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vent (JAWM)

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It's too much work to take the kids swimming. We are invited to a "not back to school" pool party with a homeschool group. They had one another year. It looked really fun. But it's just too hard for me to monitor two non-swimming kids. If I complain about it the first response is probably, "your child doesn't know how to swim? Teach them." Well not that easy. Around here there aren't a lot of pools and it's quite expensive to pay for gas to drive far to a pool, pay for the lessons and/or membership and wrangle a toddler while ds (age 9) does lessons. Dh is not usually available. I found out that the pool that he has access to through work is only open certain hours and apparently it's not for the whole family, just staff. So only he can use it. And it's not by our house.

 

I don't want to go and tell my kids they can't get in the pool, either. That would be awkward for everyone.

 

Dh made me feel badly about not being able to keep up with the two kids on my own when I suggested trying to find a mother's helper type to come along (which is a long shot. The college students we know are returning to school). But he knows I can't do it alone, either. So I guess we have to sit this one out. He absolutely cannot take off work to come. He works at a school and this party overlaps with the beginning of the school year. He was confused at first and I said, "that's because they want to have the party when the pool isn't crowded lol."

 

If you have littles, do you usually sit these events out?

 

Ds had a scary thing happen after going to the YMCA when visiting family once. That really lowered my expectations of life guards, so even if there are life guards I don't want to rely on them (I didn't see he got so close to where the deep and shallow meet. The markings on the wall were kinda old). He struggled and I pulled him back to the shallow. He woke up that night throwing up. I thought he was dry drowning. Soooo yeah I am a bit paranoid.

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Hugs!! I stopped going to things like that when youngest ds10 was born. Just couldn't handle watching and mostly hanging on to him. We're finally able to do things now that he's older.

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I am not a fan of recreational swimming functions that involve a bajillion young kids, and I like the water! My kids were always good swimmers, but it's hard to keep an eye on more than one swimming child and enjoy conversation. I wouldn't blame you for skipping.

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I have 5 kids ages 8,7,4,2,and 6 months with a damn pool literally across the street from our house. It is not easy at all going with them by myself but I do it. My rule this year was the 3 oldest had to take swim lessons or they wouldn't be allowed in the pool this summer without dh there too. Now the oldest 2 can swim relatively well and the 4 year old has more confidence. So I hold baby while the 2 year old plays on the steps.

 

Our pool is small so I can't lose track of them. I'd never take them to a bigger pool without another adult

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Ok, we swim a lot (ds did all the lessons on the Y and then swim team), and like you I'm very, very concerned about safety! I think the thing you could check, before you decide, is what the set-up is of the pool where the party will be. Our Y has indoor pools, but they're all designed either for classes (meaning 4' at the shallowest to 9' at the deep end) or laps (4' to 6'). However at the *outdoor* pool, there is a spray ground that doesn't even have standing water, a really nice playground, grass and picnic areas, an infant/toddler area (less than 18"), and then it slowly increases from 2' to 4'. Fully 2/3 of the pool, maybe more, is under 4'. They band the kids by height unless they pass a swim test, so basically a 9 yo would be banded with a band that allowed him to swim in 2/3 of the pool, because literally it would only come up to chest level on him. They don't even let non-swimmers past about 3 1/2', chest level. 

 

So if the outdoor pool where they're going has a very large area that is shallow (because it's meant to accommodate kids playing and be more for recreational swimming), it may be dramatically safer than what was going on when your friends took him to the Y. I don't know. I'm just saying at our Y, which has 3 pools, that's how it would be. 

