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To want DC to learn to swim?

(36 Posts)
SilverMoo Tue 12-Feb-13 13:28:12

I have 3 DC (2, 4 and 7) I never learnt how to swim and this is one of the reasons I want them to learn.

DD went for lessons for about a year but didn't get very far, we take her ourselves once a week now. DS (4) went to lessons for a while but then decided he didn't want to anymore, I think we should try and get him to go swimming but DH says just wait until he's ready....

I am wondering whether now is the time to get DS (2) into swimming?


shrimponastick Tue 12-Feb-13 13:33:26

YANBU to want the DC to learn to swim.

you should also learn to swim yourself.

Have a look at your local pool info, and see what lessons there are for adults, and for children.

It's definitely a useful skill to have - and a great way to have fun and keep fit.

treaclesoda Tue 12-Feb-13 13:35:15

where I live all the swimming pools within travelling distance have about a two year waiting list for swimming lessons, so if its similar in your area you'll have plenty of time for them to get used to the idea.

catladycourtney1 Tue 12-Feb-13 13:37:04

No. I wish someone had taught me to swim when I was young. We did swimming at school when I was about 11, and my mum and dad tried to teach me but I never picked it up. I always wonder if it would have been different if I'd learnt at a young age.

Sirzy Tue 12-Feb-13 13:38:13

Why not just go swimming as a family thing for now and then when they are all comfy in the water consider lessons?

Backtobedlam Tue 12-Feb-13 14:13:39

I think swimming is a life skill. I've inflicted lessons on mine whether they want them or not...I don't care if they don't become fantastic swimmers, but want them to do enough that if they ever fell into water they'd have a chance of surviving. 4yrs is old enough to start and pick it up pretty quickly, 2yr old would be good age to start group fun sessions to gain water confidence.

lljkk Tue 12-Feb-13 14:19:52

Mine weren't ready to learn until age 5-5.5yo, no matter how often we went for fun swims. So yanbu to think it's a priority but your DH is right, too.

NaturalBaby Tue 12-Feb-13 14:23:40

I did a lot of swimming when I was little so it was one of my priorities for my 3 dc's. Our local leisure centre has a kids sessions and structured drop in lessons so they really enjoy going - the big slide has something to do with it as well!
I take my 2yr old once a week just the two of us and it's great - the sessions are more focused on life saving skills than swimming strokes so that if he falls in he would make an effort to get his head up and try to move back to the edge of the water. We tried a different pool the other day and he wasn't impressed because it was only waist deep. You might have to try a few things before you find something that suits your children but I would keep going.

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 12-Feb-13 14:30:07

Learning to swim is non-negotiable in our house. My 5 year old can now easily swim 25m. I can recommended a good instructor if you are in the Northampton area

Succubi Tue 12-Feb-13 14:33:32

Exactly what myBOYSareBONKERS. My two boys started lesson as three months (partly to get me out of the house and partly to exhaust them to sleep). They both love the water and they have a good time and I hope they learn a life skill in the process.

Succubi Tue 12-Feb-13 14:34:42

I meant to say life saving skill.

forevergreek Tue 12-Feb-13 14:36:26

We started early too. 3 year old can now swim good, 18month old can vaguely paddle but my there yet. We visit many places with p

TippiShagpile Tue 12-Feb-13 14:37:28

I agree with those people who say swimming is a life skill/non negotiable. I took my dc to swimming lessons from the time they were 2 and didn't stop until they were really good swimmers. At times it was a pita but I was never ever going to budge on them learning to swim.

They are amazing swimmers now and absoultely love it.

forevergreek Tue 12-Feb-13 14:38:21

We started early too. 3 year old can now swim good, 18month old can vaguely paddle but my there yet. We visit many places with pools and i think it's very important they can safely get out. Even just keep afloat on there back or get the edge could save their life's in a situation.

I would start with yor 2 year old. Could you take him to lessons whilst older two are at school?

lockets Tue 12-Feb-13 14:39:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WileyRoadRunner Tue 12-Feb-13 14:50:22

Mine weren't ready to learn until age 5-5.5yo, no matter how often we went for fun swims. So yanbu to think it's a priority but your DH is right, too.

I agree with this ^

DD1 loved family swimming however hated group lessons and learnt nothing. After 3 terms in beginners I paid for 1-to-1 lessons for 8 weeks. Yes it was £80 (but cheaper in long run) but she can now swim to a high standard in every stroke and the swim teacher said all that is left now is to build stamina. She loved lessons and now loves swimming.

