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NOW CLOSED Talk to Speedo about children learning to swim and be in with a chance of winning 1 of 3 £50 Speedo vouchers

(172 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Nov-12 10:15:40

As part of the work we're doing with Speedo, we want to find out what you think about all things swimming-related. Here's what Speedo say about what they're doing: "With new research revealing that 40% of British children can't swim, Speedo has teamed up with Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington and her mum Kay to launch a new learn to swim competition, in a bid to empower parents and children to take the plunge, have fun and get in the pool."

We've provided a few questions to get you started but please feel free to add any other comments you have. Everyone who adds their comments here will be entered into a prize draw to win one of three £50 Speedo vouchers to spend in store or online.

This thread is open to all MNers. Please note that your comments may appear (anonymously) on the Speedo pages on Mumsnet, and potentially elsewhere.

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!

You can also enter Speedo's competition on Mumsnet here.

MNHQ

Meglet Thu 01-Nov-12 10:34:13

~ yes, children need to be encouraged to learn to swim. My sister almost drowned as a child so it was drummed into me that learning to swim was a vital skill. My eldest started lessons at 4yo, although he's almost 6 and can only swim underwater but he's more confident so we'll crack it in time.

~ It probably needs to be a joint effort between parents and swimming teachers / schools. I'm sure I wouldn't be able to teach the dc's on my own as they whinge too much, but between me and their swimming teacher they will learn to swim.

~ I take the DC's a few times a year. I would take them more but can't due to work or the swimming pool being busy with lessons only. I do feel confident about taking them as I'm a strong swimmer.

~ DS enjoys his lessons but he whinges non-stop when I take him, to the amusement of everyone else swimming in the pool. I just make him do lengths with his 'woggle' and bribe him with a new Lego set to keep going. It is certainly not fun! It took him 5 mins to do a length with me, whereas he does it in half the time with his swimming teacher without moaning, or the need for Lego.

~ Pressure from me really as I grew up swimming from a young age. It's hard fitting it in between work, school, free time at the pool and when my legs are waxed (I'm a bit of a yeti). Being a single parent means there's no way I can teach them on my own, hence the lessons and me taking them when I get chance.

cleanandclothed Thu 01-Nov-12 10:38:29

Yes absolutely everyone should swim! Great exercise if you can and potentially dangerous if you can't. Mine both went in the water from a few months, DS at just 4 is just swimming a few strokes on his own. He has lessons and we go swimming for fun.

Ds started swimming lessons aged 3 after a holiday to North Devon where he declared he was going to be a surfer! I told him if he wanted to surf he had to learn to swim first.

I am a very poor swimmer and am not confident in the water at all. I would say it took 2 years before ds showed any progress in actually learning to swim but I don't regret those early lessons one bit as he has amazing water confidence. He is happy to sit on the bottom of the pool and open his eyes under water and loves nothing more than jumping in.

His lesson focus on all the different strokes and getting them right even before they are swimming. It can make for slow progress but he was 7 last weekend and has moved up to the improvers group recently and I'm very happy with his swimming. He did a length on holiday (with dh not me!) and some of his strokes look quite good now. Lessons were a must as far as I am concerned as I didn't want him. To be like me.

iseenodust Thu 01-Nov-12 10:51:17

It was a non-negotiable that DS learn to swim as I think it's an essential life skill. We first went to a toddler swimming group lead by an instructor but mums in the pool too. Since starting school DS had dipped in and out of foraml lessons at the council pool. On the whole he has really enjoyed them. He's taken breaks when he's hit a wall to stop it becoming frustrating and to allow him to get a bit older. He's just asked to give up lessons and as he's passed grade 8 and I feel he's competent now that's OK.

I feel 4 or 5 is the ideal age to start lessons and build confidence in the water. DS won't access lessons through school until yr5 which is too late IMO. It is not a government responsibility and I think family, swimming teachers and school should be able to cover it.

Fum swimming has been with us and grandparents. DS would go swimming more often in the sea, in a pool, in a pool with slides. Our council gives kids free access to recreational swimming if they are having a course of lessons which I feel is a fab system.

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Thu 01-Nov-12 10:57:38

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?

Very important. We've taken our dc from a few weeks old, and they're total waterbabies now.

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?

We've taught them ourselves, but ds is nearly 5 now and we're trying to find him a proper teacher.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?

Yes I am very confident swimmer and used to swim competitively and be a lifeguard. My teaching has worked well up to this point, but now my older dc needs more than I have time to do in terms of stroke development.

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?

