A couple of months ago, my middle son, Tom, hated getting his hair wet in the bath. Normally, I wouldn’t care, but he’s six, and six-year-old boys get some pretty gruesome stuff matted into their locks. A nightly shampoo was a necessary struggle.
I could live with that, though. What I couldn’t live with was how this virtual phobia of water had started to affect his self-esteem, which bubbled to the surface when he was invited to a Swimming Party by one of his classmates.
‘I can’t go,’ he said. ‘Because I can’t swim.’ Then he dropped his little bony shoulders and slouched off to his room. I was crushed.
‘Right, that’s it,’ I said to my Successful Other Half. ‘I’m going to get him some one-to-one swimming lessons.’
And to cut a long story short, he is now so confident in the water that he spends most of his swimming lesson under it. His confidence has soared to the point that this morning – his fifth and final lesson – he was dive bombing his instructor and swimming half a length of the pool.
He’ll never be Michael Phelps, but who cares. He loves swimming. And the double bonus from my point of view, is that there are no more tears at bathtime, because he just puts on his goggles and plunges his head under.
So proud of you, son!