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Old 06-01-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Nova
486 posts, read 883,276 times
Reputation: 262
Default Learning to swim?

I have a three year old who loves the water... DH is a fish in the water too and they have a lot of fun together in the pool.

She likes to wear a vest to help her float and is trying to paddle around the pool, and kick her feet. She is still hesitant to try floating on her back- with my hands holding her. But overall, she likes the water.

This year, I've thought about not getting a larger vest for her and getting the arm floaties to help her learn more, but I'm not sure if she's too young for this? or not?

Just curious from you all how your children learned to swim and at what age did you do things?
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Mebane
2,404 posts, read 3,695,101 times
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My daughter started swimming lessons shortly after she turned 3. She has been in lessons twice per week for almost a year now and is just starting to be able to swim independently for maybe 5 yards. We've done lessons at 4 different pools, and her teachers have not been fans of the arm floaties. We were recommended to use a swim belt instead, like this Amazon.com: Instructional Swim Belt: Sports & Outdoors instead. Each teacher has had some differences in terms of how much they like her to use floaties when learning to swim, and her current teacher doesn't want her to use floaties at all because she says at this point it would set her back from real swimming.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:49 AM
 
Location: here
16,586 posts, read 12,899,198 times
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my kids had their first lessons around 3 1/2 and 4 years. we didn't really use floaties much, partly because the public pools around here are so shallow.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:49 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,234 posts, read 2,061,057 times
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We were doing this with my daughter at around that age. When she got more proficient we starting playing tag in the water (I was always it) but always without the floaties.

The younger they learn how to swim the better.

Forgot to add that I taunt both of mine to swim. I used games like I mentioned above, diving sticks, floating toys, etc.

Last edited by goodmanm; 06-01-2010 at 11:54 AM.. Reason: added last sentence.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:51 AM
 
26,172 posts, read 18,648,352 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liloulou View Post
I have a three year old who loves the water... DH is a fish in the water too and they have a lot of fun together in the pool.

She likes to wear a vest to help her float and is trying to paddle around the pool, and kick her feet. She is still hesitant to try floating on her back- with my hands holding her. But overall, she likes the water.

This year, I've thought about not getting a larger vest for her and getting the arm floaties to help her learn more, but I'm not sure if she's too young for this? or not?

Just curious from you all how your children learned to swim and at what age did you do things?
The arm floaty things are definitely not recommended. As a matter of fact, I've been to pools where they are not permitted because parents put them on the kid, figure they are safe, turn their attention elsewhere, and the kid turns upside down in the water and drowns.

Here is how I taught my daughter to swim, and there will be howling and indignation and gnashing of teeth in response, I'm sure.

When my daughter was a toddler, around 2 years old, we lived in an apartment complex that had a kiddie pool as well as the normal pool. She kept running for the big pool and would just fly down the steps into water that was over her head. I was so afraid of her drowning I finally took her into the water and taught her how to hold her breath by first showing her how it is done, and then dunking her into the water until she learned how to do it. She only came up choking two or three times before she got it, and I was always holding her (just dipped her in straight down, not head first or anything). By the end of that day she could swim to me underwater.

I still wasn't going to leave her alone at the pool, but at least this way I figured if she did get away and into the deep water before I could catch her, at least she knew how to hold her breath and swim under water enough to buy time.

As the years went on, she learned how to swim properly and took her deep-water test the summer she turned 7. She is now 18. Works as a lifeguard in the summers.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Nova
486 posts, read 883,276 times
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Oh, I'm learning a thing or two about floaties.... ;-)

I am not a great swimmer and was never a "fish" in the water so...

How do you you all feel about the vests? Is that belt thing ok for 3 yr olds or shall I remember that for maybe when she's 4?
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:57 AM
 
3,694 posts, read 7,464,961 times
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Check out your local Y, they usually have swim classes from 3 on up, they're well worth your time and money, it was a while ago but my kids wore a styrofoam bubble and learned to swim at a very young age, they'd run off the diving board too, into fairly deep water (the instructor was in the water at the end of the diving board), we even have a picture of one our kids where it looks like she's walking on water as she's jumping feet first into the water, they lovvvved it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:04 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,234 posts, read 2,061,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
The arm floaty things are definitely not recommended.
There's nothing wrong with them, if used properly.

I too have seen countless instances of toddlers in the water and parents seemingly more concerned about getting their tans.

At that age, if the kid is in the water (with or without flotation assistance), so should the parent.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:04 PM
 
2,605 posts, read 2,447,089 times
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My boy could swim at 3. I couldn't keep him out of the water. We went to the pool all summer every summer for about 3 years. He never had a fear and learned by himself. My daughter learned at the same time, he could swim under water and she could swim above water, but both were pretty happy.

Kids learn how to swim just by being in the water. We never used any float devices though. They learn to depend on them and have more difficulty being on their own to depend on their own skills.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:15 PM
 
Location: NE TN~ TriCities
4,947 posts, read 5,957,381 times
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Not a big fan of arm floaties either, some kids get to depend on them and have a hard time giving them up later. We did lessons at the local pool with mom on the sidelines cheering them on. Jumping from the diving board into the deep end was a rite of passage, "look I'm a big kid now"
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