These last three weeks have given me hope for children and young parents. Why you ask ? Because I made the decision this year to teach swim lessons ....the old school way.... and I have been pleasantly surprised. For the past five years or so I have observed swim lessons being taught in public rec centers and clubs. After eight weeks of lessons and after paying out about 500 bucks, parents were watching their kiddos still blowing bubbles and holding on the edge and kicking their feet. I rarely saw any child swim without a floatation device and I would walk away feeling frustrated for mom and dad and junior as well.

 I knew all along the correct way to teach kids to swim but I have a confession to make - I didn't think that today's parents would agree to my terms. I was wrong. I am happy to report that there are some smart, savvy, gutsy parents out there who still want to stretch and push their kiddos to heights that the kids don't think that they can reach. What are my terms ? They are fairly simple -

1.) Parents cannot stay for the lesson. They drop off their child, leave for 45 minutes, then return for the final 15 minutes of show time where their little ones get to " show off" their progress ...and show off they do !

2.) No goggles, no arm floaties, no kick boards, no inner tubes, nothing but your child and their swim suit ( we don't do birthday suits here....ha ha )

3.) The lessons are " can do " - which means that the word " can't " is not allowed to be spoken :)

4.) The lessons are fast paced, meant to have a postive peer pressure feel to them. In other words, if Johnny, and Sally and Mary are all getting put under water for three seconds and they are surviving , then when it comes to my turn....then I can go under without any complaining as well.

5.) We STRETCH the kids further than they think they can achieve every single lesson. This way they leave sort of shaking their own heads with what they just accomplished and trust me - they are building self confidence....the honest way...by EARNING it. They are holding their heads high and feeling mighty good about their progress - but not just because someone is telling them that they are great...but because they just DID something great and they know it.

I am kicking myself for not doing these lessons ever since we put our pool in. I have to confess that the reason that I didn't is because my fear was that most parents today were too soft. I was afraid that with the helicopter parents of today...( always hovering ) that I would not have any parents sign up for Mimi's Old School Swim Lessons. Boy, was I wrong !!! To all of you parents out there who readily signed up, agreed to the terms and trusted me - I want to thank you and also commend you ! You have rejuvenated my faith in today's young parents. You have taught me that not all parents want their kids coddled and babied, but that there still exists moms and dads out there who are totally fine with seeing their kiddos put in uncomfortable and challenging situations so that both they and their child can have the joy and thrill of seeing those kids conquer their fears and be victorious ! What a breath of fresh air it has been to me to watch :)

So kids....keep practicing, keep jumping, keep pulling, keep breathing, keep kicking ....

and

Parents....keep stretching, keep insisting, keep pushing, keep challenging, keep prodding -

and before you know it - these kiddos will be joining swim teams in a few years :)  

I am so proud of all of you :) - Mimi <3