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In The Swim

Submitted by PAUL C on November 09 2012 10:11 AM

Drowning is one of the most prevalent causes of preventable death in Australian children under five. It is one of my greatest fears for my kids. I never take my eyes off them around water.

I enrolled my eldest son in swimming lessons at 12 weeks of age. In hindsight, it was probably a bit early, but at the time, I was desperate to get out and about with my baby. I do wonder if the early start instilled the love of water and swimming he has today.

Contrast that to my now 3 year old. I didn’t start him until he was 12 months of age. He isn’t anywhere near as keen on the water as his brother and we have nick-named him ‘sand crab’. He likes being around it, but not actually going in it.

So of course, I have the child that screams when he goes to lessons. Would it be easier to just skip lessons and pick another activity that he enjoys (like music, or gymnastics). It sure would.

But if I did that that, not only would it be really irresponsible, it would also send him the wrong message – cry enough and you get out of doing what you need to do.

I don’t mind if he doesn’t develop a passion for swimming as he gets older. But he has to be able to swim well enough to keep himself out of danger.

And guess what my little sand crab did at swimming lessons on Saturday? He ducked his head in the water and said “I’m three now Mum, I can go under!” Not a tear in sight.

How about your kids? Are they water lovers or loathers?

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