Unlock the Secrets to Swim Safety: A Must-SEE for Every Parent! // Selena Willows

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SUMMARY

Christy-Faith and Selena Willows discuss the importance of swim safety for children, the impact of drowning incidents, the personal journey of the expert, misconceptions about water safety, and the use of floaties. It emphasizes the need for parents to be educated about drowning and water safety, and the role of proper training in teaching children to swim. Selena Minogue discusses the importance of swim safety for children and her innovative method of teaching children to swim. She contrasts her approach with traditional swim programs and emphasizes the need for children to be capable swimmers rather than just comfortable in the water. 

TAKE-AWAYS

  • 88% of children that drown are near water with at least one adult present
  • 70% of toddler drownings occur during non-swim time
  • Proper training can help children become comfortable and capable in the water
  • Understanding drowning and water safety is crucial for parents
  • The use of floaties should be approached with caution and supervision
  • The importance of teaching children to be capable swimmers, not just comfortable in the water
  • The contrast between traditional swim programs and Selena Minogue’s innovative approach
  • The need for a healthy respect and reverence for the water to prevent drowning
  • Empowering parents to teach their children to swim using a world-class method
  • The impact of swim safety on children’s confidence and capability in the water

ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST

Selena Willows, owner of Swim to Safety, is a water safety and education expert with over 29 years of experience teaching all ages in the water. Through her proprietary method she has helped thousands of parents find calm and joy around the water knowing that their children are not only comfortable but also capable in the water.

Selena coaches parents and instructors to teach children to swim in as few as ten lessons and runs the only guaranteed learn to swim program in the world!

Find Selena Willows at:

TRANSCRIPT

Christy Faith (00:00.014)
88 % of children that drown are there with at least one adult present. And close to 70 % of toddler drownings occur during non -swim time.

I did not know that. Welcome to the Christy-Faith Show, where we share game changing ideas with intentional parents like you. I'm your host, Christy-Faith, experienced educational advisor and homeschool enthusiast. Together, we'll explore ways to enrich and transform both your life and the lives of your children. Hello, everybody. Welcome to today's episode of the Christy-Faith Show. I want to let you know that today we are talking about a serious topic. So you might want to put those headphones in or listen to this.

at a time where your kiddos are not around, especially if they're a little bit younger, because our topic today is a very important topic that every parent needs to know about, and it is swim safety, and I have an incredible expert on today. Let me introduce her. We have Selena Willows here today. Selena is a water safety and education expert with over 29 years experience teaching all ages in the water. Through her proprietary method, she has helped parents

find calm and joy around the water knowing that their children are not only comfortable but also capable in the water. Selena coaches parents and instructors to teach children to swim in as few as 10 lessons and runs the only guaranteed learn to swim program in the world. And I do want to note that we found out about you because you signed up for Christy Face List which was so exciting when I saw you come in. I was like what? This woman empowers

parents to do this. I am so excited to have you on because you are also a believer that parents can do a lot more than society tells us we can. And no, we're not experts at every single field, but there is a lot that we can do with the proper training. And so I'm excited to hear from you today at the end of the show about the program and how honestly you say.

Christy-Faith (01:59.502)
Private swim lessons, even small group swim lessons are expensive. And so I'm excited to hear about your offering. I wanted to go into my first question for you. And that is, what inspired you to become a water safety and education expert? So if you had asked me what I was going to be when I was younger, I never would have thought that this is where I would have ended up.

I've always had a love for the water and I followed, you know, the Red Cross, become a junior lifeguard, get your lifeguarding certificate. And at 14, I started coaching both swimming and gymnastics. So both high fear areas of activity. And that became my teen years, my university years. And it, but it wasn't until my own son at 18 months had a near drowning experience.

When this happened, he was 18 months old and he fell backwards into a lake and the person who was supervising him didn't notice quite quickly. And so we had a really big scare with him. He had six months of night terrors. It was impossible to wash his hair. He became that child that would just scream during bath time, a child who previously loved the water. So I started digging.

right? Mama Bear came out and did what she had to do to make this better. We, you know, we went to the local lessons and I saw pretty quickly that this wasn't going to work. And so I started doing research on trauma, on rehabilitation, on, on drowning and using all the things that I had learned over my decades at this point of instruction and coaching children. And I applied it to him with that.

trauma piece and the rehabilitation. And the next thing I knew, he was swimming and I had friends knocking down my door and it turned into now over 3000 children. And here I am, but it was the passion to take care of my own child, to help him through this difficult time and to reestablish something that we were doing as a family that was really important to me. Wow. That's powerful. And also that piece of

Christy-Faith (04:07.918)
you being trauma -informed with your son, I think is really important because when we were teaching all four of our children to swim, I mentioned before that we had a pool right in our backyard. And yes, it was gated, but kids can climb over gates. I recall a lot of kids who didn't even want their faces in the water. They didn't want their hair wet and all of those things. I would love for you to speak to that for parents because I have seen parents not teach their kids to swim.

because of this, because it is such a negative experience for them, their kid in particular, they really have compassion for their kid. To the extent where there's a little bit of a blurred line where a mom is quite not sure if she's traumatizing her child by forcing her child to do swim lessons. Can you just give us some clarity on that? This is a very common issue of kids not wanting their face wet, not wanting to go in the pool and some fears around it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.

