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To wish I could just tell school DS will not be attending swimming any more?

(41 Posts)
CiderwithBuda Mon 11-Jan-16 13:49:03

I know it's a life skill. He CAN swim. But he hates swimming lessons. He is now 14 and has hated lessons since he was in nursery. He has had one on one private lessons in a friend's pool. Hated that too. He will never be a fast swimmer. He will never swim for pleasure - other than on holiday. He is the slowest and worst apparently and the whole thing makes hm feel rubbish.

I'm so fed up with the moaning from him every time swimming comes around again. I'm dreading Monday's this term already. It affects him so much he gets really down.

If it wasn't for the fact that school would prob not agree and DH wouldn't either I would pull him from the lessons.

Sourpickledqueen Mon 11-Jan-16 13:52:12

If I were him I would develop a sudden sensitivity to the pool water, claim it makes my skin itchy and red -easy enough to fake.

BelfastSmile Mon 11-Jan-16 13:52:21

Have you approached the school to ask if he can be excused or at least get a bit of extra support in place (maybe learn in a smaller group, for instance). If it's upsetting him to the point of affecting his schoolwork, then they may well do something. It's worth asking, at least.

CiderwithBuda Mon 11-Jan-16 14:03:49

I might approach school. He hates it so much. It does really affect his whole day. And it will affect the weekend as he will be so down on Sundays. And Sundays are hs only day off as he is at school on Saturdays.

AprilParadox Mon 11-Jan-16 14:09:36

I had this with my dc. It was causing so much anxiety he was excused in the end.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 11-Jan-16 14:11:55

Depends - if it's a curricular lesson- you couldn't do it for maths so swimming is the same DD hates cross country but she has to get on with it. He needs to deal with his issue which is the dread of this lesson.

WickedWax Mon 11-Jan-16 14:12:12

My DS feels the same about football, and PE in general, but football he actually loathes with a passion, in fairness he is utterly rubbish at it and is always picked last for a team, and the whining and moaning about it is unreal.

There are probably kids all over the country feeling the same about swimming, Maths, French, Geography, etc.

It's what, one, two hours a week? Just one of those things that they've got to stop moaning and get on with as far as I'm concerned.

Sallyingforth Mon 11-Jan-16 14:17:50

He will never swim for pleasure - other than on holiday

So he can swim and he's OK swimming on holiday - just that he hates the lessons. Could this be a hangover from a bad experience in nursery? Has he actually given you a real reason why he hates them?

TeenAndTween Mon 11-Jan-16 14:20:05

Can you find a skin infection online that takes 13 weeks to clear up and you have to not swim in the meantime?

Bubbletree4 Mon 11-Jan-16 14:20:35

You should write the school a letter setting out the difficulties it is causing your ds and how it is impacting his education and free time. I reckon they'd actually excuse him. Make sure your points are clear and backed up by examples

CiderwithBuda Mon 11-Jan-16 14:22:48

He would love it if it were football. They do rugby, hockey and cricket. He hates cross country too but not in the same way. Moans about it but does it.

I've had 11 years of trying to encourage him. I'm sick of it.

It is a curricular lesson but they don't swim every term. Last term they did normal pe for this lesson.

School has a fitness centre so he could do that instead of swimming.

He is really struggling with maths so could usefully do extra maths instead.

CiderwithBuda Mon 11-Jan-16 14:27:37

Sallyngforth - he is not a strong or fast swimmer. He says he is always the worst and the slowest so feels embarrassed. I did point out that if he did it more he might improve but he says he has always been the worst. And he has.

No issues with the lessons at nursery. I used to go along as a parent helper so sat at the side. The actually swimming coach was in the pool with them and the nursery teacher was one on one in the pool with DS as he used to hate it so much. He even screamed blue murder when I took him swimming as a baby.

Pipistrella Mon 11-Jan-16 14:31:33

Oh Buda sad

I would approach the school, too - yes, they may tell you he has no choice, but if you can withdraw a child from RE and so on then I don't see why they should have to swim if they hate it so much.

My son had lessons with school in a class group and the instructor told them, one time, that they had to make their way across the pool in any way they could, swimming, hopping or whatever, to qualify for their 5 metres badge (that's cheating surely?) and if they got into difficulties, or started to drown, they would not be helped shock

I was so shocked by this (ds cannot swim yet) that I wrote to school stating that I would refuse to send him to this swimming class until the matter had been resolved. The matter never was and I didn't send him any more. It was only a few weeks but still.

