I told my baby-daddy’s parents that swimming tops my list of life-skills, and that their grandchildren will be in the pool by the end of their first week in the world. It is not only a life-skill, but a life-saving skill.
Being able to swim isn’t enough. Your child has to be a strong swimmer who is aware of the dangers. When I was at school, a couple of my friends drowned because they tried swimming across a narrow stretch of water after missing the last boat home.
G is a fantastically strong swimmer, though she doesn’t think so (which is good). Several years back, our canoe capsized in the dark, in the open sea, and she saved her own life. She could easily swim 50 metres in choppy seas. It gives us some measure of comfort that she knows about rip tides too, and she is sensible about the dangers of the open sea. We are going to Australia for Christmas, and she has researched all the dangers about Australian seas already.
Yesterday, she was fooling around on a yacht; this Saturday she is going out on a yacht with a bunch of teenagers. We just gave her four laws that she must obey: (1) when in open seas, never swim more than 20 metres from the yacht (2) always inform someone if you are swimming in the sea (3) if jet-skiing or water-skiing, you must wear the right lifejacket, which is the one that lifts the head out of the water and (4) do not dive!!!!!
“It is also a social skill,” G smirked. “Many girls can’t swim, or are feeble swimmers, and they just sit around looking pretty and helpless, whilst I have real fun. With the boys.”
Roadmap for raising Gs: https://raisinghappystrongkids.com/2014/08/18/roadmap-for-raising-children/