Today we are featuring Heidi M. Reiss, co-owner and Office Manager of AquaBeba Swim.
Heidi spent most of her life not knowing how to swim. She was that phobic child that did not have the right instructor and method to teach her. Her husband was an Olympic Swimmer and when she told him of her life long struggle they went to a pool together. He was able to teach Heidi in less then 15 minutes. It was the way he described things that just made sense. When she got pregnant she was obsessed with their children learning from birth. At that time Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY), where they lived, was full of old warehouses and bars and there was no where that they felt right about teaching their small baby so they started a small program and opened it up to whoever wanted to learn. The real reason was to teach their daughter. Eight years later, it has become their life's work and passion.
Infant swimming is one of the most valuable life skills you can offer your child. Making them comfortable and secure in the water at a young age is much like learning a language from birth. They will never know a life without water.
Learning to swim at a young age creates a natural love of water which is a beautiful gift to give anyone. It aids physical and mental development, makes children more confident and secure in swim environments. It is a tremendous way to bond with your baby/child. Your vacationing will be better and harder :) Swimming and doing water sports at a young age! Everything aside it is the front line in defense against drowning accidents. This is something AquaBeba Swim take very seriously. They are dedicated to creating not only a love of water but a respect for it. Safety is extremely important.
One of the things AquaBeba Swim specializes in is phobias. The children and adults that tried everything to learn and get over their fears. The joy and excitement in the air is electric when someone has their first swim break through. It makes Heidi smile and glow just thinking about it. They have had people in tears of joy when it happens and it is really special. The entire team gets excited, it really is a huge deal.
They also work with many children with a variety of special needs. They value them and will work really hard to find a way to reach them. Heidi and the team will do everything to connect and create a positive/comfortable atmosphere for them to progress in.
One great achievement Heidi considers is that time when a parent wrote an email after a toddler walked into a pool during a family vacation. The child was able to swim to the wall and climb out. He is now a happy 6 year old who still loves to swim. AquaBeba Swim is very honored to have given him those skills.
Many families follow many different parenting styles and for them, there are really no mistakes. It is figuring out how to connect with them. Parents are just trying to do what they think is the best possible thing for their children. If Heidi had to pick this so called mistake, she would say the method of teaching swimming with the use of a flotation device. It teaches children that there is something to be afraid of, that putting their head underwater is a scary thing to be prevented. Also it creates a false sense of security for them, they might think they can swim and jump in unassisted. Children should always be properly supervised when near any body of water. Of course an official life vest should always be used in boating/potentially dangerous swim activities.
Every year AquaBeba Swim try to expand and improve to make the program better and better. They are focused on not growing too much too fast so they can maintain their same quality of service.
Heidi shares her best tip for parents who plan to enroll their babies to AquaBeba Swim: "The earlier you start the better but hold off until you feel you can really commit to it. Swimming is progressive and takes time, focus and in some cases a lot of patience. Set up realistic goals and try and stick with them. It is a valuable life skill that needs to be nurtured."
AquaBeba Swim is a family run business with a unique approach. They live, breath and sleep their program and are so dedicated to sharing their love of water/swimming with anyone they meet.