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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?


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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

My sons lessons are £46 for 10 lessons

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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?

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 14:36:26

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

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