Wednesday, June 3, 2009

From Fear to Fondness

I am going to try my best to put into words what I witnessed with my own eyes recently. I'm calling it just shy of a miracle! That's how little hope I had in Landon learning to swim. I wish I had some way of portraying just how much fear he had of getting in the water.

Olivia was always a water baby. Loved it from the get go. Never had any unusual hesitations about getting into the water. But always was pretty safe about it. She practically taught herself to swim. We did do swim lessons with her, but I'm pretty sure the few hours of her life that she spent with those teachers didn't have the same type of impact as the lessons Landon just had.

So here I am, pregnant and with 3 kids that I would LOVE to be able to take to pools by myself. But the thing is, there is just no way (I do not have enough hands or eyes) to hold and watch everyone as safely as I'd like to in the water. So I was desperate to teach Landon to swim. He's FOUR years old...he should know!

So...I'd heard about a swim teacher from friends who was really good. Very tough, but equally loving. And he taught the flip and float technique which emphasizes water SAFETY first and then works on the "swimming around" part.

I called him up and booked a slot. Didn't even care about price - that's how desperate I was!

At our first lesson, I walk up to the instructor and say, "I think you have your work cut out for you!!!"

He says, "Nah..." Super confidently!

In my head I'm just laughing. Yeah right.....the last swim teachers couldn't even get him to stop crying in the water the whole time!

I ask him if he wants me to leave and he tells me to pull a chair right up to the side and watch.

Ok, this guy is crazy! But whatever.

Landon immediately like the guy. He had a that good "kid charisma". But this guy wasn't gonna fool around. He immediately pulled Landon in the water and started working with some kick boards. Landon DID NOT like it. Cried and cried. But the instructor (whatever he said) got him to stop crying immediately.

Then before Landon had time to think about anything else, the guy had Landon on his back just holding his head and floating. Landon was SCREAMING at this point. But the teacher took him out in the pool and said, "Do you want to go back to the side?" yes..yes..Landon said. "Well, STOP CRYING!" He didn't yell it, but you knew he meant business. Landon shut up. But proceeded to get out and run when he got back to the side.

The guy said, "Landon, you DO NOT want me to come get you. Come sit right here...1...2..." Landon was on the side of the pool.

Within the first 15 minutes of the lessons, this man had Landon floating on his back QUIETLY.

I was SHOCKED. And that's an understatement.

Completely SOLD by this guy's techniques, I quickly got on his schedule for 3 more lessons back to back.

The second lesson was a little better. Landon tried to run a little bit more, but started to relax a little by the end of the lesson. And at the end of the lesson, Landon actually said, "I liked that Mommy!"

Never thought I'd hear those words.

The third lesson, I made Robert come to. He just HAD to see the complete change of attitude Landon has had towards water!

And this is what Robert witnessed. (This is at our 3rd lesson - he had come SO far!)

I asked permission from our instructor to post this! :-)

The fact that our child would JUMP in the water, on his own, after 60 +/- minutes of lessons is SHOCKING to me.

And at the end of the 3rd lesson, he kept asking to do it MORE!

What was so interesting about all this, was that there was no blowing bubbles or kicking on the side of the pool. It was a the complete opposite approach to swim lessons that you usually see. And in my experience, MUCH more effective in a much SHORTER amount of time.

And the thing I really liked about it, was that it restored, or well instilled, in Landon the love of swimming kids should have! We are around water a lot and I want my kids to enjoy the FUN that swimming has to offer.

On a completely different note, while being at all these swim lessons, I've gotten to see other swim lessons going on. I witnessed a little girl just a little older than Lillian get in and start swimming. I watch TWO babies that couldn't even WALK floating in the water. One of them was really good and was rolling in the water and he wasn't even crying. He was super relaxed!

I realize that there is a course you can take called ISR. We did not do the course. But when I inquired about if that was what he was teaching, my instructor just said, "I call it swim lessons. I've been teaching this my whole life." But some people do go and pay a lot of money to get certified in that specific area of teaching.

This was such a great experience for Landon! It was just what he needed. I would love to start Lillian - we may do winter lessons for her. He said she could be swimming by May!!!

Has anyone else done these types of lessons?! I was surprised I hadn't heard more about them before now! Especially with how effective they are!


  1. that is so awesome! I have the opposite with my two, where M is shy of the water and J isn't unless he is in a float. I have never heard of those type of lessons. Email me the info, please!

  2. YEA, Landon! SO awesome!!!

  3. WAY TO GO LANDON!!! Can you email me info on that guy? Is he already booked up? I would love to put Sam and Eli in lessons. I also would LOVE a trip to the pool but I don't have enough hands to take them all by myself!

  4. I want in too! I would love the info on this guy because I may want to take mallie. Landon did so good and I'm so glad you posted the video- proof!
    I bet Lillian could learn even watching him.

  5. AWESOME! We're so proud of you, Landon!

  6. Email me the info as well!! I have considered ISR for the Fall, but the time commitment is HUGE. If this guy does anything semi-equivalent, I am up for it!!

  7. Susie in TexasJune 03, 2009

    OMG I had the same experience with my Sarah Margaret (now 16yrs old and a lifeguard). the float method is incredible!!! And we went from having to be peeled off the concrete to swimming in the same amount of time that you all went thru!
    So worth the $$$. GOOD JOB, MOM!


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