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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?


Fillyjonk75 Tue 12-Feb-13 18:10:51

I think it is good to learn to swim but not necessarily at 2. DD1 started lessons at 5 and picked it up very quickly. DD2 only started at 2 because big sis was doing it, but it is very expensive especially paying for 2 or more. Have stopped now with DD1 as she's done her 100 metres and is going with school anyway.

DD2 has been going for 2 years and can basically swim with armbands, so I don't think they progress that much before they reach 5 as the strength and co-ordination isn't there.

Backtobedlam Tue 12-Feb-13 18:19:56

I disagree that there's no point before 5-most children in my older child's class could swim a width by 3.5/4yrs (no technique, but could get heads out for a breath) and my 2yr old knows how to roll onto her back and pull herself out of the pool. Maybe not swimming in the true sense, but potentially life saving.

lljkk Tue 12-Feb-13 18:37:50

I have only just managed to get my almost 5yo put his face in the water (sometimes). DS2 was keener, but he had coordination problems (still has, really). DD went weekly but wouldn't put face in water or take feet off bottom until she was nearly 6 (swims beautifully now). Sometimes the horse just won't drink no matter how often you drag it over to the water. So I didn't find swim lessons value for money until they were about age 5-5.5.

exoticfruits Tue 12-Feb-13 19:09:19

I would start long before 5 yrs-the younger the better.
You should also go and learn yourself. My mother was over 50 before she had lessons-it is never too late.

Dancergirl Tue 12-Feb-13 19:43:37

Non-negotiable here too!

But I do think starting lessons at 3 doesn't work for many children. They often end up doing their few widths in the pool with arm-bands on every week and don't make much progress. I've found starting at 5 or so much better.

I would find regular lessons for your oldest child and stick with them. And DON'T give in if they say they don't want to go! Dd3 usually comes out of school on Tuesday and says 'no swimming' but I ignore it and she goes anyway!

You CAN teach them yourself as someone has said above, but if finances allow, I would go for lessons. Children somehow respond better to a teacher than a parent.

foreverondiet Tue 12-Feb-13 22:23:11

My kids have lessons every week and I take ds2 (almost three) but I won't do lessons until he is around 3.5 as in my experience so far before this age don't really have strength to lift head out of water to breathe!!!

ilovepowerhoop Tue 12-Feb-13 22:34:01

neither of mine started lessons until around the age of 4. They go once a week for a 45 minute group lesson - it costs £19 per month each so roughly £5 per lesson. DD is 9 and could go to the swimming club but chooses to stay in lessons. DS is 6 and can swim at least 50m and his strokes are improving.

TartyMcTart Tue 12-Feb-13 22:52:07

I think the reason why it's better to wait til the child is 5(ish) is because they're not often ready for the 'classroom' side of things before then. They might be happy bobbing around in the water and swimming a width or two but trying to get a 2, 3 or 4 year old to listen to instructions and understand them is another matter!

ILoveNoodles Wed 13-Feb-13 07:13:55

Same here my son who is 4 has lessons and can get himself around the pool safely and confidently.
I learnt to swim at the grand old age of 29! It was one of the most exhilerating experiences of my life <hope I don't sound too melodramatic!> So we were actually learning together.
I feel so much more confident and really look forward to holidays, instead of worrying. The first time I swam in the sea, actually swam not! And to think I used to be petrified.

pingu2209 Wed 13-Feb-13 07:44:15

My DC have been swimming for 18 months. They started at age 7, 5 and 3. I waited till my youngest could get in the pool without me. It was pretty late for my eldest though and he looked a right plonker swimming with many children who were 4 years younger than him, especially as he is very tall for his age too.

The other issue is that the beginner lessons are taught in the very shallow end and if your child is older/taller, it can be difficult to learn to swim because the water comes to their mid thigh rather than mid waist.

There were many children who were very reluctant to get in the water (understatement). They would scream and cry. Parents are supposed to sit in the viewing gallary but some would sit on a bench by the pool edge. The swimming teachers were excellent though and pretty tough so would get the children into the pool.

Okay, the children would cry, some hysterically, the whole half hour lesson, but after a few lessons they didn't cry any more. By the end of the term, they would get into the water without any hassle at all.

I would perservere.

lljkk Wed 13-Feb-13 08:06:55

children would cry, some hysterically, the whole half hour lesson, but after a few lessons they didn't cry any more.

I assume that's the modern definition of "few", which = 40+?
It is quite painful to spend ££ on lessons when your child only sits on the side and screams hysterically the whole time.

I didn't learn to swim a proper stroke until I was an adult and finally got a pair of goggles, what a transformation.

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