intently. Then we walked over to the steps together. You wanted me to carry you in, but that wouldn't have been safe. You didn't like that and this happened.....
You got up and walked away. I got in and reassured you. You were freaking out, like almost hyperventilating, freaking out! You walked over to the side of the pool, took a deep breath and let me bring you in. You wrapped your arms around my neck and you legs around my waist. Then you freaked out some more. You cried for about 5 minutes. Then you started to relax. We bounced in the water like we were on the moon. We sang a song and blew bubbles with our mouths. You even unwrapped your arms and legs so you could kick and paddle with me still holding you close to me. Baby steps! So after we finished the 'lesson' you gave me two thumbs up! Great! Thats a successful swim lesson. Leaving with smiles! We are going to try to do lessons at least three times a week, it not more. I really want swimming to become a regular thing for you and to not loose any momentum. Just chug away, baby steps and hopefully you will at least love to be in the pool by the end of the summer if not swimming!
I heave learned that my role is more of a comforting, supportive role. I can not force you to do it or it just gets worse. You are brave and choose to overcome your fear and it's my job just to support you and calm you to make those decisions.
I'm excited to you to overcome your fear and learn to swim. I know you will love it!