I can swim but am not very confident so wouldn't have been able to teach her half the stuff she's doing now.

lynniep Tue 12-Feb-13 14:54:35

I also believe its non-negotiable.

Sadly lessons are really expensive around here - we just have to suck it up.

All children are very different though. I took DS1 from 4 months - he loved the water but would not leave my side until he was 4.5 and started lessons with the instructor (as opposed to parent and child lessons) He is now nearly 6 and can swim for a bit but isnt great. The main thing is though he can swim for a bit, he can get himself out of a pool, and he understands things like if he's struggling a bit he can float on his back. Basic pool safety stuff.

My DS2 didn't start till he was 18 months. He loves the water. He started lessons alone at 2 (they dont normally start till 2.5 here without a parent in the water but they said he was ready) He is like a little fish at 3. He uses a float still but is very very confident (I suspect they still have him in a float purely because they have 1 instructor to 4 children and you can't keep an eye on them all at once)

Its so important. Even just taking them to the pool yourself so they get used to the water.

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 12-Feb-13 16:01:53

My sons lessons are £46 for 10 lessons

Emsmaman Tue 12-Feb-13 16:31:41

myBOYSareBONKERS wish ours were that cheap. £170 for ten lessons for DD, have been taking her since she was 4mo. I tried slightly cheaper ones (£100 for 10 lessons iirc) and they were rubbish. So I sucked it up and went back to the hideously expensive ones, as at least we get something out of it. There is no shortage of people taking up classes at this price either.

SillyTilly123 Tue 12-Feb-13 16:40:14

I really want my 3 dds to learn to swim, however I cannot afford lessons and I cannot take them swimming on my own as its a 2:1 ratio (dp will not go swimming)
Plus our local leisure centre shut down and an 'olympic pool' opened, but it has no shallow end for them to plodge in and dd3 (2) proper freaks out if she cannot touch the bottom and clings to me the whole time. I enquired abput lessons and I think it was about £58 for a block of lessons.

laluna Tue 12-Feb-13 16:47:07

On observing my DD and DS, like a lot of milestones, I think swimming clicks when they are ready. In both of their cases that was approaching the age of 5. They were pretty water confident from a young age based on weekly 'fun' sessions with me or DH. DD had a term of lessons at the age of 41/2 and she was swimming within about two weeks. DS has never had lessons and it just clicked on hols - cant remember his exact age when it happened but he is 6 now.

Neither of them have perfect stroke technique but are safe out of their depth.

purrpurr Tue 12-Feb-13 16:47:52

Does learning to swim need to take place in an official capacity, i.e. in paid lessons?

I seem to remember not doing too well with lessons as a kid - I just couldn't translate what they were trying to get me to do with what I was trying to get my body to do. I learned how to get from one side of the pool to the other with my head in the air, paddling furiously and thrashing about like a small dog.

That same year I went on holiday to a caravan park with a pool and made some friends who could swim, a year or so older than me. They taught me how to swim underwater. It may have been because I wasn't supposed to be learning anything that I took to it like a, er, fish.

Could you look at something like this, OP? Swimming in a pool on holiday in the sun, with no mildly embarrassing changing in front of classmates (and resulting enduring general sense of dampness) would be an entirely different, and potentially much nicer arena for picking up this skill.

recall Tue 12-Feb-13 16:53:29

I have just started to teach my 5, 3 and 2 year old the U SWIM method, I watch them on you tube. It is laid out in easy to follow stages, and begins with getting them to be able to hold their breath under water. We just go for a play, and do a bit of U SWIM each session. I am just aiming to get them all enjoying it initially and getting confident in the water.

milbracat Tue 12-Feb-13 17:04:13

My DH taught not only our DCs, but DS's best friend. He was 7 and had been picked on because he was the only one in his class using floats and arm bands.
DH took him first with DS about twice a week. Then aftrer two or three weeks he came joyfully bounding in from one of the sessions shouting "I can swim without wings!" DH had made sure our DCs could (I have a bit of a fear of water). The lad's mum (whose single) doesn't swim either. DH found it rewarding and DS loves his friend being able to join in.

12ylnon Tue 12-Feb-13 18:03:18

Yes, please please teach your child to swim. It's SO important. DS didn't get far in his first set of lessons, we stopped for a while as he didn't enjoy it, moved him, and now he's really coming on leaps and bounds.
They focus quite a bit on strokes, but tbh, if he learns how to swim a few lengths, i don't care what it looks like. I just want him to be safe around water.
They are expensive unfortunately, but for us, there was no question that he wouldn't do them.

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