Yeah, so with the ages that I started, I start between the ages of 18 months to two years, sometimes as early as 12 months, but those are the ones who actually do want to be in the water. But at 18 months, two years, we have a better ability to communicate with a child, right? We were talking about how your children went through infant swim rescue, and that's a whole different thing because the children are very, very young during that. And so,

What I use as a marker for trauma, because we do put faces in the water and children are crying sometimes. They don't want to do it. They don't want to do it. And this is the only means of communication they have. Right? We have to remember that this is, this is not manipulation. This is not necessarily even fear or trauma or anything like that. It is communication. This is how they're communicating with us. But if we can take the time to communicate with them and explain to them that there is a non -negotiable here, a boundary here.

just like buckling into a seatbelt and into a car seat, just like wearing a helmet, right? That I understand and I know you don't want to, but this is something that we have to do anyway. And so that's the approach that we take in our programs. What advice would you give parents who are hesitant or fearful about teaching their children to swim? So it starts with understanding that no one is more concerned about your child's safety than you.

Christy-Faith (06:32.75)
No one cares as much as you do about your child. And if a 16 year old who is still a child themselves, who doesn't have kids, who doesn't know your child and likely has not spent nearly enough time around enough different children to understand learning styles and emotional cues of preschoolers can get hired and paid to teach your child to swim, then you can absolutely learn what you need to do through the right program. And I know that it's really hard to step out of our comfort zones, but we do for our children all the time.

Right?

I mean, I remember being worried when they sent me home with my first child, right? They're like, you can leave now. And I'm going, what do you mean? Where's the adult? I can't leave with this child, right? But we are beginners all the time for our children. Every single day we are beginners with them as they grow and they change. And this is just another stage of growth. It's another challenge, another hurdle, another way where we can do and be better for them. We've learned to become their nurses, their advocates, their cheerleaders.

They're teachers and they pull at our heartstrings, right? They know exactly how to get to us and it hurts and we don't want to. But what I would say to a parent who's really, really struggling, if you're struggling with hair washing and bath time and all that is start slow. A pool is big and it is intimidating and it is deep. Start in a smaller place, start in a bathtub. Don't be afraid to get in there with them. Allow them to pour water over your face, show them it's okay. Model that behavior.

When they see you smiling and giggling at getting water on your face, it's going to be a lot easier for them to be willing to try it, right? And then hold firm boundaries around it. If it's hair washing night, then it's hair washing night. Give your child options maybe as to how the shampoo will be rinsed out, you know, tap or bucket, lying back or shower head, but don't bend on the washing hair, right? You wouldn't bend on a seatbelt. You wouldn't bend on a helmet. And this is just as important for their safety.

Christy-Faith (08:30.062)
And this is just another facet of that. Our discomfort as parents is such a small price to pay for their safety and their well -being. When we're talking about water safety, what we don't seem to realize as parents is that 88 % of children that drown are there with at least one adult present. And close to 70 % of toddler drownings occur during non -swim time. I did not know that.

I did not know that you, when you think of it, you think of the story of the kid wandered off or something like that. Like,

Okay. Yeah, it's staggering to think that 88 % of these cases there was a parent present. Just distracted. So distracted, yes, sure, absolutely, which is why these campaigns are always out there telling us to watch our children. But there's another factor, and that is not knowing what it is we're looking for. We're told to supervise our children, but we're not told what to look for. What are we to look for?

Right? So there are whole courses on this, but it comes down to understanding what drowning actually looks like and really being intimate with your child's understanding of the water, abilities in the water, endurance in the water. We often can look back on, you know, a meltdown at the supermarket or at the park and think they were overtired. I knew this. I should have cut park time shorter. I should have, right? No, I should have. But,

In terms of swim, we don't often think about that. And when a child gets tired in the water, we can lose track, right? If you're chatting with parents or whatever, I can't tell you how many children I have plucked out of the water right next to a parent who's just having a conversation and the child's right there bobbing up and down. But, you know, the group's shifted and it's a little deeper or the tide is coming in and we don't realize because it's waist deep for us. But then all of a sudden the child is struggling.