It can be very counter productive if swimming is taught wrongly.

flowers for your ds

MadamCroquette Mon 11-Jan-16 14:38:59

Please do talk to the school. My dyslexic/dyspraxic and anxious DS has some difficulties and anxieties – he can manage swimming but other things have posed problems. I know our school would be understanding in this situation. (Having said that I would choose carefully who I approached in the first instance as I know which teachers / SLT are the most sympathetic.) I often find a non-official approach, a chat with a teacher who you know cares, can work wonders. They may find him some volunteering to do in the library or something. It's worth a try.

minipie Mon 11-Jan-16 14:39:05

Perhaps I am being unsympathetic but if the only reason is really because he's the worst and feels embarrassed then I would be telling him to get on with it. Someone has to be the worst and slowest, if the worst pupil in the class always dropped out then the class would soon be empty.

Perhaps there is something else though? Irritates eyes? Body embarrassment? Fear of drowning?

caroldecker Mon 11-Jan-16 14:39:52

Everything is counter-productive if taught wrongly - many feel the same way about lots of subjects. He needs to learn the life skill of just dealing with small things and get over himself.

hefzi Mon 11-Jan-16 14:39:58

I feel for him - I was the same. One year, our PE teacher sent me and my best friend to matron because she was "concerned" because we'd had our periods for 13 weeks solid grin

MadamCroquette Mon 11-Jan-16 14:40:59

(He can't actually swim - I just mean he can manage the lessons. But it is really hard being the least good at something so public and hating it, especially at 14.)

MadamCroquette Mon 11-Jan-16 14:46:19

I was helped to escape from the bullying nightmare of PE from the age of 13, by the visiting musical instrument teacher who helpfully scheduled my lessons to coincide smile

Kind teachers who help sensitive kids in ways like these do a great service IMO. It's not as if it prevented me being physically active and healthy – I still am 30 years later. It was the misery of standing out so badly and feeling so exposed.

redskybynight Mon 11-Jan-16 14:46:26

If it's part of the curriculum he just has to suck it up surely? (can't be more than swimming lesson a week?)

My DS hates football, he has no coordination and will never be good at it, and it isn't even any sort of essential skill. Does this mean I should be asking for him to be excused from it?

CiderwithBuda Mon 11-Jan-16 14:48:17

I have to say I would normally just tell him to get on with it with other stuff. And I do regularly! He wants to give up geography as he isn't finding it easy. Not happening! I'm struggling with the swimming and what to do as I do tell him he can't just give something up because it's hard. He hates cross country. Tough. Cross country was invented to be hated - get on with it. But he has hated swimming lessons for so long. In reception and year one he used to try the tummy ache trick. Last night he tried strapping his fingers together to pretend he had broken his finger.

I will approach school. Will see who is best to approach. Possibly his house master.

It's an independent boarding and day school if that makes any difference to anyone's views.

hefzi Mon 11-Jan-16 14:52:44

Cider ours was a boarding school - it was a long time ago, but as you can see, we got away with the permanent period for a very long time! Can he not have a convenient permanent ear/skin/whatever infection? I'm not sure they'll let him off just because he loathes it, even though he can swim, so a convenient "out" that they know and you know and they know that you know is a lie might just work.

howabout Mon 11-Jan-16 14:53:57

I am very thankful my DD1 does not have to endure compulsory swimming as she would be exactly the same. She does have eczema though so I would probably have written a note in your shoes.

jazzandh Mon 11-Jan-16 14:55:17

I think that by 14 if he has mastered enough to be able to swim for personal safety and he hates it so much then perhaps an alternative PE session can be found. He should be able to attend the fitness centre and have some personal goals set there......

There is nothing really to be gained by pursuing swimming in this instance, I don't think poor swimming really adds to personal fitness and it is unlikely to be a form of exercise that he ever does - so looking to find another exercise that fills the same space at his age is more productive.

WickedWax Mon 11-Jan-16 14:58:38

I really don't think teaching him that if he doesn't like doing something, mummy will step in to try and get him out of it, is going to stand him in good stead in the future.

Perhaps you could suggest if you get him out of swimming he could then spend the time doing extra Geography seeing as he wants to give that up too as he isn't finding it easy. wink

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