My boys are chalk and cheese personality wise.
Something that becomes more apparent when we hit the swimming pool, my four year old HATED the water.
Screamed blue murder if you took him in. And wouldn’t even consider putting his face in the water. However, at the time living in Dubai before moving to Doha, given that temperatures regularly reach 40°C with a real feel much higher, a swimming pool is our only sanctuary.
We got to the point where as long as his feet touched the floor we were good.
My two year old? From the off used to kamikaze crawl into the pool. Has never had an issue going under the water and now squeals in delight for more “under”
Which is why they’ve always had separate swimming aids when it comes to the pool. The four year old was always a fan of a rubber ring, and the two year old was an armband bobber.
So when two SwimFin’s arrived courtesy of my mum in Doha back in April I wasn’t quite sure whether it would work for them both.
Happily, I’ve been proven wrong.
The most important thing about SwimFin is this: the more submerged it is, the more support it is giving. This means when the child is vertical, doggy paddling through the water, SwimFin will be almost completely submerged, giving maximum support. As the child’s body position becomes more horizontal, SwimFin comes out of the water giving less support. This means the child is swimming more for themselves with less and less assistance. – SwimFin
The four year old and the SwimFin
We first went for swimming lessons when he was three months old and if I’m totally honest that was for my benefit, not his. Then we moved to Dubai and just let it slide.
We tried again when he was one year old. And that was an unprecedented disaster. He HATED it. Which may in fact be a slight understatement. This child wailed whenever he saw a pool, which wasn’t a good thing when you live in the Middle East. So we shelved it until he got a bit older.
We tried again when he was two, I was heavily pregnant and away we went. This went better and as long as his feet were on the floor and his face stayed dry he was happy as Larry, whoever Larry may be. Any deeper? He clung to me like a limpet. Along came baby and it got pushed to the back burner.
We went again when he was three, and he was much improved. He was happy to be in the water, albeit with his feet on the floor. But he did allow himself to swim round the pool.
With each set he’s gotten a little more confident, a little more willing to get in the water. And on a Christmas holiday to Langkawi with the arrival of some brand new goggles, he finally got over the idea of having his face under the water.
Hurray! Surely from there it was only a matter of time, right?
With our pool under construction we headed down to the Hilton to test out the SwimFin before swimming lessons began again.
I strapped the fin on, easily fitting it round his body without him trying to run away screaming he didn’t want to wear it. And I watched as he threw himself into the water.
Lifted his legs up.
And loved it. From the site guide he is probably at an intermediary level, but his water confidence is fairly low. It’s only been since last Christmas that he’s put his face in the water and even now he is hesitant to be out of his depth.
The SwimFin and the two year old
We began swimming lessons this term with the two year old, and funnily enough his swimming teacher is actually the Doha distributor for SwimFin so we’ve been using these in a lesson setting as well as just clowning around in the pool.
The differences between the two year old and the four year old is that the two year old is pretty much fully upright in the water, and “bicycles” to get places. As such the fin is fully submerged, fully supporting him as he bobs around in the pool.
I love that the fin will grow with him, getting to the point where it will pop up out of the water. One of the big tips we’ve taken from lessons with him is whilst he is wearing his fin to pop a noodle under his hips to get him used to being in a more horizontal position.
Our future swimmers
One thing is for certain, this pair need to keep on swimming, living where we do being in a pool is a daily occurrence in the summer months.
Building up their confidence and teaching them to swim are important life lessons that I want them to know, coupled with the fact that I love the water. You can’t beat family swim time!
The fins are staying put in Doha this summer due to luggage restrictions and having to pack for three months in the UK, but our little swimmers? Well they will be headed to our local pool for family splash time to keep up their water confidence.