Diving with your kids

These past few weeks, I was able to work with various teenagers for their PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water certifications care of Splash HK.

First batch of kids from Splash HK with PADI Instructors Chris Hoskins and Ariane Lamy and also instructors Penn Delos Santos and Gage Veridiano

First batch of kids from Splash HK with PADI Instructors Chris Hoskins and Ariane Lamy and also instructors Penn Delos Santos and Gage Veridiano

I really hope that they get to use their newly earned certifications to go out and dive with their parents. Because being a second generation SCUBA diver, I have a firsthand experience of the joys, adventures and misadventures of going on dive trips with my dad.

Here are a few reasons why you should go out dive with your kids:

Your equipment doesn’t go to waste

In 2014, I taught the Rizzuto father-son tandem. Mirko is your typical dad who likes spending time with his son. When he and Dario started, Dario was still 13 years old, qualifying for the PADI Junior Open Water certification. They both had their own wet suits, boots, fins, masks and BCDs. Fast forward 3 years: The younger daughter, Soraya also got her certification.

She is now wearing all of Dario’s old equipment and Mirko got to buy a new set for himself.

Instead of disposing of the equipment, it still got to stay within the family and the dad got to buy new toys. 😀

The first of many PADI certifications of Mirko and Dario Rizzuto

The first of many PADI certifications of Mirko and Dario Rizzuto

You have an automatic dive buddy

When you’re a city-based diver from Manila, your default group is normally your instructor’s.

You’re under the mercy of their schedules – you’d sometimes get bored because you’ll be diving in the same sites that you’ve done during your courses so you don’t get to see different sites.

Aside from diving with me in Batangas, this tandem has been to Cebu and Dumaguete in the Philippines and they even went diving in the South of Italy!

You become a better diver

Your children will remember your example more than your words.

Being divers, we become advocates of caring for the underwater world. If your buoyancy is off, then you tend to hit the underwater life. If your kid sees you not minding your buoyancy, they wouldn’t too.

It wouldn’t hurt to improve your skills ahead of your offspring by taking the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty course. Aside from looking better in underwater pictures, you’ll have a longer time to enjoy being there.

You don’t run out of things to talk about

Almost 20 years later, my dad and I still talk about that time when I got lost or that time that I unsuccessfully deployed a DSMB and I retort by reminding him how much more air he consumes on dives compared to me.

The more you dive together, the more experiences you can critique together. It can be the time that your car broke down on the freeway, or that time that you were almost sold for some goats and sacks of rice to get married to an island girl. (*SIGH*)

You create a better bond

Sharing equipment, having a default dive and travel buddy gives you more experiences to get to know each other on a different perspective. You’ll get to learn your kid’s reaction to happy, diving-induced stress first hand and not just from a sheet of paper.

“My dad taught me” has always been the line that I’ve been dreaming of hearing since becoming a father. Now that he’s old enough to tag along when I have short trips, I bring him along as much as possible.

 

Ivan is currently a PADI Master Instructor. He became a PADI Divemaster in 2005 and earned his PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor rating in 2008. After receiving his Master Instructor status in 2017, he is currently on a mission to become a PADI CD that does not dry up.

Ivan is currently a PADI Master Instructor.
He became a PADI Divemaster in 2005 and earned his PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor rating in 2008.
After receiving his Master Instructor status in 2017, he is currently on a mission to become a PADI CD that does not dry up.

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