Both of them would rather be in the water than just about anywhere else, They love it.

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?

Yes, the pressure always comes from the children!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 01-Nov-12 11:12:14

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that? I think it's very important but I worked as a Lifeguard on the beach when I left school and saw the pickles that people can get themselves into on, in or near water. I also think it is extremely important to teach people (from a young age) basic life saving skills, by that I do not mean jumping into water to rescue someone I mean the knowledge and ability to rescue someone from water without putting themselves into danger

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those? Parents/families. I think we bypass too many responsibilities onto schools and nurseries as it is. It is great if schools and nurseries can offer this as an extra but there are so many things that they need to be doing as part of the curriculum and not every school has easy access to a pool.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working? I didn't actively teach my children to swim but I took them regularly, we went as a family as a leisure activity. I was fortunate enough to able to afford lessons so I left the actual teaching to the swimming teachers.

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience? Both kids loved swimming, both went through a stage where they were fearful for a while but I think that is entirely normal so we continued to go as a family but changed our approach and sat with the fearful child at the edge of the pool until confidence was regained.

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from? I don't think I did unless you count the pressure from the children themselves because they enjoyed swimming.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 01-Nov-12 11:20:15

Yes, I think swimming is a good skill to have, so we encouraged our children to enjoy being in the water from being small babies.

I taught my children the basics of swimming (after going to pointless and very expensive baby 'swimming' lessons for the first child), but they didn't really get to grips with proper swimming strokes and being able to cover a reasonable distance until they started swimming lessons in infant school. They're not very good at listening to me, but they will listen to a teacher, so as soon as they started having proper instructions from someone they trusted to do the job properly (and not snap at them when they didn't focus blush ) they took off fairly quickly.

I suppose there is some pressure to make sure your child can swim, when people go on about it being a life saving skill and that you're essentially setting your child up to drown if they can't swim 50m by the time they're 7. Hand to hand combat skills could potentially one day save your life, but I'm not in a hurry to teach my kids how to fight.

We bill swimming as a fun way to exercise, and try not to apply any pressure. The swimming badges they get through the school lessons are the motivation to improve.

amck5700 Thu 01-Nov-12 11:32:19

Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that? Swimming is one of the main lifeskills just like learning to cross the road and riding a bike. Encourage them as early as possible and try to get them to love the water from an early age so that when they start proper lessons (pre school) then they enjoy it.

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those? It will always have to be a combination. Quite frankly, it should be parents but there are always those that cant be bothered so its important that these kids don't fall through the cracks and get the support to learn from whatever other source.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working? My kids have been at lessons since they were about 3 (now 12 and 11) we were happy enough teaching them along side the lessons when they were little but I am not a confdent swimmer and my husband taught himself in the river at the end of his garden so feels he doesn't have the perfect technique himself to pass on - and of course they stop listening to you once they go to school and worship a higher power!

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience? Mostly they love it, occaisionally have wobbles when they can't be bothered - that's mainly because as they have moved up the levels, their lesson now starts at 8.20 in the evening and even I feel like I can't be bothered heading out to swimming at that time on a dark winter night! Never any real tension - they can already swim well, when they were younger we just insisted that they needed to complete all the swim levels before they can give up. They will never be champions but do pre club and life saving now and are good in all strokes. I would let them give up now but they haven't asked to and it's exercise!

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from? No pressure to take them. It's a great activity for a rainy day but usually they go now with their friends which suits me as I don't particularly enjoy it smile

Firawla Thu 01-Nov-12 11:45:48

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?

yes I think so, for safety reasons. not sure of the right age, my oldest is 4 so probably should have started already but haven't started any of them in lessons yet

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?

a combination but ultimately parents

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?

none of mine can swim yet, ive not taught them i dont think i would know how so best leave to professionals

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?

theyve enjoyed when theyve been for fun swimming sessions, not done lessons yet. i think they will enjoy it

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?

i do feel bad for not taking them much. i cover so cant take them to mixed swimming pools, so they only go when someone else can take them, or else if theres outside pools and that kind of thing.

Ragwort Thu 01-Nov-12 12:04:40

Yes, essential for all children (and adults !) to be able to swim. I took my DS swimming from age 6 months.

Parents' responsibility to ensure their childre to swim.

My DS went to swimming lessons from age 2, DH and I were comfortable helping him learn as well. He is a very confident swimmer and chose to give up formal lessons at age 10.

He always loved swimming, no problem to get him to the pool.

No pressure to take him more often than we do already, we love swimming as a family and it is one of the activities we all enjoy doing together.

Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?
Yes it's a vital life skill. Dd started lessons at about 3.5, mainly because she started turning up for her bath in full swimsuit/goggles/armbands 'Me swimming Mummy'.

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?
Probably a combination. We were lucky to be able to afford formal lessons and I'm not a strong swimmer so didn't want to teach bad habits to dd. If children don't get the opportunity from their parents then I think schools/government have a duty to ensure all children are at least safe near water.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?
We left it entirely to the swimming teachers but went to the pool at weekends etc to build water confidence.

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?
Mainly enjoyable, a few wobbles each time she moves up a class.

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?
I think the teachers expect the children to swim regularly, not just have lessons.

WhoYaGonnaCallFillybuster Thu 01-Nov-12 12:08:17

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?

Definitely! I think children should start to get used to being in the water fairly young, but (in my experience) they don't really get the hang of learning to swim until around 5 or 6.

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?

It would be lovely if parents had the time to teach their children to swim, but frequently life just doesn't allow for that. If I had waited to teach my children myself, they wouldn't be swimming still! My eldest child has been attending classes at the local pool for a few years, and is a very competent swimmer (and loves it!). DC2 went to lesson for a while when she was 3, but didn't enjoy it much, and will start again in a year or so.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?

I haven't had the opportunity.

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?

DS didn't enjoy learning to swim when he first started (aged 4). We left it for a year, then he tried again, and has loved it ever since. DD1 also didn't much enjoy the classes she went to at 3, so will start again when she is 5 or 6.

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?

Not pressure, but it would be a lovely thing to do if we could!

mrspumpkinpatch Thu 01-Nov-12 12:14:45

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?

I think swimming is an important skill to have. Not only can it save your life, it's good fun too! DD has been swimming since about 3 months old and can now swim with armbands aged 2!

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?
It's the parents responsibility ultimately. If the schools can accomodate swimming lessons then that's great but probably not possible everywhere.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?
We've just been having a lot of fun in the water. Not focusing on 'swimming' per se but all skills that make you confident in the water. (Splashing, paddling, jumping, ducking underwater, floating.) DD has now mastered a doggy paddle and is enjoying it so we give her pointers to help her out but it's mostly just messing around.

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?
DD loves swimming now but was a bit water-shy at first.

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?
The only pressure comes from me. I'd love to take her more often but find changing rooms etc quite toddler unfriendly. It can be very stressful.

SpitSpot Thu 01-Nov-12 12:22:54

Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?

Yes it is very important that children learn to swim, its potentially life saving and a life skill. Important for them to be water confident from an early age (baby/toddler) but I dont think its necessarily important to formally learn to swim until school age

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?

Parents should have the main responsibility, if they can have swimming lessons with schools as well then great

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?

We take ours swimming to practice and have fun but they have had proper lessons to learn the strokes - there is definitely a method of learning to swim best taught by a proper swimming teacher

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?

Yes they enjoyed it

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?

Yes from the children but we dont go very regularly because it is expensive

Wigeon Thu 01-Nov-12 12:25:52

Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?

Definitely important - fun, good exercise, a great life skill, important not to be frightened of water. I think that it's a good idea to take a baby to the pool so that they get used to the idea, and then to either start teach them to swim themselves at around 3 / 4 /5 (depending on the child)

Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?

I think parents should take the main responsibility, even if they then delegate the actual teaching to skilled and trained swimming teachers!

If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?

My DD1 (4 yrs) is learning to swim through paid-for lessons. She started when she was about 3.8. We have been taking her to the pool since she was a baby to get her confident in the water, and we reached a point where we weren't sure what else we could teach her, so we decided to pay a swimming teacher. She has definitely learnt loads with the teacher that we couldn't have taught her. We still try to take her ourselves sometimes so she can have fun in the pool outside the formal lessons.

DD2 is 17 months and we take her to the pool (no lessons), again so she can get confident being in the water and enjoying it.

Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?

DD1 absolutely loves her lessons. It's the only paid-for activity she does each week. She also loves going to the pool with us and just splashing about and showing us what she's learnt in the lessons. I feel that our approach to helping her to swim (ie starting with us, then doing lessons) has really worked as she really loves being in the water.

DD2 doesn't have lessons but she loves being in the water.

Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?

DD1 would probably love to go more than once a week, but she is just too tired after school (just started Reception), so her lesson is on a Saturday and I don't want to go again on a Sunday! We tend to go as a family on bank holidays and other school holidays. Maybe when she is more used to school we will do the lessons after school and go as a family at the weekend.

afussyphase Thu 01-Nov-12 12:26:53

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?