Christy-Faith (10:35.886)
And one thing that I was told by one of our swim teachers who I really loved her, she pointed out, drowning is silent. Yes. They slip under. You think of like splashing and all of that and that's not, right? That's not what it looks like. Correct. So what we're taught on TV, media, movies, all of this, is not at all what happens. By the time a child is

actually drowning and in need of help, they are no longer calling for it. Because their survival instinct has come in completely. If they're calling for help, that's a pre -warning. That's an, I'm uncomfortable, I don't think I can make it. And that comes before the panic. Once the panic slips in, it takes 10 to 20 seconds for a child's brain to shut down and stop fighting. And so we have very little time. Very little time. And we don't seem to realize that your child is not going to call for help.

When things get quiet in the pool, that's when there's a problem. That's profound and such an important takeaway. One thing that's sad to me is with the program that we used, the numbers would skyrocket whenever there was a drowning in the news, a big drowning in the news. And of course, yeah, it brings awareness and that's important, but man, our kids need to know how to swim, period. They just need to know how to swim.

Absolutely our kids have to know how to swim, right? We talk about the five layers of protection and learning to swim is absolutely one of them. There are studies that show that a child under the age of four who knows how to swim is at an 88 % chance, decreased chance of drowning. And that is massive, that's huge. But one of the things in my research that I found is that approximately 60 % of parents don't consider drowning to be of concern for them or their kids. And that's a big number.

Christy-Faith (12:35.79)
Absolutely, absolutely. But the truth of the matter is, is that by the age of about two years old, they are physically capable of getting themselves in and out of the pool and across the pool if they need to. And if taught properly, there's no reason that a two year old or even 18, I've seen 18 month olds do this, where they fall in the pool and physically get themselves all the way out, right? Not just wait for help, but get themselves all the way out and completely self -rescue.

And there's no reason that they can't do that at a very young age, much younger than we seem to think. Well, and a four year old too, a lot of people consider that young to teach a kid to swim. So one of the most staggering things that I've found is that studies actually show that in children between the ages of one to four, drowning is the leading cause of death. That's crazy. Do you know what it is with the older kids? It is, especially what we see is around the age of eight, there's a steep decline.

However, to note for parents is that around the age of 15 and right up to 25, it goes back up, especially in male children, because they start doing things like using substances by a campfire by a lake and they get rowdy. And children who do not have the training for muscle memory to get themselves out of a pool, barring loss of consciousness, barring all of these other external factors,

children who are not practiced in the art of reorienting themselves and getting out of the water after a fall can succumb, especially under the influence of something.

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Christy-Faith (16:53.966)
Cries have been misinterpreted where the kids not actually scared. I mean, if your kid is scared, that's something you slow down, but just not liking something, especially when you have had healthy conversations ahead of time, like you are safe with me, you're safe with this instructor, learning to swim is gonna be so important. I used to tell my kids all the time, I want you to be able to play in the water and you're not gonna be able to play in the water and dive for...

for rockets and all of that if you don't know how to swim. And so I always framed it as a gift that quite frankly was an expensive gift because our kids, all of our four kids had privates. And we, I explained to you before we started filming that the way we were able to afford it is because we had a pool as we hosted other lessons.

And so my for six weeks, twice a year, my house was Grand Central Station with crying babies and poop in the pool, all of those things. But it was really it was worth it because yeah, all the things. But it was worth it because our kids were given the gift at a very young age of being able to play and have a blast in the water. What are some common misconceptions parents have about water safety for their children? Yeah.

So before I answer this, I am going to go back and give you one little hint on whether or not to know your child. If your child is truly afraid of the water or if they're just pushing back, they're just being a child who is afraid of the water is going to climb you. You're right. You're right. Not let you put them on the side of the pool and step back.

They will not let you put them in any sort of floaty and put them in the water. They will not, they are going to cling and climb. And they will be all the way up here in your face, not sitting gently on your hip, right? And so that's a very good way that parents can know whether what is happening with their child is resistance or if there's something bigger here.

