Why it is Important for Non-Swimming Parents to Teach Their Children to Swim
It may surprise you to know that a lot of parents who enroll their children in swimming lessons don’t swim themselves. People don’t learn to swim for a number of reasons, including fear, a lack of access to a swimming pool, and cultural differences. We were interested in learning more about this demographic and understanding why it was important for non-swimming parents to team their children to swim. So, we surveyed dozens of Making Waves’ swim parents in April 2023 to find out.
Parents play an extraordinary role in nurturing their children’s love for swimming, even when they may not be avid swimmers themselves. Being a non-swimming parent doesn’t mean you can’t support and encourage your child’s journey in the water. In fact, your role is pivotal in helping them develop a lifelong passion for swimming and ensuring their safety in pools, rivers, and lakes.
Below, we share some stories of parents whose personal journey’s brought them to Making Waves. We appreciate their origins and their experiences – and of course are so happy and honoured to help bring water safety to their children!
Meet Sally Wheeler
Sally’s family swims at our Brampton location!
Tell us a bit about yourself : I was born and raised in a small town in Newfoundland called, Cottlesville. I left Newfoundland and moved to Ontario in 1999.I met my now husband and we were married in 2005. We have 2 children that are now 15 and 10 years old.
Why didn’t you learn to swim: When was 3yrs old I went down on the warf (dock as you call it here) where my older sister was fishing. I fell into the water and I could see fish swimming around me. My sister somehow managed to pull me out and I can remember my mom and other sister running down the hill and me crying at the top of my lungs. Then, when I was 7yrs old I was in a boat with my dad.Instead of it being pulled closer it was getting further away and I fell in the water. My dad pulled me up by my hair! So big fears!
What would you say to other non-swimming parents who may be reluctant about teaching their kids to swim? In the summer we love to go to the beach as a family. Sauble beach is by far our favourite beach in Ontario and with my kids having swimming lessons with Making Waves and making them strong swimmers; I don’t worry about them as much as I would if they didn’t. I would highly recommend swimming lessons. The kids are so confident in the water and it could give them options for summer jobs later on.
Meet Olutosin Kanoba
Olutosin’s family swims at our Vaughan location!
Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Nigeria, but currently reside in Canada with my family. I am married and have one child. My professional background is in HR, where I support clients in creating a rewarding workplace experience and solving their most pressing talent management challenges. When I am not working, I enjoy photography and creative projects.
Why didn’t you learn to swim: Coming from a low income family did not allow me the opportunity to learn to swim. Plus my parents were very conservative and the closest pool was almost 1 hour away by public transport. Given all the mishaps that I have been aware of, I made a commitment that my children would have basic water safety skills.
What would you say to other non-swimming parents who may be reluctant about teaching their kids to swim? Do it! Just do it! It’s a very important skill and it’s never too early to start!
Meet Janet Franco
Janet’s family swims at our Brampton location!
Tell us a bit about yourself: I’m originally from Toronto, moved to Brampton 9 years ago. I’m married and we have one kid.
Why didn’t you learn to swim: My mom was a single mother of two and money was always tight plus she was always working so she couldn’t take us even if she wanted to.
What would you say to other non-swimming parents who may be reluctant about teaching their kids to swim? I want my child to have the opportunities I didn’t have as a child and swimming is a life saving skill that we all should have.
Meet Joti Kingra
Joti’s family swims at our Vaughan location!
Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born in India and arrived in Canada as a baby but then returned back to India at age 2 and I spent early years at a boarding school. When I came back to Canada, we lived in Winnipeg which was very cold! Moved to Ontario in 2003 and lived in various cities. I currently live in Nobleton with my husband and 3.5 year boy and our dog. I work as a banker and love my job!
Why didn’t you learn to swim: Growing up in India there was very little opportunity. Arriving in Canada at age 12, I began lessons but had a fear of water. The. A year later I almost drowned in Edmonton and both pools had to be evacuated so I could be rescued. Fortunately I was under water for a minute only but it left me years of nightmares. I attempted to swim through lessons but the fear kept me away.
What would you say to other non-swimming parents who may be reluctant about teaching their kids to swim? As a parent there is no bigger reward than knowing your children can go into the pool and are safe. I wanted my son to learn this necessary life skill. And he loves the water so it’s great!