Our first round of swim lessons began this week at the Y. Monday was such a success. They both jumped right in and took to the water like little fish. Tuesday arrived and Hayley had changed her mind about being in the water without her beloved swim vest. She cried, protested, cried some more, and would not get back into the water. Wednesday, same song and dance. Luke sweetly tried to cheer her on and encourage his baby sister, but she would have none of it. Fear had taken over and won.
I went home Wednesday and called my BFF from childhood, Mandy. We are so like-minded especially when it comes to raising our kids sometimes it is scary. I wanted to know what I should do to encourage and make Hayley feel more confident about the water. Mandy gave me some great advice about drawing pictures of what Hayley was afraid of (sinking) and then pictures of her swimming on the water with her teacher. Hayley and I sat down and discussed the pictures. She loved being able to point to the pictures and visually see what she was trying to tell me and what I was trying to tell her. I also had resorted to encouragement by giving her a reward (a Barbie) if she got in and tried to swim with her teacher on Thursday.
We left for the pool early on Thursday and I got in the water with Hayley to see if I could ease some of her anxiety. We swam together for about 10 minutes before class and then went to sit on the top step to wait for her teacher. She was reluctant at first, but she got in the water each time it was her turn and did a great job! I was so proud of her. She seemed to feel more at ease and even jumped in the pool to her teacher twice at the end of the lesson. Hooray. Hopefully her confidence will continue to build as she has one more week of lessons starting Monday.
Luke did an awesome job! He really loved learning to float on his back and jumping in the pool at the end of class was his all time favorite.
One more week of lessons, and I will report back with an update.