THAT is the question!
I had a response from an anonymous reader that said to get rid of the water wings. I understand, I really do.
I was hesitant in getting them in the first place because I wanted the kids to learn to swim on their own, without any help (and because they end up relying on them).
Our kids were in the swimming pool for the first time in their lives last summer so we used floaties because they weren't as strong as non-orphanage-raised kids, and they needed the extra help. Also, they were a little unsure of themselves - the floaties gave them confidence.
We will start teaching them how to really swim this summer, then the floaties can be removed - until then, they will stay on.
Our rule is: if Jim nor I are in the pool with them, the floaties must be on.
Don't go worrying about the kids being unsupervised though, because they're not. We are literally a jump away.
They are so familiar with the water now, they both jump in freely, have tons of fun and are safe - that is our main concern.
Thanks for your comment though! Your advice is welcome on how to teach a child to swim!
Thank you, Santa Ted!
8 months ago