Yes, I think it's really important. I think they should be encouraged from 1.5 or 2 depending how much they like it.

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?

I think it has to be a combination. It can't be all up to parents - it's so hard to take children swimming especially when you have more than 1. But if parents never do it, I don't see it happening either.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?

I'm trying to but I'm not sure how. I'm a really confident swimmer but I don't know how to teach it, and DD just thinks she can swim already (she can't). I'm not confident taking my 4yo and 1yo together - how would I hold on to both of them? Not to mention changing them etc. So it has to be all 4 of us, or just 2 of us, which makes it a little harder.

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?

My 4yo LOVES the water, always has, and I hope she always will. The problem is that we are constantly fighting off colds and flus, and I find every time I take her to the pool, she's really ill within 2 days. I know being wet doesn't create a cold, but I suspect that being wet and cold makes you more susceptible to viruses you're already struggling with.

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?

I'd love to - I guess it come from me; I want my 4yo to know how to swim so I can take her boating, so she can love swimming, so one day we can snorkel together, so she's safer when we're on holiday at the beach.. but having a 1yo too, and the business with the colds, makes it so hard. Pressure comes from her too, a bit, but she's pretty much resigned to hardly every going. Sad, really.

MrsJohnDeere Thu 01-Nov-12 12:33:40

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?
yes, it is an important life skill. I don't think you can start too young in terms of encouragement. In terms of actually learning swimming skills most children don't seem to 'get it' until after 3.5 years (from what feels like years if watching lessons from the sidelines). Water confidence (but not over confidence) is more important than breat stroke technique for 3/4/5 year olds

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?
swimming teachers

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?
both my children have lessons. May dh helps them a bit and takes them swimming. I don't as I can barely swim

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?
yes. The inky time they don't is when there is a new child in the class who screams the whole time and takes all the teacher's attention. This happens every few weeks

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?
yes, from other parents

*The main thing I'd like to say is that where we live swimming lessons for 4-7 year olds are ridiculously over-subscribed. My 6yo recently started lessons after having been on the waiting list since he was 2.5 years. My 4yo started before him because he was born in a lower birth rate year. It would be great if swimming pools provided more lessons to meet this demand.

Also our local pool is so dirty and smelly - the changing rooms and loos more than the pool itself - that it really discourages us from going for leisure. We always seem to get ill a few days later!*

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?
Yes. I think every child should learn how to swim. They should start as early as possible. It's important because it may save their life. It's also great fun & good exercise.

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?
I think that every child should learn to swim at school, starting in primary school. It should be available for every child, especially those whose parents can't swim or can't afford to take them.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?
I've taken my daughter swimming, but to be honest I find it a struggle. She's never liked the water much, hated swimming lessons and I find it hard to take her on my own to a cold pool when she seems to dislike the whole experience do much.

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?
She hated it. It was fine until we had to go under water, but she's not comfortable in the water at all, even though she hasn't been dunked since!

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?
I feel that we should go more often, but the pressure is from myself. We go less than once a month.

ladygoldenlion Thu 01-Nov-12 13:17:54

Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?

- It is vital to encourage children to learn to swim, it is a life skill that can be taught from a few months old.

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?

- Families that go swimming together produce really confident swimmers, although lessons have their place too.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?

- We have taught all of ours and we also gave them lessons by a swimming teacher. Not because we couldn't but because we felt they concentrated more on technique whereas our family swims are more about fun.

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?

- All three of ours enjoyed learning to swim and it has not been stressful in any way.

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?

- No.

Pinkx3 Thu 01-Nov-12 13:29:46

I think it is extremely important for children to learn to swim and also gives them an enjoyable form of exercise/leisure that will carry them through their whole life. I think teaching probably needs to be a combination of structured lessons and parental lessons although structured lessons can be expensive so I can see why some people couldn't/wouldn't.

I have one child who has just started swimming lessons and one who has taken them in the past. They both enjoy swimming immensely although they do sometimes feel that their lessons are a chore. I have insisted on lessons until they are confident in the water and able to swim competently. My older daughter has stopped formal lessons but enjoys going swimming regularly and we do try to go swimming as a family on a regular basis but not always as regularly as we would like.

Suedeb Thu 01-Nov-12 13:34:15

My son will be 3 in a week and i have been taking him swimming weekly since he was 9 weeks old. He loves being in the water and is very confident. He can swim some strokes with arm bands on. He's happy to jump in and go down slides. So far we have been to a parent and toddler class only but I intend to enrol him in proper swimming lessons in the new year when he will be old enough.
I feel swimming and any exercise is really important for everyone, too many children grow up without being encouraged to exercise for fun and then we end up with large amounts of overweight and unhealthy adults.

