Readers — With summer in full gear, let me request you all to teach your children to swim. Free-Range Kids believes in safety and resourcefulness and swimming lessons! – L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: My family has been spending most of our time at our local swim club. I’m happy to say it is a Free-Range parent’s dream: five acres of land and multiple pools. Kids running freely with their friends while parents can have conversations and enjoy the adult swims.
The swim club is still pretty old school but I’ve noticed some changes. They took out the diving boards two years ago and replaced them with VERY COOL water slides. Since the slides are in the deep end, kids need to pass the Band Test to ride them. The Band Test was even made easier this year — just two laps (now it’s the width of the pool, not the length) and tread water for 90 seconds (used to be 3 minutes). The test is offered every day at 2 pm. You can take it as many times as you want until you pass. But… many kids don’t want to take it. They are too afraid of not passing, so they avoid taking the test and cannot swim in the deep end of the main pool.
Several parents have come up to me with “concerns” because they feel my kids (who all have bands) are excluding their kids when they swim in the deep end without all the kids. Get your kid to take the Band Test, I tell them. I cannot believe the conversations I’ve had with parents of older kids (9,10, 11) who think their precious child will be crushed if they fail a Band Test. I even saw a mom arguing with a lifeguard because she felt her daughter should have passed (she grabbed the wall 10 seconds too soon) because the guard started her stopwatch late. I don’t know about you, but I’d want to know if my child had the basic survival skills to pass this test. If they didn’t, I’d work with them until they did.
When did the fear of failure take over fear of drowning? – Wilma