Friday, April 16, 2010

Gentle Parenting or Overprotective?

Could you ever toss this baby into a swimming pool with her screaming hysterically? Even if you knew it would help her get over her deathly fear of water and learn to swim?

Monday her Mom and Dad took her to the swimming pool to be taught by the best coach in the area. He proceeded to put some water wings on her and throw her into the water. This is a kid who screams bloody murder just to get her hair washed. It took him about 15 minutes to get her to stop screaming. About the time he got her calmed down the other kids started splashing her and she went ballistic again.

By this time her mom was in tears and dad was ready to rip the coach from end to end.

They struggled through the lesson, skipped yesterday and went back today. The coach asked the parents to go away for a few minutes so that he could do his thang. When they came back in there was baby with only a noodle around her waist swimming all over the pool!

I have to admit if it was up to me that child would have never learned to swim. I am not one for "tough love". But in retrospect it makes me wonder if I have stunted some growth in my own children by being too gentle. Is it possible to be too nice?


nataliemartinez said...

I think nobody can be brief as like your post! Thanks for your info.


inadvertent farmer said... a swim instructor and a mama I can relate to both sides of this battle!

When it comes to something that is so important as swimming (we in the Pacific Northwest and are surrounded by water all the time) I would make sure my little ones could swim not matter what.

This day and age what we call 'tough love' is what decades ago folks just called 'parenting'. I struggle mightily to be firm enough with my kids...I lean toward over-protection and have to work on it every day.

But when it come to swimming...I don't give an inch. You're going to learn to swim whether you scream bloody murder or not!

Great post, Kim