This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I was born and raised in the Caribbean. So by all intents and purposes I am an island child. I didn’t transition from island life until my early-mid twenties. So it may surprise you to learn that I didn’t grow up knowing how to swim. I mean, I spent a lot of time on the beach. A LOT. Beach parties, cook outs…in undergrad I even took an aquatic biology class and we met at the beach every class. We took boats out and everything.
The truth is I was like many of my other friends in not knowing how to swim. A sad truth not only prevalent in the black community but, in the Caribbean as well. I used to say that I could swim to save my life. And then when I was 13 years old, the small boat I was in along with some other friends capsized in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. I swallowed lots of water, got some scratches but thankfully we were eventually rescued by some boaters near by. My mom, vowed that we would take swim lessons after that.
I suppose that you can say that life got in the way and that never happened. So as an adult, I vowed to take swim lessons before I too had kids of my own. I took one session when I was pregnant but then the course of that pregnancy didn’t allow me to see those lessons to completion.
Even so, the first thing I did when our daughter was a young baby was sign her up for “mommy and me” swim classes. At seven years old she’s still taking swim lessons and loves it. Piano lessons, tennis, sports camps and other activities are all great ways to keep kids busy but, none of them trump knowing how to swim. After all, by teaching your kids how to swim, you are teaching them a life skill. One that could eventually save their lives.
At three years old, little brother is now following in his sister’s foot steps. This time around, I’m also getting a little help from SwimWays Swim Step. SwimWays Swim Step products comes in steps 1-3 and are designed to aid your kids through swim training from water introduction to water exploration.
Swim Step 2 products are for kids that are ready to paddle and splash. We tried the Step 2 vest on but, since my Sun Ray is way past the paddle and splash phase, step 3 made more sense.
Step 3 swim products allows your child to grow with the product depending upon their comfort level with the water. My little guy is wearing the Power Swimr (in the picture above) which comes with 9 removable flotation pads. There are also side cords that help to adjust according to the his size but keep hands free.
I think that the key with him is about consistency with swim lessons and, getting him to the pool in between as many times as possible to get his confidence up.
I’m glad that SwimWays will be with him every step of the way as he builds his swim confidence. With every step, he needs to feel empowered as we work our way through.
As for me, I’m still pushing myself to be better and go further then I have before. Two years ago, I jumped off a chartered boat into the Caribbean Sea. Boy did that take courage. It wasn’t perfect..but I did it.
Although the 6th annual SwimWays National Learn to Swim Day just passed in May, I’m on a mission to do everything I can to give my kids more swim time this summer. Like I said, one of the most important things you can do as a parent is teach your kids how to swim. I think that it’s a good idea to let SwimWays products be a part of that journey.
You can find SwimWays products at Toys R’ Us in stores and online. Wishing you and your kids a safe and water filled summer.