Any advice re VERY nervous swimmer?

(6 Posts)
Misty9 Thu 27-Feb-14 15:42:25

Ds is 2.5yo and has never been a fan of swimming. We did waterbabies when he was tiny and they actually suggested we take a break from it! when they're normally very money grabbing he screamed through nearly every lesson.

Fast forward to now and I've just started a short course of swimming lessons with him. Initial excitement about the idea quickly reverted to clinging onto me in the pool and not doing any of the games etc the others were happily doing. I'm proud of what he did achieve the first lesson, and can manage the slight embarrassment of being the only one who's struggling, but I want to help ds enjoy it as much as possible.

So, any tips/experience from parents of nervous swimmers? Fwiw, he's never had much of an issue with baths but just doesn't like pools/the sea. I just want him to not hate water like his dad

littlebluedog12 Thu 27-Feb-14 15:58:52

DD2 is like this- she's always been happy to go in the water but as long as we are holding her ir in an inflatable ring- she hates getting her face wet or being splashed.

She is 3.5 and has only recently started swimming lessons about 3 months ago and is slowly gaining confidence. I think it helps that I don't go in the water with her- she will do things for the instructors that she won't do with me! She still refuses to jump in, or put her face in the water ut she can at least ow get through a lesson without crying grin. I think perseverance is the only way.

Theyaremysunshine Thu 27-Feb-14 20:07:54

I'd stop the lessons tbh.

Find a pool with a beach area, take some toys and play for half an hour. Don't even plan to get to swimming depth. Maybe graduate to sitting on the side and dabbling feet in. Take him at a time there are other kids playing on inflatables or similar. Show him what fun he'll have once he can swim, but tell him it's ok for him to take it slowly.

IMHO it's far more important to not instill a fear of water from pushing too hard than it is to get them swimming before school age.

DS started gently like this and still has times in lessons he'll cling and refuse to jump in. Other days he's great. He's 3.5 and can now swim 10m unaided. He still won't put his face in the water and we don't push. One day he'll realise what fun can be had diving in.

Try not to let it worry you, just try to have some fun if he will.

Misty9 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:11:32

Thanks for replies. I'm not bothered about him swimming tbh, I just want him to enjoy water and be ok to splash about on holiday etc. we did a beach hotel holiday yes, a bloody expensive mistake last year and he wouldn't even go in the pool.

We're very limited by the pools on offer here; there's one leisure centre and hardly anywhere with nice warm toddler friendly pools.

I'll keep on with the 'lessons' for now (it's just exposure really) as there are only 5 more sessions and less if I pop with dc2 early and I think we could at least progress to some leaning on me and kicking grin

Any other tips are welcomed!

GingerDoodle Thu 27-Feb-14 21:30:32

I was reading in one of my local magazines that children who struggle with swimming sometimes benefit from 1:1 lessons (it wasn't an advert).

3nationsfamily Fri 28-Feb-14 13:56:45

He is very young still. Focus on fun not lessons. Sitting on the side splashing, bringing bath toys along to play with. Don't stay too long - they get cold very quickly.

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