I mentioned a pool party
in my last post. My sister-in-law invited one of her friends from work. Her friend was white, and she had three mixed daughters. Her attitude towards swimming was different from black people I’ve talked with, even from those who were at the party.
Maybe it’s a non-swimming, vs swimming attitude, and it looks like black and white because of the large number of non-swimming blacks. It’s kind of a take it or leave it attitude about swimming that I see, certainly a hands off attitude when the parent doesn’t swim.
When the parent does swim, the attitude is more like it’s inevitable that the child will learn to swim. There’s no hysteria involved, no hand clenching and tenseness, just a matter of fact attitude towards swimming. Not to mention parents that will make sure their kids get plenty of time in the water to practice.
In our family, my husband doesn’t swim. I heard him tell someone that everyone in his family could swim but him. He sounded proud about that. He is the reason they can all swim, by the way. When he put his foot down and decided to stop paying for swim lessons that served no purpose, I found them a swim team to train for, and that’s when the older two learned to swim. That was after years of farting around in dead in classes. I started the middle two children in swim lessons at the swim club, and it has served them well. They have a strong foundation to build upon.
I look forward to getting them back in lessons, along with their little brother. And I’m counting the years until the baby can join them. She is ready to swim by herself!
What have your experiences been as far as attitudes towards swimming?
cross posted at www.imswimming.net