 

So you could check that and find out, then decide. I agree, whatever happened with your ds was very scary and dangerous. And unfortunately, at the indoor pools at our Y, they don't let you have flotation devices (pool noodles, kick boards, life jackets, nothing) unless you're in a class. It's really convoluted in a way, but that's the rule. Our homeschool group organized a play swim time weekly, and frankly I won't go. I really don't want to watch non-swimmers be inadequately supervised in deep water, kwim? That scares me, and my kid HAS had the swimming. So I won't go to that. But at the outdoor pool, you can take in non-swimmers just fine, easy peasy. It's very shallow for most of the pool, and they put up bouys at the 4' line. You can't even cross to that area (4') if you don't pass a swim test. Kids who can't pass the (very intimidating) swim test never get in anything deeper than their chest at our pool. It might be something you can feel pretty comfortable with or a big enough set-up that even staying in the shallow end they'll still have lots of room to play and a nice time.

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I have 4 kids. One is learning to swim, one can (barely) pass the swim test, and 2 are good swimmers. We have gone to the pool every single summer day since #3 was a year old (he is 7). It's just what we do.

 

For many years, I had a child in arms and another in arms reach in the shallow end.

 

I have never been able to socialize well at the pool, though, unless my dh is present. Still can't this year, though I have hopes that next year, that will be a possibility.

 

One of my kids took lessons, but the other three learned from me and time at the pool. Just lots and lots of time at the pool.

Edited by Zinnia
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I use life jackets for my middle two and keep my toddler in arms reach. Still always have my head on a swivel and it is stressful. But we go to pool events. If there's a lot of big floats in the pool, I'm hyper vigilant even with the life jackets.

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I have 5 kids ages 8,7,4,2,and 6 months with a damn pool literally across the street from our house. It is not easy at all going with them by myself but I do it. My rule this year was the 3 oldest had to take swim lessons or they wouldn't be allowed in the pool this summer without dh there too. Now the oldest 2 can swim relatively well and the 4 year old has more confidence. So I hold baby while the 2 year old plays on the steps.

 

Our pool is small so I can't lose track of them. I'd never take them to a bigger pool without another adult

 

Wow.  My 2 year old would not mind me and would go down the steps and I'd be diving in with a baby in my arms and trying to pull the 2 year old out while keeping the baby above water level. I just couldn't do it. Not with this toddler lol. So far everytime I take her in public it seems she's the most "spirited" child there. I mean it's a nightmare. The other day we had the kids make t-shirts at dh's work. She goes straight for the cutting tools (they had to cut the vinyl). I was trying to keep all sharp objects away from her. The other two year old was quiet and playing with the toys we gave them lol.

 

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I always went with my three, but I had swim vests for them that kept them upright in the water, and I like the water too. So when they were little, I was usually in the pool with them.

 

My dd had a friend that was a late swimmer (maybe 10 or 11?); she wore floaties and stayed in the shallow end when they did swim dates.

 

So there are options if you want to go, but you need to do what you're comfortable with.

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That sounds like something it only makes sense to skip. Shouldn't be a big deal. You don't have to do every single thing that comes up.

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I don't do swimming things with all three of my younger ones by myself.  I will do the splash pad, but not the pool.  However, at this point, I might consider it with DD8 and DD6.  Both are capable of holding their breath, DD8 is capable of swimming, though not necessarily actually well formed strokes.  Both can tread water reasonably well, though I would never trust both of them in places they can't stand and touch without me.  I would take them to a pool event if they are in places they can touch, by myself.  I would NOT take DS4 with me if it were something like that.  It would be a situation where DH would stay home with DS4 and I would take the girls.  I would not however get into the water.  I would sit out and watch.

 

Now, I am a mom who will not allow her kids in the little bitty 2ft kiddy pool in the back yard without me back there.  My parents have a pool, it's an above ground 3ish feet deep.  DD6 and DD8 can touch, and we have a US Coast Guard approved floatie vest for DS, but no one will go in the pool with any of the kids unless there are at least two adults. 

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I agree with you about toddler wrangling for sure! And if you don't feel safe with your 9 year old then I extend the JAWM. Depending on your child, might you be able to investigate the pool beforehand and establish very definite rules for the child about swimming, and perhaps ask another parent who is present to help wrangle the toddler if needed? Just to be on call if needed? Someone who could be relied upon to keep toddler Out of danger if your normally responsible child got into trouble?

