I think my kids checked their height by the swimming pool slide weekly until that exciting moment when they realized that yes, finally, miraculously, they were tall enough to go down the water slide. Hooray! Let’s go! But wait….about 3 seconds after this realization came the rather more sobering reality that, yikes, they were tall enough, but did they really want to go down that slide? We spend a lot of time at the pool and when a lifeguard jumps in to help a floundering kid, 99% of the time it’s at the end of the slide. Just because a child can stand at the end of the slide, entering the water at full speed after slaloming down twists and turns can be disorienting for anyone who is not confident in the water. Lifeguards do an amazing job of watching all those kids with varying degrees of skill and comfort in the water. Just as you wouldn’t let your kid walk to school solo or cross the street until you were confident of their skill, don’t let that friendly monkey sign with the yardstick fool you into thinking height is more important than skill in the water. Helping your child assess their actual skill-level and comfort-level could save their life someday. Anyone have slide stories to share?