A video has recently gone viral on Facebook that shows a baby being lured into a pool and then left alone as she tries to hold her head above water.
The little girl’s mom, Keri Morrison has been under fire for what many people call cruel and neglectful parenting.
After fielding so many nasty comments, Keri has decided to speak out about why she and her husband did this, and the reason is heartbreaking.
The Morrison’s were on holiday in Orlando with their older son, Jake, when he was about two and a half years old. One night he slipped out the back door and ended up falling off a dock into the intracoastal near where they were staying.
Sadly, Jake did not know how to swim and he ended up drowning. Devastated, Keri determined that she would never let anything like that ever happen again.
“I feel like I failed my son and I’m not going to fail my daughters,” she said.
That’s why she trained her 13-month-old daughter, Julia – the little girl in the video – how to “self-save” starting when she was very young. The idea is to teach young children how to stay calm and keep themselves floating if they ever accidentally fall into a body of water.
Ashleigh Bullivant from Infant Swimming Resource explains that the children are “taught everything incrementally in a very gentle way [that] honors the way they learn physically. They are taught breathing exercises with the aim of eventually being able to hold their breath.”
Through daily 10-minute training sessions over the course of four weeks, parents’ minds can be put at ease knowing that if the unthinkable happens, their child will be okay.
Keri understands that the video she posted may seem shocking and even cruel, but to her, it is much better than the alternative.
“To me, I’m protecting her and that is what a mother is supposed to do – protect her,” she said. “To see her face above the water at such a young age and know what to do.
“One of the things I really struggle with is that my son fell in the water not knowing what to do. And that thought and vision fires me up to make sure that not just my children but children all over are safe and can do this in the water.”
While parents should be cautious and held responsible for their children’s well-being, sometimes accidents happen, and they can lead to tragic results. The over 4,000 drowning deaths that occur each year are a testament to that fact.
So while some may see “torture,” all Keri sees is love for her daughter and a desire to keep her alive.
Says Keri, “I know the alternative.”
What do you think? Is this cruel parenting, or are the Morrisons smart to teach their children how to self-save?