Annalyn Barbier’s daughter was 6 years old and a nonswimmer when she was invited to spend a week at a friend’s home, which had a pool. Ms. Barbier wanted her daughter to be able to save herself if she landed in the water. So Ms. Barbier, herself an avid swimmer, signed the child up for lessons at a high school near their Brooklyn home.
She had no idea how much her daughter feared the water. “She screamed and cried and absolutely refused to go,” Ms. Barbier recalled. “But I told her I paid for the lessons, so I’m going there to watch, and I walked out the door.”