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7 yo with swimming pool issues

(12 Posts)
Babieseverywhere Sun 02-Aug-15 15:27:00

We had our oldest two children in swimming lessons before and after 18 months...Our DS was still ignoring the swimming teacher and walking across the pool. So we took them out for a year and tried again.

This time we had our three oldest children in the lessons. DD1 and DD2 have progressed well and learnt things.

But DS who is turning 7yo is struggling. He often anxious about the water, especially the deep end...which we have re labelled the 'not so shallow end'.

He is genuinely frightened that sharks are in the deep end and will kill him. We have done the logic thing...All the water comes through a tap which a shark can not fit through. Made him laugh with a silly approach that the sharks would have to put a coat and hat on and walk on their tail though the front door...he lol at this image.

He has been distracted the class teacher who can't get him swimming at all. He has had a helper in the water with him for the last two weeks but he shouts at the helper as he is so upset.

DS did go under the water at a lesson two months ago....he ducked under maybe three times...swallowing water, before grabbing the teachers stick. So I can see why he is worried at one level. But he is so anxious and over reacts to everything, I don't know how to reduce his worrying.

He says we take him to the pool to die and other joyful phrases like that.

He is very anxious at home, won't go to the toilet on his own (we stand on the stairs atm), won't sleep/play in his bedroom...he sleeps with his sisters. Hates school. etc.

So we got the end of module swimmimg reports and the girls have done well and DS is dropping down a level sad Next course he will be in the same class as his 4 yo sister sad

I understand why they have to drop him down again but we are thinking of a break from offical swimming lessons for now...Try and take him ourselves to see if we can improve his confidence.

Any ideas or advice ?

TheHouseOnBellSt Sun 02-Aug-15 22:13:15

Get him a one to one....my DD is 11 and was just the same. She still hates the water but at least she can swim.

Group lessons were no use to her no matter how small. We paid £12 per half hour at a local hotel's gym for ours.

Babieseverywhere Tue 04-Aug-15 10:42:18

1 to is a bit expensive for us atm....think we will try and help him feel more confident in the water and send him back to lessons on the second term.

TheHouseOnBellSt Tue 04-Aug-15 11:30:23

And don't worry about it. Some kids...like some adults, just don't like the water and will possibly never be strong swimmers. I hate the water...always have. DD1 is the same. We can both swim just enough to get by and that'll do.

DD and I didn't really get to the stage of swimming a length until we were around 10 years old. It took that long to get the confidence.

TheHouseOnBellSt Tue 04-Aug-15 11:31:31

One thing which did help DD was goggles. Does DS have goggles?

Babieseverywhere Tue 04-Aug-15 12:23:21

Yes he has googles

notascooby007 Tue 04-Aug-15 12:37:40

Another vote for 1 2 1 lessons yes they are expensive but if you look long term he'll probably need less 1 2 1 lessons than group lessons and at the moment the group lessons are actually a waste of money for him at the moment that money you've spent on this module of swimming has been a complete waste of money because he hasn't progressed any. My ds did 1 2 1 he came on leaps and bounds in a short time, I'm waiting for a space for ds2 to do 1 2 1 rather than send him to a group lesson. I do think swimming is an important thing for kids but I think once they're comfortable in the water and can essentially "hold their own " there's no need for lessons anymore. If your older dc are accomplished swimmers can you stop their group lessons for a while while your ds does 1 2 1 for a bit

TheHouseOnBellSt Tue 04-Aug-15 12:50:41

I agree that it's worth the money.

PestoSwimissimos Tue 04-Aug-15 13:00:08

I think you should take all 3 DC's to a 'fun' pool, where he doesn't associate swimming and the pool with his swimming lessons. Somewhere for example that has a shallow beach entry pool and maybe some slides and fountains. Just let him have fun naturally with his siblings and don't pressurise him to 'swim'. I think splashing around, jumping into shallow water, lazing about and enjoying slides for instance, will make it a pleasant experience and one he will wish to repeat, but as a better swimmer because he will be encouraged to keep up with his siblings.

BarbarianMum Tue 04-Aug-15 14:58:32

It sounds as though he has a lot of stress and anxiety in his life atm, poor kid. I think you are right to drop the lessons - they sound like they are the straw that is breaking the camel's back. Your plan to get him confident in the water (with absolutely no pressure) sound like a good one. Are there other things that could be done to make other aspects of his life less stressful? With my ds2 (huge worrier) we find the lower we can get his anxiety over all, the more 'open' he is to new things.

Babieseverywhere Wed 05-Aug-15 15:23:28

We have a CAMHS appointment Monday for DS, hopefully they will help me, reduce his anxiety.

Babieseverywhere Wed 05-Aug-15 15:30:13

I at a loss as to what is stressful in his life, that I can reduce/eliminate.

He hates school but this is essential and the school is a good one.

I do all shopping online or when he is at school.

We rarely go anywhere evenings or weekends as most places leads to meltdowns.

Exceptions are computer related activities and occasional park/softplay.

He hates dentist, doctors, swimmimg lessons, shoe shopping....but these things are not optional either.

What can I do sad

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