Swimming with grandchildren: Holidays with grandparents, Yes or No?
Should children go swimming with their ggrandparents? When can we allow our kids to go on holiday with our parents? Do children need to know how to swim when they go to the pool with their grandparents? What is important for grandparents to know when they go swimming with their grandchildren? These are just some of the “burning” questions that parents have, when they need to decide whether and when to let their children go swimming or go on holiday "alone" with their grandparents.
My grandfather, who I was named after, loved water and the peace around it. I spent every summer with him by the river, swimming and enjoying myself. Today, my children, although they are only three and five years old, go swimming with their grandma and enjoy themselves. They have been in the water since they were fourth months old, both with me and with their grandma. This does not mean that they are serious swimmers and know the swimming techniques, but that they feel relaxed and safe in the water, and that they also listen when they are told to get out of the water, that there’s no jumping or running on the slippery tiles... Above all, they know what is allowed and not while they are in or near the water (whether it is a pool, river, lake or the sea), my children acquired "water education".
Depending on grandparent’s physical and psychological health condition, as well as the "maturity" and readiness of the children, parents are the ones who should know best when it is the right time to let them swim and enjoy with their grandchildren, and that everyone can be safe in and near the water.
1. Should children go swimming with their grandparents?
Yes, if it represents mutual pleasure. Yes, if the grandparents are swimmers. Yes, if they are not afraid of water. Yes, if the children pay attention to what they say in and around the water. Yes, if the grandparents are in the water all the time, and they don't take their eyes off them. This literally means that they are within arm's reach of the child in the water. There is no relaxed sitting by the pool reading the newspaper, doing crossword puzzles, while the grandchildren are in the water.
Today, many grandparents or their neighbors have a pool in their backyard, specially then there is no time to relax while the grandchildren are in the water or near the pool, regardless of whether the pool has a protective fence, and the children are swimmers. A second of us not paying attention can take someone's life.
Even older children, regardless of whether they know how to swim and are safe in the water, really need cautious monitoring by the pool if they came to swim with their grandparents. Why? Because the water knows how to "burn" and leave fatal scars!
2. When can we allow our children to swim with their grandparents?
When we are sure that our children feel relaxed in the water and safe with their grandparents. That there is no relaxing and making exception from the basic rules of behavior in the water, especially with small children and non-swimmers. Putting any rubber water aid on the children’s arms does not guarantee safety, if an adult is not next to them. Also, there is no need to go into the water with their grandchildren if they show any signs of discomfort at that moment. And on the other hand, if the children are old enough, they should understand not only the benefits of water, but also the danger that flowing or standing water brings. When the little ones already know how to swim, then it is a bit easier, but also a more demanding for grandparents to keep an eye on them while they are in the water.
3. Do children need to know how to swim when they go to the pool with their grandparents?
It is always better for a child to know how to swim, to know how to float on the water from an early age, but it is not a requirement for him/her to be able to go with his/her grandparents to the pool. But! What is important is that he/she knows how to behave near the water, as well as knowing the rules of the pool, river, lake, beach... Believe me, it is not so difficult to explain this to children. Eespecially if you do it in a nice way that they can understand, to convey what are the advantages and what are the dangers if we do not behave in accordance with the rules of public and private swimming areas.
4. What is important for grandparents to know when they go swimming with their grandchildren?
It may sound harsh, but grandparents are not swimming coaches. They should be able to enjoy their time with their grandchildren, play in the water, and when the time comes for the children to learn how to swim properly, leave it to the professionals. One bad move and it's enough to cause fear in an unexperienced swimmer.
Secondly, grandparents must be aware that they are not the lifeguards. That in case of critical situations in the water they should ramain calm, give their best, but first protect themselves, so that they can help. If someone starts drowning, and there is no lifeguard prsent, the professional who can help, the first thing they should do is to find a floating device (some board, a ball, a plastic water canister) or a rope (maybe shirt, pants, belt, a branch) to throw to the person drowning, without leaving a safe area.
And thirdly, grandparents are not parents, and we know they have a very special relationship with their grandchildren, but remember, there should be no exceptions in and around water. No matter how much the grandchildren protest and complain, one must always know his/her priorities, and in this case, SAFETY FIRST!
5. What can children learn about swimming from their grandparents?
Swimming with grandchildren offers numerous moments to enjoy and have an unforgettable childhood.
Grandparents are there to make their garndchildren’s childhood both on dry land and in the water, as magical an adventure as possible, because afterwards our children can easier "swim" through their life adventures. But also, they are there to lead by example and through swimming point out some healthy habits. Because through their rich life experience and the stories from their youth, children can learn more easily and accept things that are vital not only for swimming, but also for growing up. Grandparents are not interested in whether their grandchildren are the best at swimming, but they are very interested in who the coach is and who teaches them how to swim and enjoy themselves. While children spend the summer by the water with their grandparents, they learn to be more careful and thoughtful when it comes to the activities in and around the water. Grandparents can teach them how they used to swim, where and how they went on holidays. With their grandparents around, they can also create a good base for future swimmers.
Do you remember summer your holidays with your grandparents? Did your child have the opportunity to have an unforgettable summer by the water with his/her grandparents? Parents often don't have much patience to spend hours and hours in the shallows looking after their children. Grandparents generally have the time and the patience to enjoy the joys of water together with their grandchildren. If you have the chance, especially if you have healthy grandparents, allow your children to enjoy the water, with your loved ones, but first and foremost make sure they are safe in and around the water.