Christy-Faith (19:09.102)
That's powerful. I had never thought of it that way before. And I think you're absolutely right. Yeah. It's interesting to watch. I mean, we've, I've taught over 3000 children with this method now and being able to really truly see the difference when a child gets in the water is profound. And I suspect how you teach that child when you know that they're scared is completely different than how you would teach a resistant child. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Yeah. So common misconceptions parents have about water safety. One of the big ones, and we touched on this, is that they will recognize what drowning looks like without actually learning about it, right? That they are supervising this pool and that because they're supervising, they've got it. And it's unfortunate that all these advocacy groups out there don't actually teach parents, right? They're advocating.

supervision, they're advocating for not using floaties, they're advocating for all of these things. There's a lack of education around, okay, but what am I looking for? That's one of the big things. And then the other one that I see often and hear often is that once their child can swim, they feel like they should be finding most any body of water and that they don't require

astringent supervision or any supervision any longer or that someone else will watch their child because they're watching their own anyway and their child knows how to swim and manage themselves so it's going to be fine. And you know I've pulled children out of the pool whose parents were across the lawn and I have you know one such situation where this little girl absolutely did know how to swim but she knew how to swim in the ocean where there's a slope and so she stepped off the step of the pool all of a sudden into deep water.

and didn't know what to do. Right? And the parent came by and said, but she knows how to swim, but the environment matters. Where their swimming matters, we need to take into account different pool structures, right? This gentle slope versus a step into overhead water, not noticing excitability or tiredness in our children, right? Are they over excited? Are they overtired? What do we, where are we at? You know?

Christy-Faith (21:28.302)
Swimming is a really taxing activity, especially for young swimmers who are trying to keep up with siblings, older siblings or older cousins or friends or whatever. And we're not necessarily as parents keeping track of where are we at in our day? Are they getting tired? Are we seeing signs that we're struggling now? Because that's when those accidents happen. Absolutely. Hey, what's your stance on floaties?

such a touchy subject. Go for it girl. Okay, so I'm going to go for it. I have my opinions on floaties. I want to hear yours. Yeah, so I'm going to start with saying that I am a member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, okay, which absolutely does not condone floaties in any way, shape or form. The problems I have with floaties are much the same as theirs. It's in the marketing of them.

and in the way they are sold and the way they are presented to parents. There is a false sense of security that can happen, absolutely, both for the parent and the child. However, however.

If you are a busy mom and you've got three in the pool with you or two in the pool with you and you've got one clinging and one who is just a daredevil and yes, you could put them in a life jacket. That would be the safer choice. That being said, a life jacket is really, really difficult to move around in, right? But you could use a puddle jumper. You could. And if you are supervising and you are paying attention and you are,

locking your gates and you've got your door chimes turned on and you've you know and you've had these conversations with your children. They can be a tool to have enjoyable swim time until a child is of an age where they can learn to swim. They also can be and I have used them in my courses they can be very helpful for a child who doesn't understand how to kick their legs or how to move around a pool to be able to learn how to navigate in the pool without having to do it.

Christy-Faith (23:34.734)
right from the start with their face in the water. Right? So they can be a really great tool, but should be used with extreme caution. Extreme caution. Children often forget they're not wearing it is what happens. Right? So they'll come out for a snack or whatever, and then they get back into the pool, forgetting that they're not, they haven't put it back on. Right? And so I recommend to parents that they just, they have rules around them. The, the puddle jumper gets clipped onto the gate.

of the pool. And so when you walk into the pool, the puddle jumper goes on. If you're going to have a snack, you don't have it in the pool area. You have it away from the pool where you take the floaty off and you hang it on the gate so that it's always right there. It's like a seatbelt. It's like, you know, it has to be worn, has to be worn. It's a very, very controversial topic. And I know that a lot of swim instructors would very, very much disagree with my stance on it. We use them. I,

They saved my relationship with my children in the water for me. It just wasn't going to be tenable to have my little daredevil and my traumatized child in the water together. And the stay -at -home mom, and he was at work and it was just me and we wanted to go swimming. So what were we going to do? Right? And this was a way that we could. Yeah, I hear you. Absolutely. I think everything with moderation because...

What I hear you saying is, hey, look, if your kiddos are too young and you're alone with them, but you want to have a good time in the pool, go to the pool and use these tools knowing full well that with the intention of that, your kids will be water safe at some point, but still enjoy the pool. Just be hyper -village. And, Hey, I want to tell you the story. My friend, Cynthia in Los Angeles, her husband was in residency at UCLA and we became really good friends. We were kind of in this small group at a church and just so, so sweet.

