AIBU to let my 8 year old swim without an adult in the water with them?

(47 Posts)
ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 14:27:08

Just that really. The pool allows children of 8 and above to swim without an adult in water, as long as adult present in building.
I would be letting child and friend of same age swim with me sitting in the poolside cafe, where I can speak to them and they to me if necessary.(parent if friend is clear on what Im planning)
Both children can swim about 50m (not with fantastic style) and are confident in the water and sensible.
I just ask, because a friend was really shocked when I said I was going to do this. It seems a step forward in independence, which needs to start happening in small controlled ways, as far as I can see, but thought I'd canvas the views of the wise and the good on MN.
Thanks.

KatieBurningham Wed 19-Feb-14 14:28:41

I assume there will be lifeguards etc around and watching?

Ragwort Wed 19-Feb-14 14:29:28

If you are absolutely sure they are confident in water then yes, I would. I let my DS swim on his own at that age, but he had done years of lessons and I was very confident n his swimming ability. Obviously you would have to make it absolutely clear to the other parent about what you were doing.

Presumably there are life guards at the pool in case of emergency?

MissyO Wed 19-Feb-14 14:29:41

yes it's fine and in our area they don't even need an adult in the building.

Oneglassandpuzzled Wed 19-Feb-14 14:31:05

I wouldn't have a problem with this if they were both sensible and I could see them at all times. If the cafe is poolside you could jump in in a complete emergency, couldn't you! Uunlikely, if the lifeguards are keeping an eye on things).

seems fine to me especially if you are in the building with them.

Can I admit to letting dd (10) and ds (7) go to the pool with their cousin (9) and telling ds to say he was 8 if they asked blush - no adults went with them. Ds is a good swimmer and has his 100m certificate.

Anyway, they survived and had good fun and I picked them up afterwards.

OddBoots Wed 19-Feb-14 14:31:47

At that age both my children could easily out swim me so were often far too far away from me for me to have been any use to them if the had problems. So no, yanbu (in my opinion).

Weegiemum Wed 19-Feb-14 14:33:30

Biggest advantage of children turning 8 - you no longer have to go in the pool too!!

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 19-Feb-14 14:35:28

Absolutely fine imo, and I'm an ex-lifeguard.

Do keep an eye though ( I assume you are a swimmer).

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 14:38:25

Thanks for positive feedback. Yes there will be life guards as public pool. I will go into the changing room with them before and after to make sure they can manage the lockers and don't get confused and lost (more likely than getting into trouble in the water tbh). Other parent knows exactly what Im planning. It is first time alone for her child too, and she is keen because that child has younger siblings, so the extra independence not poss.
Just feels like 8 is the stage for little bits of extra independence, have to start somewhere. I would not have considered it if it was outside pool guidelines (although I can see why someone upthread allowed their 7 year old to go with older relatives....always nice to do these things with people a few years older first if poss....not option for us)

Stinklebell Wed 19-Feb-14 14:39:24

Our pool allows over 8s in the pool without an adult in the building at all.

My 12 year old goes on her own with her friends and gets there under her own steam.

My nearly 9 year old goes in on her own - a group of us tend to meet up for a coffee while the kids swim - we can see them, the life guards are shit hot at not letting non-swimmers past a certain point, even when they are accompanied by an adult so they're never out of their depth and the cafe is poolside, so if there was an emergency I'm right there anyway.

I hate swimming, utterly loathe it, this way she gets to swim and I don't have to

stoopstofolly Wed 19-Feb-14 14:41:00

Absolutely fine'- my DD and her friend go in every week while mums watch and chat. Lifeguard makes them swim a full length of the pool and then gives them a wristband when they pass. They love it!

CMOTDibbler Wed 19-Feb-14 14:44:59

Depends on how sensible they are tbh. My nearly 8 year old wouldn't concern me at all in the swimming stakes, but is inclined to not think about people around him (duck diving near small children/nervous swimmers and causing big splashes) or messing around in the middle of the pool getting in peoples way. And with a friend would be even worse.

I'm giving him more independance by swimming lengths while he is in the pool and only intervening when he's being annoying. I would continue this for at least another year - but I like swimming, so its good for me to get on with my own agenda

Pepperglitter Wed 19-Feb-14 14:47:42

I think it's fine. Ds goes on his own. At our pool they make you swim a length to check they can swim.

eightandthreequarters Wed 19-Feb-14 14:49:58

If they can swim 50m and there's a lifeguard on duty, there's no need for you to be in the pool with them. If you are at all concerned about their swimming, then sit on the sidelines and watch them closely, rather than reading. To be honest, you are more likely to spot a problem when paying close attention and not in the pool.

thinking101 Wed 19-Feb-14 14:55:09

I have been allowing my DS swim with me sitting by poolside for the last two years, he is 8. Always a guard on duty too.

If I didn't have his sister I'd be in the steam room/jacuzzi which the pool can be viewed from.

HavantGuard Wed 19-Feb-14 14:55:41

She'll be absolutely fine.

Any excuse to repeat this link as it's so worth reading though doesn't look like drowning.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Wed 19-Feb-14 14:58:03

I think that's fine OP.

The rules on swimming with DCs often make no sense at all. I remember on holiday years ago (UK), I was about 12 and my little brother was about 5.

They would not let me and little bro go swimming together, even though we could both swim well, unless DM came swimming too. It did not matter that DM cannot swim and did not own a swimming cossie shock.

bruffin Wed 19-Feb-14 15:23:07

My ds is a life guard.He says fine, especially if your nearby. It tends to be the older kids that are a pain.

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 15:33:00

Thanks Bruffin. Yes I can see that a couple of newbies are likely to be more cautious than a group of 10 or 11 year olds.
We are going to go for it. I thought it was fine, but its nice to get the reassurance here. Thanks everyone. Will feedback later.

MrsMook Wed 19-Feb-14 15:36:21

At DS's lessons, they've started going in the pool independently with parents at the edge. It's a class for 3 to 4 year olds. Ds is doing much better as he's listening to the instructor, not torn between him and me, and he doesn't have me to clung to.

On that basis, it must be OK for a confident and sensible 8 year old.

GobbysMum Wed 19-Feb-14 15:48:16

Our area has fun sessions for over 8s where adults are not allowed in the pool. Most parents do not stay to watch - me included. Non swimmers are strictly kept to the shallows. YANBA.

Ericaequites Wed 19-Feb-14 16:26:18

If there is a trained lifeguard, there is no problem. I did this at six.

lazyhound444 Wed 19-Feb-14 16:29:41

I did it the minute mine's turned 8. I kind of hate swimming.

Quinteszilla Wed 19-Feb-14 16:33:55

My son is 8, he is very confident in water, he swims most strokes really well, having had lessons for years. He loves diving, and he loves doing flips and somersaults in the water. I let him spend half an hour on his own in the water before his lesson. But even if there are several life guards, I would not go and sit in the cafe where he is out of view.
The reason is that he has hit his head in the bottom of the pool before, so I just cannot rest easy in the cafe....

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