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I have never participated after 3rd dd was born.  1st ds has always been a fantastic swimmer and there is 6 years between #1 and #2. So, I would take them to a noncrowded pool with lifegaurds.  When my 3rd was born, I could not monitor 2 littles by myself.  So, we stopped.  I do see it in  my future next year and plan to get pool passes.

 

I have never gone to the lake with more kids than adults(or bigger kids-who don't get distracted) to monitor them.  

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I use life jackets ...

 

Our pool will not allow them. I have no clue why, but they don't. The op would have to ask if that particular pool allows them.

 

I agree with the others about the distraction thing. The more uncertain you are about your kids, the more you're going to need to be watching them like a hawk. Kinda precludes socializing and the POINT of the party. Sometimes these parties don't end well. We even heard mention here on the boards of a school having a party and expecting the PARENTS to guard. :(

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I like the water too. So when they were little, I was usually in the pool.

This was true for us, too. I love being in the water in the summer, so I am right there. My eyes are on them continuously, and I am right.there, so it makes me feel more comfortable. Even at mine's ages, I don't feel comfortable not in the pool.

Edited by Zinnia
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FTR, my kids have practiced swimming "steps" in like the bathtub and that little two ft pool.  Holding their breath under water, blowing bubbles, etc.  In the 2ft pool, if there's enough water, they can only sort of make a few kicks and strokes without their bellies touching, but it's enough to provide them some abilities.  Again, I would never trust them in any pool without me there, but those little bits DO help.  And that coast guard approved floatie thing for DS4 is GREAT for him.  He's learning to tread water with it without a risk of going under (provided of course he has supervision.)  It makes it easier to work with him, and then turn and check on the other two and then turn back to him and then check on them etc.  (now again, I STILL won't have all 3 in a pool without another adult.)  But two, I can handle. 

 

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Wow. My 2 year old would not mind me and would go down the steps and I'd be diving in with a baby in my arms and trying to pull the 2 year old out while keeping the baby above water level. I just couldn't do it. Not with this toddler lol. So far everytime I take her in public it seems she's the most "spirited" child there. I mean it's a nightmare. The other day we had the kids make t-shirts at dh's work. She goes straight for the cutting tools (they had to cut the vinyl). I was trying to keep all sharp objects away from her. The other two year old was quiet and playing with the toys we gave them lol.

 

At our pool it wouldn't be a dive in since it is only 3 ft deep where the step ends. So the one time she got brave and stepped off I reach out my hand and lifted her up. If there was no shallow end she'd be wearing floaties.

 

My kids always go for the sharp fun adult tools too. I generally let them safely investigate it with me there. They may not get to use them but I do show them how things work and try to explain why they can't use it. Sometimes they accept that and move on, other times it's tantrums. Kids stress me out!

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I wish I could take the kids swimming, but... nope.

 

The nearest outdoor pool is 15 minutes away and has a rule of no more than 4 children per adult.  Since I have 6 kids, we would have to go even farther to a pool.

 

We had a Y membership for a little while, but it was in the opposite direction of nearly every other activity.  It just wasn't a good fit for us.

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I wish I could take the kids swimming, but... nope.

 

The nearest outdoor pool is 15 minutes away and has a rule of no more than 4 children per adult.  Since I have 6 kids, we would have to go even farther to a pool.

 

We had a Y membership for a little while, but it was in the opposite direction of nearly every other activity.  It just wasn't a good fit for us.

 

Supposedly the country club closest to me is run by racists and they don't allow black members (??? what I heard through the grapevine). They do have swim lessons available in summer, I guess for non members. Anyone can pay for those I guess. I just learned about them recently. I couldn't afford it this summer, anyway. But that whole thing really turned my stomach.

 

The other pools are 45 min. away. I did inquire about one closer but they said it was for people a certain age, like 18 and up or something. I think it was mostly geared toward people doing rehab or something?

