If our society taught kids to swim the way we teach them about adult relationships, there would be a lot of kids at the bottom of the pool. We’d either blame them for not trying hard enough, or call them losers, or maybe they were just asking for it.
Most of the rest we’ll just let swallow the noxious, over-chlorinated tea made from the bodies of their less fortunate classmates. We’ll let them feel like they're drowning for as long as it takes for them to stumble upon some sort of stroke that at least keeps their heads above water, even if it’s overly exhausting and doesn’t really get them anywhere in the long run.
Some will learn to stay above water by clinging to the backs of their classmates for as long as said classmates can support them or stay afloat themselves. They will hold on until the classmate succeeds is shaking them off or goes under from exhaustion, and then find a new host, over and over.
Of course, there will be a few lucky ones who hit upon an effective swimming technique first try and take to the water quite well. Rather than praise, we’ll wonder if maybe their swim just a little too well, and we’ll be sure to shame them for their success.