Pool sharks (or maybe just guppies)

I learned recently that there are things or events that can certainly cause child and parent to re-evaluate the trust that is mutually instilled in both.  This past week as was everyone else trying to conquer this Mid-West heat wave I decided to take WiMi to the pool.  Now the important thing here is that WiMi can't swim.  They've always seemed quite comfortable "around" water though.. whether it be at a water-park , their kiddie pool, or daily when they shower.   I think they become comfortable because I started showering with them at an early age, around 6 months...  (hey it was about time mgt).

Michael making sure he had JUST enough sun-screen

What I find amazing is that while not quite able to grasp just how dangerous water can be if you don't respect it... or arent' properly educated.... some kids still seem to have some sense that it is indeed dangerous... and aren't quite comfortable around it or in it.  But I think all of us at sometime feared what we didn't know or quite understand.  

As with so many things I've watched WiMi attack head-on over the past three years...the jungle-gym, 4-wheelers, the "cement slide" at Alms Park ....  "The Pool"  seemed to be a bit different.  I saw that it was going to take some effort on my part to make sure they were comfortable around the pool.  I think it was  a bit different for them.... somewhat overwhelming. 

WiMi conquered the famous "cement slide" at 1 yr old. Pretty impressive.

What I learned so long ago as a parent is that it's best not to feed into fear.... but to READ into fear.  Know what it is exactly your child is afraid of.... put yourself in their shoes.  The first thing I had to do was get in the pool myself....  If I'm going to convince them that it is safe for them.... I have to show it's safe for me.  I felt that once they saw that I was comfortable with the water that they would soon be also. Of course I will be honest.. I did invest in some things to aide me in trying to get the boys acclimated and comfortable with the water... like floaties.... goggles, and some water toys.....   I think those kind of things help.  

Michael working on his back-stroke
Wm easing into it...
The challenge with twins of course is each one approaches a situation very differently and at different paces.  This requires a significant amount to attention and patience and as a parent you have to be careful not make other feel pressured because the other is or isn't doing something.  Michael was the one who became more comfortable with the water at first...  Wm kind of observed and fed off of whatever Michael's reaction was.  Not before long they were both at least comfortable getting in and practicing kicking and paddling. 


Where the trust "re-evaluation" comes into play that  I mentioned earlier is how the feeling of "weightlessness", cold, and "waves"  is quite awkward for a 3 yr old or maybe anyone whose new to the pool.  I could sense both the boy's uneasiness as they clung to me with such a strong grip.  What they needed from me was constant reassurance that  "daddy would never let anything happen to them"   and that everything was going to be okay. I would  hold onto them as long as they liked.  Of course this was all new and unknown to all of us.  So it was important that we trusted each other.

I'm not going to say either of my son's eased into a level of trust or comfort so easily....  I tried to not let myself become frustrated or bothered by this and told myself that I would just have to be patient and it wasn't worth trying to rush them into anything.  We've only gone two days... and I'm quite impressed. I wouldn't be surprised if in a couple weeks they are kicking and paddling with no assistance at all from me.  But it will only happen if that level of trust is there.  Odd but that's what we have to do sometimes as parents....  re-earn our kids trust.

Thanks for reading.... 



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