What I would give to have the energy of my 2-year-old boy.
I’m sure most of you in are in the same boat as us – it’s important to fill his week with a few regular activities, both for the purpose of helping him learn and grow as well as helping him stay active. With this cold winter weather, we are going to parks and playgrounds less, but thankfully Columbus has a lot of creative options to keep parents and kids busy.
When I moved to Ohio, lots of my friends told me about Goldfish Swim School, and I was excited to learn more. Living in Florida and having a pool in our backyard, swim safety has always been important to me. Shep did the ISR swim lessons when he was a year old, and while effective, were pretty terrible for a parent to watch. It was at the height of his separation anxiety phase, and he cried and cried so hard when he had his lessons. Again, we finished them out because of the necessity of it, but I was really happy when they were over.
That said, Shepard LOVES the water. We spent almost every weekend in our backyard swimming and hanging around the pool when we lived in Tampa. But we used the floaties, and he hasn’t learned to actually swim yet. I knew we’d cross that bridge this year, so I was ready to get him started at Goldfish as soon as we could.
Before we started our first class, I wanted to be sure to give him a lot of information beforehand so he didn’t have anxiety or nervousness and would be receptive to learning once we got there. Here are some of the ways we prepared for our lessons, and then how the first two have gone so far!
- Talk about the upcoming new activity. Simply talking about something new helps Shep ease into the activity. He feels involved and isn’t caught off guard with a new environment.
- Pick out your swim gear the night before. We chose the swim shorts and rash guard he wanted to wear to swim lessons, so he had some control about what was happening. That night, we also read one of his favorite books, Pout Pout Fish.
- Keep the morning simple (if your lessons are in the morning). I made sure the morning didn’t feel rushed and we had time to gear up for our lesson. We scheduled the Saturday class at 10:30 because I wanted Clint to also have a chance to take him and watch him on certain weekends as well.
- Arrive early and let your child explore the facility. The Goldfish Swim School is beautiful and expansive. As soon as you walk in, both you and your child will love the bright colors, tropical decor and warm (literally) air. (It made me miss Florida just a little!). There is also a play area that’s perfect if you are a little early or have a little brother or sister who is hanging out during the lesson.
- Let them know you are watching. This was my FAVORITE part. I got the choice of either sitting nearby within the pool area or on the other side of the glass in the chairs. Either way, we could see one another. I sat on the bench inside for a minute or two but then realized it was distracting to him, and I wanted his teacher to have his full attention. I sat on the other side of the glass and waved and clapped when I saw him do something well. He smiled so big and I could see his sense of accomplishment!
The teacher gave me a helpful report at the end of the lesson to tell me all about his progress, and Mr. Connor told Shepard and I that he was very comfortable in the water and followed directions really well. He said a few times he wanted to jump before he was told to do so, but overall had a strong foundation to learn to swim.
I should also note that his nap on that Saturday was 3.5 hours (score!)
If you have any questions or are considering swim lessons at Goldfish, feel free to leave it in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclosure: We have received lessons in exchange for spreading the word about Goldfish Swim School. Opinions are my own.