By Val Luppino- NJAC Swim mom
I am oftentimes asked, “Why is your son still in swimming lessons? Hasn’t he learned how to swim yet?”.
Yes, of course he can swim and he can actually swim quite well, but every season I keep enrolling him in swimming classes, and there are several reasons why.
One main reason I keep my son enrolled in swimming lessons is because he continues to grow, not only in his swimming skill set but in his confidence and independence.
He’s learning life skills, not only swimming skills. He’s able to manage disappointment, overcome challenges and learn that accomplishing a goal takes time and effort. The skills he’s learning in swimming classes are crucial to his development, but also are crucial to his survival. Living in NJ gives us the opportunity to head down the shore on a beautiful summer’s day. Or hop in our town pool to cool off and now because he can swim and tread water I feel relaxed and we can enjoy the water. He’s able to swim on his own for a long distance and he’s able to tread water for a long time, so if he can’t get to the ladder or exit the pool because too many people are around the exit he will be safe. As he gets older he will continue to grow and develop and I hope one day he’ll be able to help someone if they are in danger. Falling in the pool or being accidently pushed in isn’t a worry at all, he actually thinks it’s fun. There isn’t a feeling of panic or anxiety around a large body of water.
Another very important aspect of being in a swim class is the social skills he’s learning.
From a very young age he learned that he needs to wait his turn, he needs to listen and he needs to be kind to others. Yes, he learns these skills at school, but speaking from experience since I’m a teacher, several things kids are taught in school don’t translate to the real world. These skills have really helped my son become independent and very mature.
The health benefits of swimming are extremely important as well.
My son has great longevity and when other kids are out of breath from running or playing, my son keeps on going. It’s great exercise and several of the skills he’s learned in swim class have helped in acclimate easily to team sports as well.
If there is one piece of advice I can give to parents it’s, keep your kids enrolled. They learn so much more than just swimming. Thanks to NJAC the kids will learn skills that they’ll be able to use and cherish for a lifetime.