 

I know this is a petty thing but I also hate the idea of carting around wet kids and trying to keep dd under control if I'm trying to change out of my suit because I'm not sitting in a wet swimsuit for 45 min. and risking getting a UTI lol.

 

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If you mean drying off after the pool party, hopefully it will be warm enough that just walking around on the grass a bit you'll dry out. I'm usually dry in just a matter of minutes, and I wear swim shorts and a more full kind of top. 

 

But I agree, it sounds like you have a logistics issue. It sounds like it might be more stressful than fun to go.

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I don't like having more than one non-swimmer at a time per adult. 

 

I would prioritize swimming lessons for your 9 year old over every other activity and optional expense.  I am a huge believer in competent swimming, and it will also open up activities like this for him (i.e., if you had only the one non-swimmer you could go).  

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I used to take mine to the pool by myself. Non swimming older kids had to stay in the shallows where they could touch if they were in the pool. I would get in the pool within arms reach of babies/toddlers who can't touch at all times. Usually I'd put them in a ring. I would not ever get out of the pool with a baby or toddler in the pool, but I would sit nearby out of the pool once everyone could touch even if they weren't good swimmers. I didn't get much relaxing or socializing with other moms because I wanted my kids in sight, but we still had fun. 

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I know this is a petty thing but I also hate the idea of carting around wet kids and trying to keep dd under control if I'm trying to change out of my suit because I'm not sitting in a wet swimsuit for 45 min. and risking getting a UTI lol.

 

I just had a flashback - hot summer day, me and my sister and cousin riding home from the pool in the back of mom's c1965 Chevy, windows down, drying out from the wind and warm green vinyl of the seats....good times.

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I know this is a petty thing but I also hate the idea of carting around wet kids and trying to keep dd under control if I'm trying to change out of my suit because I'm not sitting in a wet swimsuit for 45 min. and risking getting a UTI lol.

 

 

Yeah, I never changed unless we were all able to go inside somewhere together. But I'm not prone to UTIs. Mostly, nobody would change until we got home- it would be too much trouble. 

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Yeah, with three kids, I'm at the point where I don't want to take them anywhere by myself unless I absolutely have to. Even walking down the street and back sounds like too much most days, forget swimming. Someone's always sick or having allergy issues, someone's always out of clothes, someone is always wanting to stay home, someone is always complaining about whatever shape the clouds are or how a sibling said a word funny just to make him mad... I'm not adding water to that nonsense.

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If I could answer with a half JAWM?

 

For the immediate question of the party, I would skip it. Maybe that's just me -- I very safety conscious. But kids tend to mill around in large, swarming groups, lol, and it can be hard to keep track of an individual kid. Since most people nowadays assume that all kids (especially those at a pool party) can swim, that makes it more dangerous, imo. A mother's helper might look away for a few minutes, so I don't think that is the solution.

 

No matter how much fun the party might be, it's not worth the risk. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Your gut tells you the pool could be unsafe. Listen. But you also have a lot of reasons why you can't swim. I find that interesting, because you've obviously spent some time thinking about it.

 

Long term, I would want to do everything I could to get my kids basic swimming instruction. I think all Ys are similar, in that regular beginning swim classes only go up to age 12, so you have a short window of opportunity. Btw, many Ys offer scholarships. I remember when my kids learned at the Y. The instruction was good, but it was a bit of a struggle to enroll. First time enrollees entered a lottery. Ugh! After that, if you got in, you had priority enrollment, but always in person (so people with no internet access would not be at a disadvantage). But, looking back, I am glad that we were able to do it.

 

When your kids are older, you will have less control over where they go. So being prepared is a plus.

Edited by Alessandra
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No one should be relying on life guards with kids that aren't strong swimmers OR with strong swimmers under age 8.  I've mentioned this before but I know a red cross level 4 6 year old that drowned in a pool full of people with many lifeguards on duty.  Young kids should be supervised and near the supervising adult.

 

I don't blame you one bit.  Say no and forget about it.  Save up for swimming lessons when you can and make it a priority to get them water safe.  I don't know how old your kids are, but it does get easier as they get older.

