This past week, I was thankful to have both my kids home for Christmas break at the same time. It made the festive week so special to have the family together. Speaking of togetherness, one of my favorite things over the holidays was swimming with my kids. I started swimming Masters more than a year ago. Now, as a fellow swimmer, I share a special bond with my kids that didn’t exist when I was sitting on the sidelines as a swim parent.
Here are a few reasons why I believe parents should swim too:
Getting Out of Bed
One morning last week, it was pouring down rain which is rare where we live. I would never have ventured out of the house, let alone go to the pool to swim laps. “Come on, Mom. Let’s go!” my son said. Minutes later, we jumped off the freezing deck into the pleasant warmth of the water, rain pelting down around us. We were the only swimmers at the pool and we’ll both remember that morning. Later my son said, “I really liked swimming with you. That was so much fun.”
Tips About Technique
Swimming with my daughter, she dove under water and watched me swim. She helped me by giving some pointers about my stroke. She enjoys having the tables turned—she’s the expert and the one telling me what to do.
The Car Ride
It’s so much better to have company during the car ride in the wee hours of the morning. Talk about motivation to make it to early practice—how could I pass up spending time with my kids and watching the sunrise together.
This morning I had a unique spot to catch glimpses of my daughter at swim practice. I was in Masters at the same time as her Senior practice. Watching from a nearby lane gave me a whole new view of watching her swim.
My kids tell me what a good job I’ve done after swimming. It’s nice that they have a new level of respect for me. They definitely know how hard swimming is and they’re proud I’m sticking with it.
Health and Well Being
Swimming makes me feel good. Another swim parent told me that “swimming is the secret elixir of youth.” I strongly recommend swimming for not only the health benefits but the better understanding you’ll gain about your kids sport. Swimming is a healthy activity you can enjoy together for years. By the way, I didn’t even know how to breathe in freestyle when I started. If I can do it, anyone can.
What benefits do you think parents can gain from swimming?
Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.