Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: Swimming

  1. Children & the fear of swimming

    Posted on

    It is no secret that we love swimming on the Lilypad, so when social media powerhouse Kenney Myers asked to guest post on his experiences, we were delighted to share them. I therefore hand you over to Ken..... 

    Every child is unique and has a different disposition in regards to the way they take on life. It is so important that we as parents take each one of our children’s dispositions into account before we begin anything new and this includes teaching them to swim. I have two children and both were totally different when it came to their reactions to water and learning to swim. 

    I have heard that fear is passed down through generations. I am inclined to believe it though not through genetics but instead perhaps through example and empathetic association. My own mother was terrified of water and did not swim so when it became my turn to swim I too was frightened. Probably because every time we would get near water she would firmly grasp my arm and pull me away. 

    Introducing me to swimming took a gentle hand and a gradual time frame. I had an uncle who did not believe in coddling children into swimming and he actually threw me into a lake. It did not go as he had planned however and he ended diving in to find me. I panicked and the sheer terror on my face was enough to keep him apologizing to me and my mother for years to come even though I came out physically unscathed. 

    I did learn to swim eventually. I actually was not really afraid of the water in itself; my fear was more about being able to feel firm ground beneath my feet. I wanted to be very sure I could get my head up out of the water at any given moment. I was fine in the shallow water of a pool but the deep end terrified me. Lakes and oceans of any kind terrified me shallow or not, this fear came from what lurked in the deep and the possibility that I could at any given moment be bitten or swallowed whole. This was unrealistic perhaps but nonetheless real in my young mind. I think this fear came about when my grandfather told us stories when we were at his home by the lake. He told us there were catfish in that lake that could swallow a man whole. Thanks granddad! 

    Catfish

    My parents put me into a beginners swim class in which I stayed for a couple of years. When I actually advanced to the next level of intermediate they expected us to jump into to the deep end and swimming to the shallow. Believe it or not I actually achieved this goal because I could swim very quickly because I wanted out of that deep water! But when I left intermediate classes into advanced classes my swimming came to an abrupt halt. They wanted me to dive head first off of a diving board and that is where I drew the line. My parents did not push it at this point; they were just delighted I knew how to swim. That was their goal. Me not drowning!

    When my children came along I truly did my best not to impose my fears upon them. However, my daughter was born not wanting water anywhere near her face! Just washing her hair was daunting. So I began right away letting her play in shallow water and try to gently show her that water was not to be feared. Giving children a secure environment to explore in can really help them to overcome unrealistic fears.

    I also put my daughter into swimming classes at an early age. I did a lot of research to ensure that the swimming school I chose was able to meet the needs of a timid child. I did not want her to be permanently scarred from a careless instructor. And she pretty much followed in my footsteps when it came to swimming. She was afraid of the deep water, she liked to keep her feet on solid ground, and she certainly did not take well to be thrown in the water. A friend of the family decided he would give her a little shove when we were at a pool party. The results were exactly the same as when I was thrown in and it slowed down her progress immensely. This is why I very much believe in thoroughly knowing a child’s disposition and proceeding accordingly.

    For some children the sink or swim method works well as in the case of my son. My son was not afraid of water and from the beginning did not care if he got water in his face. He loved everything about water and could stay in it all day if you let him. When we started taking him to the pool no one actually had to throw him in, he threw himself in! He actually thought that jumping in and sinking was swimming and he was really proud of himself! This was terrifying to me to say the least. We had to watch him very closely every time we were around water because he would just jump in and sink. Upon pulling him out of the water he would get very excited and ask us if we saw him swimming! In a way it benefited his sister who was several years older than him to come out of her timidity when it came to water. Her love and protective nature overcame her fears when she saw him sinking to the bottom and she would immediately go in after him. One of us was on hand at all times to ensure his safety. 

    Swimming

    We did make a point of getting him into swimming lessons right away because his form of swimming was not acceptable. He went through the stages of the swimming school very quickly and mastered it. He was absolutely fearless when it came to swimming. The swimming park we often went to had three diving boards, one which was very high. Thankfully they had an age and height limit on this diving board or he would have been up there at age three. When he finally was able to go off of that board my heart still sank every time he climbed that ladder but he absolutely loved it.

