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"Junior" classmate without parent/family member

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by mikkilj, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. sealkie

    sealkie Instructor, Scuba

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    I agree with Drew - I do not allow certified parents in the class with kids - or certified spouses for that matter
     
  2. MtnDiver

    MtnDiver Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Colorado Springs, CO
    476
    0
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    I think that it is great that your son is that capable at that age. However, your situation is much different than the one that mikkilj brought up.

    1) Your son is a responsible/accomplished diver (probably in no small part to the snuba experience he has).

    2) You are his father and chose to get certified and dive with him. You have a vested interest in his well being and learning of the skills being taught. It is quite different if you are forced to buddy up with somebody else's 10 year old child in the class that requires you to spend an inordinate amount of time taking care of them, while sacrificing your own learning.

    Each individual is different and matures at different rates. I do think that your son is the exception, not the norm (again probably due to his level of experience in the water).

    Just my 2 psi worth...
     
  3. sealkie

    sealkie Instructor, Scuba

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    I think the situation has got blown out of all proportion - mikkilj is not comfortable with a 10 year old buddy and wondered if it was OK to ask not to be buddied with her... which I think everyone agrees it is - She did not say that she was "required to spend an inordinate amount of time taking care of her , while sacrificing her own learning." - thats rather harsh

    She did say the the girl needed more attention that her adult buddies ( not more that ANYONE in the class ) - but she never once said she had real trouble with any of the skills - ( I believe one of the other adults students had trouble ).

    Either way - from what has been said about this kid she sounds like any other student - adult or child - not terrific and not a disaster

    I don`t think 'toads kid is an exception - the kids I have taught have all wanted to do this themsleves and all take very well to the sport and have good skills and mostly have parents who are already certified or who take the class with them ( Granted I teach 12 and up not 10 and up ) - but lets try not to make assumptions that this kid is a disaster in the water just becuase she`s 10.
     
  4. scubatoad

    scubatoad Angel Fish

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    I agree that any student should have the ability (right) to ask to be "buddied up" with an alternate partner for any reason. You have to feel comfortable with your buddy before you can depend on them to potentially "save" you in a bad situation. Many people are anxious enough to remove their mask with a reliable instructor in control, much less an unreliable buddy. In class, I think the primary protector for all students is the instructor. I realize that it becomes very difficult for this to work with a full class but that is precisely why they limit the number of students that a single instructor can teach.

    I realize that many (most) 10yr olds are unreliable but don't summarily dismiss ALL because of the majority.
     
  5. BluOrchid2

    BluOrchid2 Nassau Grouper

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    To the OP....I mentioned your story to my DH last night, and the first thing out of his mouth was that if it were him, he'd be talking to the instructor, insisting to be paired up with the one who was going to be his dive buddy most of the time, your dh, the one you came with. I fully agree.

    Hey, hmmm...isn't there a country song something like that? Dance with the one who brung ya? :wink:
     
  6. GeekDiver

    GeekDiver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Houston
    576
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    I wouldn't have a problem with being paired up with a 10 yr old but thats me. I also don't have a problem sending the neighbors kids home (with a swift kick in the backside to boot if needed) when they act out of line. For a new diver in class thats another question.

    As for Mikki, (think thats who started this) if you don't feel comfortable about it then say something. Don't worry about what others may think. There are valid concerns why a 10 yr old buddy could impact your underwater safety, if your not comfortable then speak up. Your safety is always your 1st responsibility and don't ever be shy about it. Your buddy regardless of age needs to be someone you have some level of comfort with. We've all had grown up buddies at some point in time that we don't want to dive with and age has nothing to do with that determination. Don't let age or what other will think stop you from speaking up. It's your safety and you may be the one who drowns if things go bad.

    Just to add fuel to the fire I hope to get my daughter in the water and diving at an early age. By then I also hope to be the one who instructs her but you can bet regardless I'll at least be in the water beside her when she does.
     
  7. mikkilj

    mikkilj Nassau Grouper

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    Well, the class did go better this time and I was able to avoid any confrontations! Our actual instructor was there, plus we had two helpers. My husband and I got paired up, so we did not need to say anything. At least I am prepared if the issue does come up again. The little girl got buddied with the 16 year old boy, but was watched closely by an assistant instructor.

    Thanks for everyones input!

    - Mikki :)
     
  8. Desa

    Desa Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern Indiana
    292
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    Don't let age alone be the decieding factor. I have been divinging since 1977 and have seen a lot of adults who were "plum scary". On the other hand, both of my children became certified at age 12 and I absolutely love diving with either and or both of them. My now 16 year old achieved his rescue certification last summer (age 15) and my now 13 year old daughter just did her advanced O/W deep dive in 44 degree quarry. While I may sound like a bragging parent, both of them have outshown adult divers in their classes. That was said by both the Instructors and Divemasters. If the attention span on the child is not what it needs to be, then the Instructor has an obligation to correct the problem. You are not there to babysit.
    My wife also dives, Who do I like training with? The 3 people who most of the time are with me at depth. How else am I going to be convinced they can help me and are competent divers? I would leave the lawyer out of it, tell the instructor you want to train with your spouce, thats why you are paying for the class, to dive with your hubby.

    Just my 2 cents worth....Sonny
     
  9. Desa

    Desa Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Southern Indiana
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    There is nothing like diving as a family. While I have been diving for many years, words can't describe the joy of seeing your 13 year old daughter doing a giant stride off of the dive boat into the Atlantic or filming your 15 year old son diving on the Spiegle Grove.........Don't hesitate to get them interested......But, don't force them, it must be something they want to do.......Sonny
     
  10. ChrisA

    ChrisA Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Redondo Beach, California
    1,301
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    I think it's good that the instuctor paired you with someone other then your husband. You both need to learn to dive with others but asking a student to supervise a 10 year old is a bit much. That should be the instructor's or DM's job.

    A lot of dive shops will require that children below a given age (like 12 or 13) do the class as a private session just for the reason you state. It is not fair to slow the whole class down nor to push thew child to fast. 10 years is a bit young to be in an adult class. Some 12 year old can handle it but it would require a truely exceptional 10 year old

    I do agree that the parents should just leave and not be around. If the kid can't pass the class independently s/he's just not old enough to be certified.
     

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