Before you read any further I want to make clear that I am in no way advocating you put your dear child in water and watch him or her float away. Pool and sea safety are important to get right. In fact “reminding” your children how to swim as early as possible is a way to reduce one’s conscious or subconscious fear.
These notes are based on my own brief critical observations whilst in water.
The main point I want to make is this: the water shows up a child’s apparent fear as that of his/her mother rather than his/her own. And I’ve yet to know the water to lie.
The water allows you to feel another much more clearly and in such an instant I was hearing a child silently scream “MUMMY GIVE ME SPACE TO BREATHE” as he struggled to find his way in water.
In one of those instants where you get a glimpse of a much bigger picture and parallel realities run thin I seized the moment and called for a pool game where the parents stood outside the pool and the eager kids stayed in the pool ready to chase the floating toys the parents would then throw in the pool.
Admittedly the game was a success. The parents felt much loved and involved and the children eager to please and equally raveling in the collective pool of joy.
In the midst of all the pool activity what do I see? A mother having jumped in the pool and getting the toys for her child!
However difficult it might be mummies by taking responsibility for your fear simply by speaking it out loud kids are less likely to drown and much more likely to have a splash of a time.