Edited by WoolySocks
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I read your post, I totally understand expense of swim lessons, distance to travel, etc. all of it. I get it! I walked that life once. It's okay. I agree with you.

Almost all of my children are at least fair swimmers NOW and at least 2 could save your life. One doesn't swim at all.

 

Go to a state park or on a hike instead. See if there is anyone else in your group who would want to do a similar event. 

 

We also had a near drowning incident at the why em see A pool. I had one kid on each hip and was watching another while two other children went away further into the pool and wouldn't listen or couldn't hear me, even after I had told them not to go past a certain point.

The lifeguard watched one of them go under 3 times while I am yelling my guts out: go to the side, go to the side. The kid was near enough to the side of the pool to make it. 

Thanks, lady. Here's where I cuss. Okay, maybe not. But really? Just wait for kid to drown before you jump in? By then, my kid was climbing out with assistance from sibling.

So....maybe next time...

 

Edited to add: we were the only ones in the pool

Edited by Gaillardia

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Yeah, I never changed unless we were all able to go inside somewhere together. But I'm not prone to UTIs. Mostly, nobody would change until we got home- it would be too much trouble.

 

I seem to be very prone to UTI's but never knew anyone got them from a swimsuit.

 

As for the pool party, just don't tell your kids. They don't need to know and nobody else really matters. What is it? A 2-3 hour event? You can't make EVERY field trip. They can play with their friends at the next park day. No big deal at all.

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ITA! I never do swimming events with just me and my kids. Swimming is a high cause of death (#2) in kids aged up to 14/16?

 

People at these things are distracted and distracting, to both the kids swimming, and the adults watching. Accidents in the water only take a minute. I only use life vests if I'm comfortable with the rest of the situation (event, swim skills of kids, how I'm feeling, etc).

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I totally understand. If you feel like it is important to go would your kids wear life jackets? I have never been to a pool that didn't allow coast guard approved life jackets.

 

But I hear you on the toddler thing. I had a very hard to wrangle toddler and going out in public wasn't always fun.

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Now at ages 5 and 8, I am finally more comfortable. The 8 year old is a passable swimmer. The 5 year old wears a life jacket. I am assuming the PPs who mentioned life jackets use ones like this https://www.amazon.com/Stearns-Puddle-Jumper-Basic-Jacket/dp/B00HN98OLI/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1501389077&sr=8-10&keywords=flotation+device which are like what I have and they are amazing. I can't believe some pools don't allow them. I can turn my back for a few minutes and not worry - highly recommend.

 

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It can be tricky.  I didn't go to poo; stuff for a long time when my middle daughter was little.  It was just too stressful.  I wasn't evven worried about her in the water, it was the pool deck.

 

We go to the lake now, but I have to go early, or when the lifeguard isn't there.  I typically have two older kids who require less supervision but I do need to leep an eye out, two that play on the beach and only go in up to the knees, on infant, and one who will go right in and swim but is little enough to need significant supervision.  I find the best thing is to sit on the beach and keep a;; the younger kids within my field of vision - they know they need to stay within a certain arc.  It's not an allowable set-up  according to the "rules" of the beach, so no supervised swimming for us.  So stupid.

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Wow. My 2 year old would not mind me and would go down the steps and I'd be diving in with a baby in my arms and trying to pull the 2 year old out while keeping the baby above water level. I just couldn't do it. Not with this toddler lol. So far everytime I take her in public it seems she's the most "spirited" child there. I mean it's a nightmare. The other day we had the kids make t-shirts at dh's work. She goes straight for the cutting tools (they had to cut the vinyl). I was trying to keep all sharp objects away from her. The other two year old was quiet and playing with the toys we gave them lol.

 

I just sit cross legged on the ramp in the shallow end, it works great. Big kids wade or swim and I can keep the baby and toddler occupied safely by myself.

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I agree you shouldn't go to the pool party.

