Goldfish Swim School has a couple of not-so-secret tricks to get your kids into the water without hesitation: they keep the pool at 90 degrees year-round and all the kids wear goggles.
The reason they do that is, of course, comfort; the kids (and parents) aren’t worried about shivering, blue lips or water in their eyes so they can relax and focus on learning. Their inhibitions are loosened.
But with loosened inhibition in the water comes, well, loosened inhibitions in the water. You’re suddenly having visions of the kid who was scared to dip his toe in the bathtub yelling “CANNONBALL” and barreling toward any body of water.
But not so fast. At Goldfish, water safety is at the forefront of every lesson just as much as skill. And just to be extra sure, four times a year, they do a special week focused specifically on water safety.
It’s exciting to see your little one gain confidence in the water, but, yeah, terrifying to think about that “I can do it by myself, Mommy” overconfidence that can come with it, but Goldfish totally gets it. The instructors make sure their students are smart and safe when it comes to water.
The lessons the kids learn go beyond “no running!” and the objective is for them to become second-nature.
When we started lessons, one of the first things my youngest learned was how to get himself out of the pool (“elbow, elbow, belly, knee” – I still find myself repeating that!). And during safety week, the kids have to jump in without goggles and get themselves to the edge, just to know what it’s like to be underwater without that clear view.
When I asked him this week what he learned about being safe in the water, he told me “treading water without goggles.” The last time I saw him try it, he barely made it 10 seconds without sinking under. Here we are just a couple weeks later, and he made it the full 30 seconds and then went into a back float.
Seriously, guys – they know what they’re doing here.
In some cases, I didn’t even realize what they were doing was for safety sake, but now I’m getting it more and more.
When my oldest was learning to freestyle from one side of the pool to the other, I didn’t get why they had him flip over completely onto his back rather than take a breath and keep going. But like I said, they know what they’re doing – it taught him that if he’s tired, he can float on his back before flipping back into swimming mode. I’ve seen him use that after a daring dive off the diving board when he opted to take the long way to the wall. He didn’t panic (like I may have just a little bit); he simply rolled over, got some air, then went back to swimming to the ladder.
And in addition to what they teach your kids about safety, they have so many measures in place to make a safe environment for your kiddos. There are always several very vigilant lifeguards on duty – keeping a close eye on even the wiggliest of wiggly little guys. And in each class, there are never more than four students for each teacher.
So while I still may get my fair share of “I can do it, Mommy!” I have to say that my confidence in their water abilities is growing as theirs grows thanks to Goldfish Swim School and their wonderful crew.
You can read my previous post with more of what I love about Goldfish here.Save