And in the student housing where they lived for UCLA, which was really near our house, they had a pool there and her kids were all really young and all close together. Like I'm talking four kids, I mean, back to back to back to back and they were all really young. And her second to oldest, they were at the pool and

Christy-Faith (25:52.302)
she was using floaties and they just loved being in the water. They loved splashing. They loved all of that. All the kids loved playing and that exactly happened. Her child came out of the pool, took the floaties off to have a snack. You're warm because the sun's on you. So you forget that the floatie is not on you. My friend, Cynthia did not see that her daughter had taken the floaties off. Sure enough, her daughter walks in the pool.

because her daughter had been in the deep end because she had floaties on. So just boom, jumped right in and her eyes, it scared her half to death because under the water, her daughter's eyes were looking up at her huge and her daughter did not know how to swim. Well, needless to say, she called me up that day and was like, can we get in on your ISR lessons? That was the method that we taught our kids at our house, which I want to talk to you about.

later and then sure enough they did not miss a lesson. It scared her so very much and it was that type of floaty incident. So we forget we get distracted. We're there with a lot of our kids. We're getting the snacks. We're taking heaven forbid one of them has to go to the bathroom right? Who's going to watch all of this? It's a very stressful environment. You know when my four even though my kids were all swimmers I still was more comfortable with two people.

because I have twins and then I had my youngest 18 months after my twins. So that is a lot of a bunched up young age. And I still only felt comfortable going with another adult for a very long time. And we had a rule with our family that you earned the right to play with floaties. You had to prove your swimming skills to play, you know, and now in their Easter baskets, we got them the, you know, the rings and stuff because.

They're all the friends at the pool. One thing that does scare me are these huge floaties that kids can get stuck under. And that happened to me at Raging Waters in Southern California when I was man, older elementary, maybe junior high, they have the wave pool and everyone's allowed to have almost like platformy type floaties. I got stuck. I got stuck. Yes, I got stuck under that. I'm sure they don't allow that anymore.

Christy-Faith (28:13.422)
But I was stuck and I could not find a way up and everyone's enjoying the waves above you. It was a very frightening experience for me. I can imagine. I can imagine. So when we were living in LA, there's a lot of these massive pool parties, right? As you know, and all these massive floaty things in the water during a pool party. And they may not allow them at public pools anymore because they know better. But in a backyard pool, when you've got a lot of kids in the water.

It obstructs view. And even if you hire a lifeguard, it's funny because this is, I remember going to many a party where this like 16, 17 year old lifeguard shows up, right? And they're supposed to be in charge of the safety of these children. And the parents are like, yeah, it's done. But this child doesn't have the wherewithal to tell a parent, you got to get these pool toys out because I can't see, right? And I can't tell you how many lifeguards I've stood next to and said, you know, you have to speak up.

It's your insurance and your license and your, you know, like get the big toys out of the pool so that you can see what you're supervising. Those big toys are great. If you've got one, two kids in the water, sure, let them play with the huge toys because you're counting heads. You've got two. It's not a big deal. But when you've got a pool party going on and there are a lot of kids in the water, it can be incredibly dangerous, incredibly, incredibly dangerous. What is something in your industry that you hear?

a lot of that you just can't get behind? I have a lot of trouble with the fact that swim schools begin with teaching children to blow bubbles. And we do this at home too. We're teaching them to blow bubbles in the pool and in the bathtub. And I really struggle with it. I'm going to tell you why. Breath control. And this is what they tell us. They tell us, they tell parents, well, we're teaching them about breath control. But what you're

Actually teaching your child is not control over their breath. You're teaching them that when their face goes in the water, they should blow their air out. And if your child falls in the water, you do not want them to blow their air out. You want them to hold their breath because it is a lot less uncomfortable to hold a full breath of air than it is to hold empty lungs. So the next step is they're going to take an inhale.

Christy-Faith (30:33.934)
And so I really struggle with that. We don't teach bubble blowing until a child is able to lift their head and get another breath mid swim. That's when you should be learning to blow bubbles. Not before. Not before. That would have never occurred to me. That would have never occurred to me, but it makes so much sense.

But why would it occur to you, right? Like, why would that occur to you? This is what we've been told since the 30s. This is what we've always done. This is the big thing. And I spend a lot of time thinking about these things. Like a lot of times thinking about these things, right? And so, you know, why would it occur to anybody? Yeah, it wouldn't. This is what we've been taught to do. And so we do it, right?

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Hi mama. If you like my social media content and my show, I'm pretty sure you will love my book, Homeschool Rising, Shattering Myths, Finding Courage, and Opting Out of the School System. My book is for homeschool parents, both veteran and new and the perfect book to hand any homeschool skeptics in your life so they can better understand why you've chosen this amazing lifestyle. This book will challenge you, empower you, encourage you, and give you solid, mindful answers to all those questions you get about your homeschooling choice. Grab your copy and maybe an extra one for your mother -in -law today. Homeschool Rising is available wherever books are sold. I do want to talk about...