    I feel that it is very important to watch and understand your child’s particular disposition and the way they handle new challenges and life in general. The sink or swim method may work wonderfully for one child but greatly hinder another. Swimming is such an important skill for every child. Whether or not they feel comfortable diving off of a diving board is not as important as is their ability to not drown. In the day and age we live in we do not have to go out in search of water holes, there is water everywhere in the form of fountains, reservoirs, bayous, and backyard pools. We as parents need to ensure that our children have the ability to keep afloat in any circumstance. 

    Swimming needs to not to be taken lightly but it also needs to be made enjoyable. For both types of children, the daredevil or the timid child, being near water is something they need to feel confident about. Children also need to be taught to have a reverent fear of water, to know its propensity for fun and for danger as well.

     

    Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.

  2. Making a splash : Water Babies

    Posted on

    Swimming is a big part of our life.

    Swimming is a life skill.

     

    Baby Swimming 2

     

    Swimming has helped make new friends.

    Swimming has helped build confidence.

    Baby Swimming

    Swimming has helped to build a strong bond with Nanny and her youngest grand daughter.

    Swimming has given me peace of mind

    Baby Swimming 1

    A picture can tell a thousand words.

  3. Do you worry what you wear to go swimming?

    Posted on

    Swimming is a big thing in our family (and blog) and my girls love the water (we are on a Lilypad after all), so as it gets colder and wetter outside, we have started a new term in the slightly warmer water in the pool.

    I remember having to literally drag my eldest to swimming lessons, although her passive personality could be eventually convinced but this week she has been doing her distance badges and it seems like a million years ago that she was refusing to go. On the flip side, the little one has returned to her Water Babies swimming lesson and as much as she loves the water, she has been expressing her strong personality and choice regarding which activities she undertakes. (going under the water was apparently off her agenda this week).

    My eldest has decided that she is going to go to her swimming lessons in a bikini of late and whilst this may not be my swimming attire of choice for her, I am secretly pleased that she is getting some use out of it (and I don't need to buy yet another swimming costume).

     Water Babies Wet Suit

    The little one wears her Water Babies wet suit, which not only keeps her warm in the water but she looks super cute in it too. I did wonder as the winter draws in whether I could get away with buying one of these

    womens wet suits

     

    Womens Wet Suit

    It made me think about when we become conscious of our attire or is it more conscious of our body? My eldest is really beginning to get into fashion (someone please help me) and those that know me, know that I LOVE fashion but there is no way I would go into our local swimming pool in a bikini! Is that my own insecurities or is that society?

    Should I be wrapping myself up in a (nice warm) wet suit or should I be more like my daughter and wear a bikini just because I love it??

    What do you think?

     

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you in association with Eureka Cycle Sports but all swimming and fashion dillema's are our own!

  4. Sometimes you just have to dive in ....

    Posted on

    Today I did something that is usually reserved for Nanny and my youngest daughter.

    Today I went to a Water Babies swimming lesson.

    Today I got very wet!

    Mum is on holiday and although the swimming lessons are their "thing", I didn't want the little one to miss out on her lessons, so I donned my swimming costume and took the plunge.

    We were one of the first ones there so had the pool to ourselves and the little fish was keen to show me how she puts her face in the water and kick kick kicks. I loved how interactive the class was and I knew some of the things that we were doing as they get repeated over and over again in our bath tub. I wasn't however prepared for Lindsey, our swimming teacher getting the little one to wash my face and wash my hair before we got started. Thankfully I wasn't going for the glamorous yummy mummy look!

    Mom had said only a few weeks ago how the little one was refusing to put her face in the water but this week she was happily blowing bubbles and swimming under water. Yes, actually swimming under the water. I was astounded.

    She didn't like lying on her back with a plastic duck on her tummy, she much preferred to throw the duck across the water, much to her amusement but her favourite thing is launching herself into the water. Firstly, she literally ran off a huge float and jumped into the water but again, I was astounded at her diving into the water from a sitting position on the side. I have seen her pretend to dive in the bath at home but seeing her dive into the water with no fear is a true testament to the Water Babies process.

    I am now even more envious of their weekly swimming lessons and am so pleased that I could take her today, despite being a little nervous that she would be upset that Nanny wasn't taking her. But in the end, just like the little one, sometimes you just have to dive in.