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?

Yes, great skill to have so you can enjoy other watersports and understand risks of water. AS early as possible but it depends on the individual.

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?

Main point is that swimming for children should be free - so subsidised for anyone that uses a 'normal' pool so not wave types. The cost of learning is quite high and this should also be set as a max level and have govt funding to make up the difference. All children should be given the opportunity to learn to swim using whatever is the best option locally available. Then continue to be able to swim regularly with no cost.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?

Yes, we support them by going for family swims.

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?

Generally less, but with most of the DSs there has been times when they have not quite enjoyed the experience but have all gone on to be or becoming good swimmers.

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?
Yes, DW and the DSs - finding time for it and the cost can be off putting.

Pavlovthecat Thu 01-Nov-12 13:45:31

- we live near the sea. it is extremely important that our children swim, understand water safety and how to get out of trouble. it is excellent exercise, great fun an can be enjoyed from baby to adult. we live on an island, with lakes and rivers, it is daft not to swim.

~ parents first and foremost either to take children swimming ideally or sort out lesson, but there needs to be cheap, easily accessible pools and lessons in the public domain and funding for those who cannot due to financial or health reasons sort out lessons themselves, so the government has a role in enabling parents/carers to provide. schools can take a role, to mop up those who otherwise might not learn, and to encourage exercise as part of PE curriculum

~ i have taught my children water confidence, that swimming is fun, that water is to be respected. i now teach my oldest alongside professional instructors, not because i don't know how, but because my dd learns/takes instruction from people other than mummy and daddy! she is learning technique which i perhaps would not have done, but now i know how she is learning i take her once a week and we practice the same things as per her lessons and her progress book. ds aged almost 3 will have lessons in january alongside our own swimming sessions.

~ both children love the water, we have a huge amount of fun in the water, in pools, indoor and out, at the beach/sea. my dd has got a little frustrated with taking formal direction form us re proper learning as she wants to have fun with us, she loves her lessons. ds seems more responsive to learning from us, but he is still young!

~ yes, the pressure is from my children!! they go at least once a week, sometimes more. but i go 3 times a week myself on my own so they have grown up around swimming.

3nationsfamily Thu 01-Nov-12 13:50:54

~ Do you think it's important to encourage children to learn to swim? If so, what do you think is the right age to start encouraging them? If you don't think it's important, why is that?
I think swimming is a vital skill for life, and from a safety point of view as well. They should be introduced to the water and pool environment as young as possible- I took mine as soon as they had their immunity jabs as babies. That way when it comes to them getting lessons when they are older they have no fear of the water nor the noise/ atmosphere in a swimming pool.

~ Who do you think should take the main responsibility for teaching children to swim? Should it be swimming teachers, schools/nurseries, parents/other family members, or the government, or a combination of all of those?
I think that parents should take their children swimming, and bring them to lessons. However I recognise that lessons can be expensive and it is unfair to those children whose parents cannot afford it, or whose parents cannot swim themselves or have a fear of the water. Therefore I think the schools should have a programe of formal swimming lessons so that no child leaves primary school without being able to swim.

~ If you have a child who has learnt or is learning to swim, have you been helping to teach them? If so, do you feel confident doing this or a bit out of your depth? (no pun intended!) Do you feel your teaching is working?
In order to make progress in swimming it is vital that the child does some swimming in between the lessons to practice what they have learned. I am a confident swimmer so was able to do this.

~ Does/did your child enjoy learning to swim? Does it/has it caused any tension between you and them if they've been frustrated by it? Or has it been an enjoyable experience?
Because I had been a competitive swimmer myself, as well as taking them swimming from babies to build water confidence, when it came to lessons I shopped around the local area and found the programme that I felt was best. The groups were small (1 to 4 ratio) and the teacher was in the water with the children aged 4 or 5. They loved lessons from the beginning and by 8 or 9 were confident technically competent swimmers.

~ Do you ever feel under any pressure to take your child(ren) swimming more often? If so, who/where does the pressure come from?

My daughter (13) is now a county level competitive swimmer and trains for 17 hours a week, so that brings its own pressure but she adores it. Her brother probably missed out a bit once his lessons finished as I already spend way too much time at swimming pools, and the last thing I want to do is to take him swimming. So he now swims mainly at school, and we all love to swim on holiday.

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