ISR, that was the method that we used. ISR, I feel like in the 80s got a super bad rap for having the reputation of throwing screaming babies in the water type of a thing. That was not our experience at all. The instructors were so loving, so in tune, sweet, sweet instructors. However, your method is a little bit different. Of course, you know, one, no method is perfect, but also, you know, there are different

ways and I'm sure that you have created your program because of some differences, maybe idealistic differences you have from ISR. Would you do us a favor and explain for my audience what ISR is and then explain what you do so that we can understand the difference because I would say most families in America just think that they take their kids to the rec center when they get old enough.

Christy-Faith (34:50.702)
to have some teenager teach a group lesson of how to swim to an edge. And that is not what ISR is, nor is that what you are doing. So let's start with what ISR is. I am not an ISR instructor. I'm going to start with that. Okay. I've not gone through their training. I can tell you from an outsider's perspective what I see and what I think is great and what I don't love. ISR infant swim rescue is when they take babies,

and they teach them how to survive in the water. So this is a survival swim training versus what I call mine is a self -rescue. So there's one difference right there. So they call this survival swim training. And what they teach children to do essentially is to roll onto their back and wait for help. Now there is some, depending on the age, there is some kicking, but they teach a child to roll onto their back and to wait for help.

How long did it take your children to learn? Because you said six weeks, summer after summer, it was fast. yeah, within the problem was between lessons they forgot. So they would learn within those six weeks very, very quickly. And we even would do the test where they would be in their clothes. With the clothing and everything. Yes. We even did that. And sure enough, they did turn around and float and giggle until I could come and pick them up.

Yeah, there was no crying for us. That's great. So if there's no crying, this is one of the big ones is if there's no crying with your child in ISR, then fantastic. Fantastic. So it was six weeks daily. Daily. See, that seems so long to me. Straight. it was and.

If we didn't keep our kids in the water, which was easy for us to do because we lived in Southern California and we had a heated pool. So we made sure that our kids were in the pool at least once a week, even over winter. I mean, Christmas day is 80 degrees in Los Angeles. It's fine. But here, now that we are in Colorado, we go months without going into a pool. My kids, when we first moved here, even though they were ISR trained, I had to find an ISR instructor here and she basically had to start from scratch because they forgot.

Christy-Faith (37:04.782)
just after a couple of months. Yeah. So that's one of the downfalls of ISR is that the children are so young that they do, they forget completely. And so it has to be kept up. To me, six weeks is really, really long. And we can talk about why I think that is after. But six weeks daily is so long to me. Six weeks to me, it feels really, really long. But of course you're dealing with a younger child than what I teach, right? And so what they do is they teach them to float on their back.

They teach them to wait for help. And if your child is not crying and is okay with the process, then great, no problem. However, I have seen children go through ISR and then come to me and exhibit signs of trauma because there is no ability to communicate with a three, six, nine month old as to what is happening, why it's happening, why we're doing this to them, right? Yeah.

And at that age, we're doing this to them, right? They don't understand any other thing. They're not old enough to understand truly, you know, certain boundaries and, you know, all the care and compassion. And they certainly can't communicate their feelings with us properly in such a way where they know that we understand even though we're going to do it anyway, right?

And so I've seen, I have seen quite a bit of trauma come out of ISR. And that's not to say that it isn't a wonderful program. And I think that if you live in a place where you can swim year round and you can keep it up, it's a wonderful option. It's a wonderful option. But we do find that in places where there are more seasons, that ISR instructors are fewer and farther between because it's not a viable business for them. And it's not viable for the children because they forget so quickly. So, so quickly.

Yeah, and then as my kids got older, you know, they do the flip kick flip. They do that, but that's much older, right? The ISR starts kids as soon as they can sit up. They have the stomach muscles to sit. That's so whatever age that is when they are sitting is when they can technically start. And then as they get older, it's kind of like they look like little seals in the water, like flipping, kicking to the edge, you know, finally get at first. Yes, they float to get rescued and then they go to the edge.

Christy-Faith (39:24.206)
I would love to hear about your method. This is so exciting to me. My method is a little bit different in that we don't take them till a little bit older. My thought on it is that until your child is old enough to get to the pool on their own, they don't really necessarily need to have any sort of swim training. My biggest concern is that a child who is comfortable in the water but not completely capable is going to get themselves in trouble.

We start around the ages of 18 months and guarantee success as of two years. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. That's incredible. And it's 10 lessons of under 10 minutes. That's it. What? 100 minutes and I guarantee your two year old is swimming. No, no, no, no, no. Wait, wait. Yeah. And you're teaching the parent to do it? Yes. How? No. Magic. It's two parts really what it is, is

part of it is connection, right, that builds trust through effective boundaries. So child feeling seen, heard, understood, and that their feelings matter in this, right? So if they're coming to the water and they are crying and they don't want to put their face in, we're going to take the time to hear their feelings, to hear their concerns, to talk about it, talk it through, and then we're going to come in with some tough love.

