Friday, March 15, 2013


It all started out so wonderful.  My little swimming super hero, The Stingray, loves the water.  Why not get him into swimming lessons during this long, harsh winter?  He gets to get out of the house, use his muscles, wear himself out, sleep better and learn a life-saving skill.  What could possibly go wrong?

As you can see from the smile in this picture, River was just as clueless as me he was about to be kicked out of swimming lessons.  Having taught swimming lessons before, I was super surprised we got the axe.  Sure kids cried, some refused to get in the pool, you just hoped they'd have a better week next week.  I thought it was a universal rule if you teach toddlers anything, you must expect moodiness with a double dose of tears at any moment.

This is the teacher telling River he should never say no to an adult.  That is way too much power for a child to have.  She also didn't like the fact he said, "I don't like swimming lessons.  You make me nervous."  She thought he had no business knowing the word nervous and kept giving me sidelong glances as she asked him why he possibly would know that word.

Just so you know, I was a kid that constantly got in trouble with authority figures.  I was not a rebel, but truly believed I deserved respect the same as any other human being and I hated being condescended too.  If you think kids don't pick up on that, you're wrong.  So, while it drives me crazy that River tells me no sometimes, I would never say he doesn't have the right to tell me no.  He has every right, but he also must learn actions have consequences and being disrespectful isn't all that fun.

Not to mention, there are plenty of adults in the world that don't have his best interest at heart and I want him to feel free to scream, shout, kick and yell NOOOOOOOOOOOOO to the ends of the earth should he ever come across one.  So hows bout ya just stick to the swimming lesson (which she is pretty dang good at) and not tell my kid to never say no to an adult.  If he needs a consequence, give him one.  And about the vocab issue... I kind of think it's cool my kid has a pretty extensive emotional vocabulary, so leave it be.

My sad little Stingray.  Not even the baby sea turtle eggs in his hand were making him feel better.  He was a trooper though.  He tried his hardest to stop the tears and finish the lesson.

The pink goggles kill me.  I think he is the most amazing thing.

Perfection!  This is my Stingray edging out Michael Phelps for the win!!!

So after his lessons, Bear swims with him for half an hour.  River looks forward to it and loves practicing with his dad.  This time the teacher said Bear couldn't get in since River cried so much and then told us to stop the lessons.  River was so bummed he couldn't swim with his dad, so Bear took him to a different pool and they swam for three hours.  Yep... we're those parents.

But the Stingray will live to swim and smile another day and that's all that matters to me.


annette said...

Oooohhhhh...that teacher makes me so mad! I know I wasn't there and wasn't the parent involved, but I'm offended that she kicked River out of the class.

1. YES. Your kid SHOULD say no to adults sometimes. Your kid should express himself and you can worry about the whole "respect for authority" thing later. Because some people with authority don't actually deserve respect.

2. I love that he said he was nervous. Having a great vocabulary should be applauded and what's even cooler is that he is able to identify what emotion he is feeling and choose the appropriate word for the emotion. River is awesome.

3. You two are fantastic parents. I'm glad your boy still got some good swimming time in.

Jessica Lynn said...

Every time I think about it I get mad again.

It's fine if she didn't want students that don't do exactly what she says every time. Heaven forbid she has to teach...But to tell an impressionable kid that he can NEVER say no to an adult...That makes me mad.

There are adults in this world that won't have his best interest at heart. There are well meaning adults that might be missing key information that River's aware of. There's also the fact that the Stingray will one day be an adult and NOW is when he needs to start weighing options and learning how to make decisions (and live with consequences).

Honestly, she sounds like someone that would make me nervous too!

Scott and Stacia said...

He looks great swimming under the water and all. My kids dont do that at swim lessons...although I wish they would move a bit faster. I cant believe she would ask you to stop the lessons..that is so FRUSTRATING!!!