I took my kids to a public pool today, and it was a sad experience, in a way. What is it with parents disregarding their kids’ wishes about not being dragged in the cold water, not being forced to start learning to swim? This is NOT how you teach your kids to stop being afraid of water. This is NOT how you teach children to swim. I don’t like it when I hear parents boast how they just threw their screaming kid in the water and he had no choice but to swim, and look at him now, yay! Sad ‘yay’, really. Sad that we choose to ignore to listen to what our children are trying to tell us and proceed with our own agenda. I know some adults who are afraid of water and can’t really swim, or can swim but are not comfortable doing it, all because their caregivers just kept throwing them out there telling them it was ok, they could do it, they shouldn’t be afraid. How can you tell someone to just stop being afraid of something by forcing them to be emerged in that something when they are not ready? It doesn’t make sense to me. Does it to you?
Can we stop forcing our kids to grow up faster than they are able to? To not listen to their cries and clues? To keep pushing for something WE want them to do, even if THEY don’t want to do it at this very moment. Maybe if we give them time, show them respect and support, drop the idea until they seem to be more willing to try that again, maybe then they would just jump into the water themselves and thank us for waiting it out a bit and respecting what THEY wanted for themselves? Imagine what that would do to building a trusting and loving parent-child relationship.
Photo: Sherif Salama (Flickr)