If you're enjoying the show and you don't want to miss out on future episodes, hit that like and subscribe button and show us some love with your comments. Those five star reviews really do make a difference. I understand that you don't want to do this. I understand that you are whatever word they've told us scared, frightened, I don't know, whatever it is. But we're going to do it anyway. Same as we would buckle them into a car seat. Same as we would put a helmet on their head. Right?

They understand. And so that's part of it. That's a big part of it is the connection and the trust with the instructor and the boundaries around it that keep that trust and connection solid throughout the program. And then the other part of it is that we start with skills that are available to children at a young age, right? So there are things like learning to swim with their head up. That's not something that's available to a child before the age of about five.

Christy Faith (41:45.934)
Right? And all these programs, a lot of these local programs, try to teach children to swim with their head up. They've got their hands on a board and their head out of the water. And then you take the board away. And of course they can't swim. They don't have the upper back musculature. And these are things when these programs were developed, they didn't know. We now know these things. We now know that that upper back musculature is not developed until a certain age. And so they can't keep themselves in proper swim position.

But it's also making sure that your child has win after win after win after win after win in the water, right? Like nobody wants to go do something day in and day out or week in and week out that they feel that they're not progressing and that they suck at, that they keep failing or whatever, right? Session after, I have parents that come to me session after session after session of my child keeps failing back floats. Well,

That to me sounds like your child has good judgment because to float on your back you have to succumb to the water. I don't want my child succumbing to the water if they don't know how to swim. yeah. Yeah. So we've changed the order of these. We've changed the order of how we teach swimming so that we get win after win after win. And so the child's confidence starts to soar as their capability grows rather than feeling comfortable in the water.

and then teaching them to be capable. That's fascinating. I'd love to hear a story, a success story from someone who's gone through your program. Sure. If I'm being honest, it's all success stories. We have a cool one. I don't know. Yeah, we have 98 .7 % success rate within 90 minutes. So within nine lessons, we have 98 .7. And so, but what I love hearing about is I love it when parents message me,

and tell me, I had one such client, she messaged me and she says her two and a half year old was playing with cousins in and around the pool. And the parents were right there close by watching, supervising, and this tiny little girl got pushed in and she's two and a half. Her cousins are all bigger than her, so she's trying to keep up and they hear the splash, they turn their head and by the time...

Christy-Faith (44:11.47)
They got up and over. She had pulled herself out of the pool and she looked at her mom and shrugged and went, I fell in, but I did it. I got out and that was it. Right? No big deal. No, no fuss, no nothing. And I get these stories often. My child fell in the pool. And by the time I got there, they had already gotten themselves out and there's no panic. There's no fear. There's no nothing because this is part of the training they receive.

Do the parents watch videos? How does it work? Yeah, so it's a video course. It's all videos. It's me talking. It's examples in the water. I have an enormous amount of footage of me teaching. And so there are videos of what it looks like if a child succeeds, what it looks like if a child is struggling in certain ways, and how to fix those little things. And then they have support. They have access to me throughout the program.

that's absolutely fantastic. And you know, here's the other thing too is one, people may live in areas where there aren't a lot of swim instructors to choose from or a method to choose from. They just really only have the rec center that maybe is in an hour away. What I love about this is that no one knows a child more than the parent and can be in tune with the child so that the fact that you're empowering parents to do this on their own.

with a world -class method, not just a teenager who's interested in a summer job that's teaching kids strokes. Man, every time I go to, we have a lot of rec centers around here in Colorado and it's like swim teaching season right now and it's all the kids are just like, they're hanging onto the edge with a teenage instructor. And out of that 20 minute lesson, each kid gets maybe 30 seconds of actual instruction and.

And I'm like, my goodness, what are they paying for? So that's amazing how you are empowering the families with these skills so that they can do it on their own. So they're access to, it doesn't matter anymore. You're giving them access to a world -class method. I love that you said that no one knows your child better than you because that is exactly what I tell parents is that nobody knows your child better than you. When I get into the water with a child, I am spending the first three lessons, three to four lessons,

Christy-Faith (46:25.55)
just getting to understand their learning style, their personality, their attitude towards that, you know, where that sticking point is, how far are we going to get before we hit resistance and how to flush that resistance out. And because I don't know the child, right, I can get a background, I can, but because until I get to really know a child and the child trusts me, you know, there are, there's that buffer time that needs to happen. But as a parent, parents are so uniquely positioned to do this. And,

Let's be very clear, if a 16 year old can learn to do this with eight kids sitting on the side of the pool and get paid for it, who are we? And these 16 years, they don't have kids. They don't know how to manage tantrums or how to, like, they don't understand any of this, right? And we're paying them to do this. And we can absolutely learn what a 16 year old learns.