 

I also think you should get lessons. I'd drop all other activities until 9 year old could swim. As another poster said he's aging out of most group lessons in the next couple of years. Red Cross, YMCA and other providers stop kids lessons at 12. After that he'd be grouped with adults.

 

There are lifelong safety issues. Will you be with him every second of the stupid decision making teen years. And there will be more missed opportunities. Summer camp swim tests, Any scout boating activity, ect. It's not just pool parties you will have to turn down.

 

I'd tell him he could go back to whatever ecs you normally do after he's swimming 25m without gulping water or gasping for air. Until my youngest I always had a toddler with me during lessons. I had a bag of activities we did at the pool as well as swimming stuff for sibling in lessons.

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I agree you shouldn't go to the pool party.

 

I also think you should get lessons. I'd drop all other activities until 9 year old could swim. As another poster said he's aging out of most group lessons in the next couple of years. Red Cross, YMCA and other providers stop kids lessons at 12. After that he'd be grouped with adults.

 

There are lifelong safety issues. Will you be with him every second of the stupid decision making teen years. And there will be more missed opportunities. Summer camp swim tests, Any scout boating activity, ect. It's not just pool parties you will have to turn down.

 

I'd tell him he could go back to whatever ecs you normally do after he's swimming 25m without gulping water or gasping for air. Until my youngest I always had a toddler with me during lessons. I had a bag of activities we did at the pool as well as swimming stuff for sibling in lessons.

Our ymca has lessons for all ages, including beginning adults, and private.

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Our ymca has lessons for all ages, including beginning adults, and private.

Yes but once you hit 13 you are in with the adults. I've taught classes with a 13 year old and 8 other people age 25-70. Even with a wide age span the adults have a lot in common. And the 13 year old just feels weird on top of trying to learn. It's really a lot better to learn with similar age peers.

 

Of course there's private lessons at $35-50/ 30 minutes. I still wouldn't wait saying "we'll do private lessons later."

 

The other missed opportunity is how easily it is to get kids to do an activity they may not like. If the child doesn't like swimming that much it's going to be harder to get him to lessons as a teen. And I really don't want to be in the poor decision making teen years with a nonswimmer. It's not an assurance that nothing bad will happen, but it's one more thing that help the child.

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I would skip the pool party because your kids are not swimmers. Why bring that kind of worry on. No need to think twice about it.

That said, I would make it a priority that they all learn to swim. I had my kids in a pool as infants and lessons started at a young age. We live by the coast and pools are a big part of summer. Learning to swim is a non-negotiable life skill in our house.

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Yes but once you hit 13 you are in with the adults. I've taught classes with a 13 year old and 8 other people age 25-70. Even with a wide age span the adults have a lot in common. And the 13 year old just feels weird on top of trying to learn. It's really a lot better to learn with similar age peers.

Of course there's private lessons at $35-50/ 30 minutes. I still wouldn't wait saying "we'll do private lessons later."

The other missed opportunity is how easily it is to get kids to do an activity they may not like. If the child doesn't like swimming that much it's going to be harder to get him to lessons as a teen. And I really don't want to be in the poor decision making teen years with a nonswimmer. It's not an assurance that nothing bad will happen, but it's one more thing that help the child.

We have been diong running club for ages. Currently Youngest is in the slower group. The only other people in the group are myself and Middle-aged women. Youngest really likes the group. Their is a women he regularly runs with who he talks with non-stop. We recently went to the yearly pool party for runners. I tired to talk to this women, but she had already heard about everything that was going on it our lives. ... "Yup, youngest has already told me that." It is cute how they enjoy each other's company. Eldest ran with her about 2 years ago, but since then she has gotten slower, and Eldest has gotten a lot faster.

 

Eldest has always run with the fast/normal speed running group. Over the past few years he has always changed the people he regular runs with as his speed increased. His favorite running buddies have for the most part have been Men over the age of 50.

 

Both my boys have tried out different running clubs over the years, and both prefer our current one where the average age is likely 45.

 

So perhaps, if a kid is with a good group of people, it might just work out fine.

