At the weekend we had our 2nd swimming lesson with Anne from Swim Baby Swim and it was brilliant! We came away on a real high and in fact it was the beginning of a really lovely Sunday spent with family and friends!
This week the Hubbie got in the pool with us and joined in which was great as Isla really is in this 'Daddy's girl' phase at the moment! We'd been saying to her all morning that we were going swimming and she knows what that means and once through the changing room doors there's no stopping her getting into the pool.
Firstly the kids were given dive sticks that they were to drop to the bottom of the pool to encourage them to look down into the water. At first it was quite hard to get Isla to drop it but once she did and saw that it meant Daddy had to go under the water to retrieve it she was happy to do it and more importantly she was looking down into the water watching the dive stick sink to the bottom and watching Daddy fetch it.
We also went up and down the pool holding Isla, encouraging her to 'kick, kick, kick!', which she did. This week it was Daddy's turn to swim the length of the pool with Isla holding onto his back, and again she thoroughly enjoyed it.
The best part about the whole lesson though was that she went under the water on 2 or 3 occasions and it didn't phase her. The best one for us being when Anne 'swam' her towards the side with her head just under the surface. Once she reached me at the side and came above the water we clapped her and although she looked a little bit uncertain once she saw the clapping and praise she was getting she started to clap herself. The fact that Anne did this really took the heat off us, because as parents it is really hard to not be fearful and Isla wouldn't have felt any panicky vibes from her. Anne is so calm and patient and that transmits to the children.
The kids in the lesson who are more practiced with their swimming all really trust Anne, so when she's asking them to take a hand off the side of the pool and come to her they know they won't come to any harm, likewise when they jump in the pool from the side. They are confident in the pool. The parents also learn to get their children to focus on them.
The principle with these lessons is that there is no need to use buoyancy aids as these really hamper the natural ability that children possess. They keep the body in un upright position which isn't helpful when eventually the child has to learn to swim in a horizontal position. Anne's lessons teach the importance of breath holding and floating.
For more details on Anne Hawley and Swim Baby Swim, go to:
Isla and I are taking part in the lessons as a trial and they have been provided free of charge for the purposes of the review.