Absolutely. If you had one message to give to the world right now or parents in particular, what would it be? It would be that confidence over capability kills. That a child who is taught to be confident and comfortable in the water without having capability is at a bigger danger, bigger risk of drowning. We...

We have all these lessons where we do mommy and me with a water can and songs and we make it so fun and enjoyable for these children to be in the water that then they want to go to the water. We're teaching them to want to be in the water, which in the long run is great, but all it's doing at those ages is ensuring that the children are more complacent and easier to teach later on for those 16 year olds.

That's my personal opinion. Right? It makes it a lot easier for a 16 year old to teach a child to swim if they think the water is fun, but the water is not fun until it is. Right? And our children need to be capable before they are comfortable. Well, what I'm hearing you say is there needs to be a reverence for the water. Yeah. Healthy respect and healthy respect.

Christy-Faith (48:38.862)
Just like we have a healthy respect for that huge machine we drive around every single day that we buckle our kids into, right? We have a healthy respect that things can go wrong and we buckle our kids in and we put them in car seats and we are careful and we don't text and drive and we don't drink and drive, right? We do all of these things and we have a plan. You know, should the unfortunate happen, we know what we will do.

And we need to have the same thing around the pool, same thing with our children in the water. We teach them at this early age to just love the water. Would you say that's one of your biggest challenges or would you say it's something else? So I think as an industry, we mentioned this before, as an industry, we face the fact that 60 % of parents are just not concerned, right? Personally, what I face is that the method by which we teach has been around since the early thirties. Red Cross developed their first programs in 1932. And so that's just the way it's done.

Right? We hand our child to an instructor. We know that we're going to sit by the pool for session after session for months, two years before they learn how to swim. And it's really hard to shift a culture into understanding that it could be so much better. It could be so much faster that we could have children swimming years early. You're that we could change drowning statistics rather than just reporting on them. But it's like, it's like convincing some parents to homeschool.

Yeah, I was just gonna say, you sound like me. It's like convincing some parents that you don't have to follow something just because that's the way it's being done. That the system can be functional and broken both at the same time. I'm so being de -schooled right now because you mentioned that you have a 98 .7 success rate in under 90 minutes and I'm thinking,

No, no, no, it takes years to teach your kid how to swim. That's exactly what I tell homeschool parents to do. Like, no, you can do your homeschool day in a couple of hours. You don't need the seven hours. Yeah, you know, you can do you can do your swim lesson in 10 minutes, 10 times and be done. And wow. Wow. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. Hey, where can my audience find you? Yeah. So the website is swimtosafety .com. The word to T .O.

Christy-Faith (50:58.85)
I'm on socials, Instagram, Facebook, and in there you'll find my link tree as well. We've got some free resources and we've got our flagship programs that teach you how to teach your child to swim. I also have a program for parents who are in the local lessons and struggling to get through that back float portion. It's not a recommendation that you start with that.

That's not the way we do it in Swim2Me, but a lot of parents are, you know, in those programs and struggling and just need to get their child through that back float so they can actually learn to swim. And so I do have a back float program as well for parents struggling there. I can be found all over the place. And that Swim2Me program, that's the flagship program. That's the one we've been talking about where parents teach their children to swim guaranteed in 10 lessons of under 10 minutes.

That's absolutely phenomenal. You heard it here, folks, in the ages of one to four, it's the highest. What is it? What did you say? It's the number one cause of death. I think the timing is perfect. This episode being put out to my audience right around the time where school is starting to end, where these are going to be vital skills. Hey, I just think it's really cool what you're doing. I love that you're living a passion driven life.

to doing something that you believe in and are so good at and truthfully blessing the world with this really important skill and empowering parents. I have learned so much just through this short conversation with you. I know parents are gonna find this incredibly valuable. Thank you. I really love what I do. I really love what I do.

Thank you so much for being on the show and we have her, will we put everything in the show notes and also you can find her on Christy-Faith's List. And by the way, you did a kick butt page on there.

Christy-Faith (53:00.814)
It's amazing. You put videos on there and pictures. We're always telling people, make your profile better so people want to call you. And we're actually using your profile on Christy-Faith's List as an example for other people to follow. I don't know if Scott told you that, but we are doing that because you did such a great job and I cannot wait for families all over the world to find your programs. Thank you so much for being on the show, Selena.

Thank you so much for having me. It's been great.