Last week we went to a pool party, and it was actually fun.
Let me explain. For several years now during any given summer we have at least 2-4 non swimmers. A few years ago we went to a 4th of July pool party. The minute we arrived our then 2 year old Shane walked straight into the water and landed on the bottom of the pool. Thank God my husband was there to jump in. Some other time my then 3 year old Esther went briefly under in a hot tub. Needles to say I associated going to friend’s pools with near death experiences. However I didn’t give up. We kept going swimming. If my husband wasn’t available, I was often blessed with friend’s to help me. Now I have my two oldest helping (age 14 and 11).
This year we have 3 swimmers and 3 non swimmers. This is how we do it. My 6 year old Ella is really close to being able to swim. For her I use a noodle. Yes, a noodle. I tie the noodle around her waist. I would only recommend this for a child that is older, because the noodle can become loose. With our 4 year old, who is not close to swimming, we use every floating device imaginable. She could probably float across an ocean. We put her in a floating swimsuit and put rings on her arms. We don’t ever have to worry about her. I don’t have to worry about my toddler this year either, since she has no interest in going into the water. Therefore we only have to keep an eye on our 8 year old Shane, who just learned how to swim, and our 6 year old with the noodle. That makes it more manageable.
There are a lot of ways to do it, but two things are important: go often and have fun. That way they become comfortable being in the water. As they play and splash around they get used to putting their faces in the water, and sooner or later they will swim. And when that happens, go celebrate with some ice cream!!