Help needed - 5 year old kicks off leaving pool.(21 Posts)
I'm looking for help, tips, pointers on how to get my 5 year old to leave the swimming pool without a battle!
This has been a problem for a few years now and is reaching the stage where we dread going because we know we are going to have to deal with shouting, crying and sometimes kicking and screaming!
We have tried having a set time for leaving giving him 15, 10 and 5 minutes warnings.
We have tried incentives/rewards (bribery!) for leaving the pool without a fuss.
But no matter what our approach, when it gets to leaving time, he just gets this look on his face like he is considering his options....and he always chooses the option of running away or jumping in the pool (and he can't swim properly yet) and generally ignoring us. He then gets upset when he loses his incentive/reward and never seems to make the connection that his behaviour has resulted in that outcome.
I am fed up of hearing "but I'll be good now" and really would like some ideas of what I can try and know if anyone else has had similar problems.
I solved this problem with dd who is 6, if she doesn't make a fuss she gets to keep the £1 from our locker.
unpack's suggestion is a lot nicer than mine.
When my DD was around that age and kicked off about leaving the park, I picked her up, carried her out and told her that as she clearly found going to the park tiring we wouldn't be going back for a few days. We used to go several times a week so a four day ban was a big deal. She didn't do that again.
If it's only when leaving the pool and no where else he clearly understand and can transition.
Sounds like it's become a routine - something he does.
Can you change how you exit to break it? Is there more than 1 adult? So just give 1 warning "5 minutes then out" or no warning and before you get in "we are leaving at 1.30pm".
One adult get out and other get him out - no eye contact, talking, persuading etc. If he's being a pita then no reward of any communication or attention. Adult on side holds him/ picks him up/ carries him and he's put in changing room. Again no communication. Give him his stuff and get dressed yourself.
Once you are ready sit bored on phone or whatever whilst you wait for him.
Before next session warn him any bad behaviour will result in no swimming following week. Explain what you expect of him. He chooses to do it or not. If not follow ^^ and stick to no swimming.
I wouldnt take him. Can you put him in after school club for instance while the rest of you go?
Thanks for the suggestions.
It is usually 2 adults... I tried on my own once with both sons and the lifeguard had to help me get him out of the pool!
I think I'll try the no discussion approach next time and just lead him out so he doesn't have time to think about what he is going to do to delay leaving.
I would just not take him, but I think it's really important that he learns to swim properly so want to persevere.
Theres loads of time for lessons yet. I think i only started mine in classes age 5 or 6. I wouldnt tolerate jumping back in for one tiny second but i've always been v zero tolerance around water. He's messing round therefore he doesnt go.
Jumping in the water when he's been told not to and can't swim properly would result in my 5 year old DS not going for a week. Skipping one lesson isn't going to hold his swimming progress back. And I'd be reminding him on swimming day why we were sitting around bored at home instead...
Actually, the most important swimming lesson of all is 'dont just jump in'!
I guess. I just remember having lessons at school at 7/8 and always feeling bad because I wasn't a strong swimmer and then had to get extra lessons outside school to catch up.
I still think one more try and if it doesn't work then we will take a break for a while and I'll take his little brother while he's at school!
He has absolutely zero fear of the water and he knows that he can reach the bottom of the pool, but that's obviously not going to be the case in other pools.
He has a very dangerous attitude towards water then. You really need to come down hard on him about this. If he was running out into the road, you would be firm. He is old enough to understand.
I would explain to him very clearly in advance what you have decided - that he has one more chance, and if this next time he doesn't get out of the pool when told to, you will not be going back for a long time. Tell him a few days in advance, and directly before getting in the pool. Then follow through on taking a break if he does it again.
I might be tempted to give a warning that if he won't get out when told next time then he'll have to sit in the gallery watching while his brother swims the time after that.
He can sit in the gallery and do his homework while his brother swims! That might drill it in
Unless he has special needs of some kind then I'd be giving one warning and one only. Then a very firm removal and probably be made to sit and watch next time.
Pick him up and take him out. He can scream all he wants. He's 5. Completely capable of understanding what he's being asked to do. He's just choosing not to.
If there is two of you one of you can deal with him and ensure he doesn't do a runner.
Also maybe big, big praise for other son including maybe a reward of some type! Try your best to ignore and not react to further tantrums.
Is this when you take him swimming or organised swimming lessons? If it's just when you take him, have you tried swimming lessons? He's old enough to do
lessons where you don't have to get in the water and it would be his instructor telling him to get out at the end (usually because the next class is coming in) so less opportunity for him to kick off.
If you've tried lessons to no avail then I'd take a break - and be clear with him about why you're no longer taking him swimming.
This is just when we go swimming together.
We tried lessons before and we never had problems with the end time of those. We did have problems with him listening to the instructors and spending most of his lesson on a 'time out' of the pool when it moved from lessons with the instructors in the pool with them, to lessons with them just on the edge. So they were stopped because it wasn't cheap to send him along to be sat at the edge of the pool.
I think I am just going to have to be much harder on him like most of you are saying. I've tried the nice approaches and given him plenty of chances.
Ask him! "Mm… I'm not sure how we're going to resolve this problem, maybe you can think of a way. (even laying it on thick with 'because you are usually very clever at thinking about things and working out what to do') See, I won't be able to take you swimming anymore sadly, because you get over-excited when it's time to get out and then you are dangerous. What ARE we going to do? Maybe you could watch little bro from the gallery while he swims, or maybe I need to leave you at home/wherever? Or maybe we could have some sort of agreement… what do you think we should do?" And see what he says. If he comes up with 'I will be good' then your response could be "will you? That would be great, that would actually solve it perfectly. But what happens if you forget?" If you come to a good agreement then help him write it down simply… I, Tommy, agree to get out of the pool when i'm told and not make a fuss, otherwise I won't be able to go swimming anymore. And invite him to illustrate the agreement with a picture of himself swimming…and stick it on the fridge. Then on swimming day, lead him to the fridge and remind him what the agreement is. Then if he breaks the agreement, he misses the following week.
I like this suggestion as well, thank you.
A lot of good ideas to try and see how we get on next time.
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