As a parent, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of potential activities your kids can do. The pressure to set up your kids for success later in life can feel enormous. After all, you just want to do what’s best for your children.
Knowing the difficulties parents face, we asked four moms – Noelle Digiovanni, Michelle Hancock of Modern Mom Life, Ashley Miller and Emily Steel – to share their thought processes and experiences. They opened up and provided insight into how they choose their kids’ activities, what drew them to swimming lessons, what surprising things they’ve learned about water safety, and what changes they’ve seen in their children as a result.
How do you choose which activities your child does? What factors do you take into consideration?
Ashley: We always want to stimulate them physically and mentally. We love to challenge them. We always give them options to appeal to their interest, although we love to push them slightly out of their comfort zone. Personally, we would always prioritize a lifesaving skill like swimming over a “fun” activity.
Noelle: I like to choose activities that are new and different, stimulating, and manageable depending on what stage we are currently at age wise. The factors I take into consideration are:
Michelle: A lot of factors come into choosing activities for my children to participate in. First, are the activities age appropriate and is my child showing interest? I also factor in the quality, pricing, and time commitment that each activity requires. I want to avoid overextending ourselves, so we only pick a few commitments per child per season to avoid burnout and stress.
Emily: A few of the most important factors in choosing the kinds of activities that our children do include their own level of interest, as well as if this is something that is going to benefit their social skills. At their age (6 and 4), we not only look for activities that they’ll enjoy but also things that will strengthen their social development. Also, we love finding things that the entire family can be a part of.
What drew you to swimming lessons and Emler in particular?
Ashley: We have a pool at home—safety first! Emler was a no-brainer for us after we looked at reviews in Frisco Mom Groups and chatted with friends that are in similar seasons of life with their kiddos.
Noelle: I was originally drawn to swimming lessons as I heard about the low-cost for babies 2 to 5 months and knew I was going to need something to keep us busy when being a new stay-at-home mom. Just as I suspected, it was the perfect, once-a-week, manageable activity for us that turned into some wonderful bonding time and a learning experience for me as a parent and a new mom.
Michelle: I’ve always been impressed with the quality and professionalism that Emler provides. My children have always been excited to go to their swim classes and that speaks volumes. I also love seeing the progression of their skills over time. It’s not just playtime. It’s a time for them to learn swim skills they will use for the rest of their lives.
Emily: We were drawn to Emler for several reasons. First, Emler’s wonderful reputation. We had heard great things about Emler for the past few years! Also, the location is super convenient to our house. We also love the small class sizes that ensure that each child gets plenty of individual time to learn. The instructors and staff are the BEST and so patient with the kids! We especially love how they’re able to make learning fun.
What surprising thing have you learned about water safety since starting at Emler?
Ashley: I think the biggest surprise is that lessons are fun. I love the music pairings. We find ourselves singing the songs every time we swim—including bath time! Additions like music fast-track their cognitive skills and make them look forward to lessons weekly.
Noelle: I have been surprised to learn that babies can start swimming at a much younger age than people think, and I’m also always surprised when older kids have never taken swim lessons and don’t know how to swim. It is very scary to me as a parent when I hear that.
Michelle: I was surprised to learn how quickly drownings happen and how simple swim techniques can save lives.
Emily: We’ve learned how important repetition in each lesson is. We could visibility see how practicing the same skills over and over, week by week, were so helpful in the learning process. Even things such as the little songs that the instructor would sing as my daughter was getting herself up over the ledge became engrained in her memory. We would find her repeating them to herself as she climbed out of our pool at home!
What’s the most positive change you’ve seen in your child since starting at Emler?
Ashley: Conquering their fears and becoming leaders. I have loved seeing the brave faces they both put on both at lessons and at home. They love showing off their skills to friends and family. Makes this Momma’s heart proud!
Noelle: Of course, the ability to swim is priceless as my oldest has been swimming since he was two. Since this is my second go-around with my almost one-year-old, I have let my mom take the reins, and this has been really great bonding time for them. Dillon loves the water so much and loves swim class, which makes it very easy to want to come back each week and continue our lessons.
Michelle: My daughter can swim by herself, and her confidence has grown. My son is still developing his swim skills, but he is able to swim back and forth to me in the pool unassisted. He also knows what to do should he accidentally fall into a pool without his floaties on.
Emily: The most positive change that we have seen, by far, is their confidence level! It is such an awesome feeling as a parent to get to watch your child gain confidence in the water (or in any skill). I love that they feel confident that if they fell in, they’d know how to successfully get to the side. Watching their bravery and willingness to get out of their comfort zone to learn has given me more confidence as a parent having them in the water as well.
Thank you to Noelle, Michelle, Ashley and Emily for sharing your stories. You can follow them on Instagram for more parenting tips.
If you’re considering swimming, we’re here to answer any questions you have! Our proven curriculum combined with hand-picked, caring instructors allow us to offer our 100% swimmer guarantee. Start by attending one of our free virtual information sessions that takes place twice a day Monday through Thursday.