No choices if you can’t swim.

In this modern age of parenting the emphasis on “Choices” for our children is now part of our parenting skills. Of course the principal of allowing our children to make choices also teaches them that for every choice we make there is also a “Consequence”.

There are times when children can make bad choices e.g. run across a road, play with matches or jump into a body of water. The consequences of making any one of these choices may result in death or serious bodily harm not only to the child but also to others involved.

From first hand experience and from sitting in our swim school offices and listening to franchisees/managers/staff take a booking I am getting increasingly frustrated by parents who after obtaining a time for a swimming lesson for their child (can take up to 20 minutes on the phone); then turn to their three year old and ask them if they want to go to swimming lessons. The child in most cases answers “NO”.

The frustration comes from knowing that if that child was to fall into a body of water, even a body of water that was 500mm-600mm deep and did not know what to do (how to get their feet under them and be able to stand up) there would be no choice. If the child did not have the necessary skills then parental/guardian intervention is the only thing that will avoid a drowning or near death by drowning. The water is very impersonal and is NOT a respecter of age, race or sex because if you do not have the necessary Personal Aquatic Survival Skills and fall into a body of water, then you do not have a choice to survive that situation.

If you are reading this article as part of a swim school newsletter, then I congratulate you on making the right choice as a parent. If you are reading this article and have not enrolled your child in swimming lessons then I urge you to consider what I have written if you are tempted to give the choice whether to attend swimming lessons or not to your child.

By choosing swimming lessons for your child you are opening up to them not only the skills to save their lives or the lives of others but also giving them the freedom to enjoy the water in its many forms e.g. water skiing, surfing, kayaking, competitive swimming, pool parties, surf life saving (nippers) etc.

Please keep in mind that being able to swim can make your child “Safer in the water for the rest of their lives.”

Chris Shapland