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Just so you know, I can't simply agree with your post as it raises life saving issues.

 

Firstly, these "not back to school" parties are optional and if you don't want to go, for any reason, you don't have to go and you justify it to anyone - nor critique the organized event because it doesn't fit your family now. You are an adult.  You can make your own "not back to school" event with friends or just your own family. 

 

Secondly, apart from the party, water safety should be a priority; a life skill. You don't have expensive gas in the US. It's dirt cheap compared to the rest of the world, so that's no excuse. Yes, it's a challenge bringing toddlers and babies to swimming lessons for older kids, but get over it. Again, you are an adult. If it's important, you do it. Do you put your children in car seats and seat belts in the car even if they whine and complain about it? Of course, because it's important. Water is everywhere in the US and so is drowning. Give your dc the necessary skills to stay alive in an environment where they are very likely to come in contact with water.

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If my kids were too small to stand on the bottom of the pool, I would skip this party and sign them up for swim lessons so that they don't have to miss the next one.  If they could touch, I would go and put flotation devices on them; but I would still sign them up for swim lessons.  IMO, swimming is a required skill - not being able to do it will affect them in some way for the rest of their lives and could be a future matter of life and death.

Edited by Amy in NH

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I totally understand and have felt that way before.  If it's just too frustrating to you, I see nothing wrong with not going. 

 

And I hear you on the swimming lectures.... :glare:

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Yes but once you hit 13 you are in with the adults. I've taught classes with a 13 year old and 8 other people age 25-70. Even with a wide age span the adults have a lot in common. And the 13 year old just feels weird on top of trying to learn. It's really a lot better to learn with similar age peers.

 

Of course there's private lessons at $35-50/ 30 minutes. I still wouldn't wait saying "we'll do private lessons later."

 

The other missed opportunity is how easily it is to get kids to do an activity they may not like. If the child doesn't like swimming that much it's going to be harder to get him to lessons as a teen. And I really don't want to be in the poor decision making teen years with a nonswimmer. It's not an assurance that nothing bad will happen, but it's one more thing that help the child.

The closest Y to us has incredible demand for youth (to age 12) classes. So almost every slot in the non school hour schedule is for that age group. Mornings had senior citizen pool exercise classes. I was disappointed that there were few opportunities for teens. But the Y we used did tremendous work teaching kids and reached out to its own, lower socioeconomic class, minority neighborhood with automatic free memberships for certain grades.

 

In a lot of Ys, you have a choice of multiple time slots for kids to age 12, but very few or no opportunities for older kids. Our Y had a stoke school for teens on Friday nights and a teen swim at an awkward time on weekends, but no teen beginner lessons.

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An idea for swim lessons in the future: if you go somewhere warm or with an indoor pool for a week, see about lining up daily lessons. That was how I learned to swim. My grandparents knew another woman who taught lessons in her backyard pool, and I learned that week. My older kids learned from an older woman I found who taught lessons in her backyard too. A week of daily lessons seemed to work better than once a day for many weeks.

 

Y'all have one vehicle and even getting to doctors appointments and etc is stressful IIRC. You can't pull access to a pool and swimming lessons out of thin air. Living rurally with no transportation is beyond my realm also, but I understand that if you don't have access, you don't have access. I've always lived in a busy suburban metro area with kids, and getting mine to swim lessons here is still a PITB. If I hadn't had a vehicle, no way.

 

Anyway, just skip the party. Hopefully the next one is on dry land.

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Being around water with little kids is extremely stressful.

 

When my 3 were little, I made them wear coast-guard approved life jackets.  When they were under 2 years old, I had them wear a suit that had a built-in flotation ring around their middle.  They liked being in that suit, but I stayed by their side in the pool the entire time as I didn't feel the suit was a safe as the life jacket. 

 

I did get flack my first day when the kids showed up with their life jackets since the pool prohibited their use, a rule I was not informed of when I joined the pool.  In my case, I was able to get the rule changed to permit the use of life jackets.

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