Luckily for me, SafeSplash swim school reached out to see if Grayson might be interested in a few complimentary lessons. It was exactly the nudge I needed to get him back into the swing of things, so we decided to go for it. And man, am I glad we did it!
The first lesson he was a bit hesitant, but by the end of the thirty minute class he was all smiles. Didn't hurt that he got a sucker at the end ;) The instructors were patient and calm, and super encouraging - all things that help my boy feel comfortable in a new setting. There were only a couple other kids in the class, and when it wasn't his turn to "swim", he sat on the step with one of the instructors, playing with toys, blowing bubbles, and getting comfortable just being in the water.
By his last class this past weekend, I was blown away by how comfortable he seemed to be. This is a boy who last year had to be peeled off of me, and now he is hopping right into the water. I was shocked that they got him to practice floating on his back, and he climbed right up onto a huge floaty with three other kids and kicked his way across the pool. He even jumped in several times (a very timid jump, but still) into the instructors arms and "swam" back over to the side.
The best part about the entire experience is the fact that he isn't near as nervous when we take him swimming. We went to the neighborhood pool yesterday, and he was comfortable in his floaties, he swam back and forth between me and the husband several times, and he had fun jumping off of my legs into the water, letting it splash around his mouth and nose. I know this may not sound huge to anyone else, but for Grayson this is a pretty big deal!
We were totally happy with our experience with SafeSplash, and I fully intend on returning in the fall once our weekend schedule calms down a bit. I'm sure a lot of his progress has to do with maturity, but I also was super pleased with how the instructors were with him. I know I had a bad experience with swim lessons as a kid that resulted in a lifelong fear of water, so I'm always hesitant with this sort of thing. I'm happy to say they were nothing but kind and encouraging, and I couldn't have been more pleased with the experience!