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September 25, 2022

Where Every Family Matters

The Earlier, the Better: Swim Lessons for Little Kids

Kick, kick, kick! My toddler's swim lesson experience at Sea Love Swim school.

What’s the saying? “Don’t be afraid to jump in, you’ll only succeed if you try.” Well, that was the story of my toddler’s first swim lesson with Sea Love Swim in Nashville.

When he was born, he loved bath time — kicking and splashing were some of his favorite things. But when he turned three, he went through an unexpected and unfortunate “I don’t want to get wet” phase. What better time to start swim lessons?

The goal of lesson one was to simply get him comfortable in the water. I got into the heated pool at Bellevue’s Boost Fitclub (one of Sea Love Swim’s three site locations) and reached my arms up hoping he’d run and jump to me like it was a movie. Nope. He wanted nothing to do with me or this oversized bathtub I was in. In fact, when he realized what was going on, he went into tantrum-mode.

TJ with Sea Love Swim.

Our instructor, TJ, swooped in to the rescue. You could tell she works with kids a lot. She whipped out some toy dinosaurs and slowly but surely got my toddler into the water. We splashed, blew bubbles and sang songs — he was starting to get more acclimated to the water.

By the second lesson, there was no more slowly but surely. My little guy was leaping off the sides of the pool into my arms, kicking his legs while and even floating on his back (with my assistance). He went from being afraid of the water to a little Aquaman, such a noticeable improvement! He was even excited for bath times again.

I know children develop at different rates, and what may be right for one child may not be appropriate for another. (My toddler, for example, is developmentally behind his peers, at least in some respects.) Still, the AAP recommends swim lessons for children aged 1 and up. 

Knowing how to swim is a skill we should all have, whether you are 2 or 92, not only because it reduces the risk of drowning, but it’s a major confidence booster as well. If you want to make sure your little one isn’t afraid to “jump in” when life comes knocking at their door, maybe book a swim lesson.

Find out more about Sea Love Swim at sealoveswim.com.

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About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing and Entertainment Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 3-year-old Ezra.