Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Swim Lesson #1

Happy Sam before the lesson.

Today was the first day of Sam's swim lessons. He is enrolled in the Safe Start program through the YMCA which is affiliated with ISR. He goes 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 6 weeks. This is a swim survival course that teaches babies to swim to safety should they fall in a pool or lake. If they can't reach the side, they learn how to roll on their back to catch their breath, and then roll back over and swim to the side.

I had heard horror stories of the ISR technique. Unknowing parents told of children being "thrown in the water while they scream and flail" for weeks on end. I had done hours of research on the swim survival technique that was right for us and decided that I'd put the rumors to rest and give it a try ourselves.

Rob came to the pool today to witness Sam's first lesson. Sam's instructor, Ms. Dawn, coached us on being supportive, happy-faced and encouraging while Sam was in the water. She gently eased him in the water and held him for a few minutes to earn his trust. He cried as soon as we handed him over, mostly from stranger anxiety and not because of tortouous swim techniques I had heard about. Today the focus was getting Sam used to holding himself on the side of the pool with both hands and without support. Dawn also put Sam under water a few times, teaching him how to hold his breath and search for the side himself. He did great! He did cry the entire lesson, but he swallowed much less air and water than we anticipated! Rob and I feel great about these lessons and I look forward to a summer of swimming with my confident toddler!


Anonymous said...

so awesome to hear about sam's first lesson!! Welcome back to the blogging universe! We missed you :)

Anonymous said...

That rocks about his swim lessons! i have heard nothing but good things from others who have enrolled their children in the program. I am sure Sam will do wonderfully and adjust just well with the passing days. He looks like such a big boy in that first picture as well!! The clock must slow down!

Congrats to Sam on his first lesson and to you and Rob for taking the steps to get him started in that program, even after all the horror stories! He'll thank you guys for it and you'll enjoy being able to let him swim around like a fish with confidence! Can't wait to see the video! :)