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Swimming Lessons - crying advice

(14 Posts)
Nicolaw06 Wed 27-Sep-17 19:49:05

My 3 year old started swimming lessons recently as she loves being in the water so though what a good life skill to start learning now.
First week went fine, however the last 3 weeks have been constant crying. Today the teacher asked me to go out of sight incase her seeing me sat watching instead of being in the pool with her was triggering it. This made a slight difference, so trying it again next week.
I guess I'm just wanting to know if you would persevere with it or stop? I don't want her hating it, but thinking it could one day save her life. Any advice would be great!

dementedpixie Wed 27-Sep-17 21:09:59

she's young still. Mine didn't start until closer to 4 and still learned in plenty of time to use as a life skill

StormyIsland Wed 27-Sep-17 21:17:45

Mine was exactly the same as yours and I stopped taking her. We never took her back to classes (couldn't be bothered with the long drive and trailing her brothers along). We've always taken our kids swimming ourselves maybe twice a month. They love splashing and messing about in the water. My seven year old has never had lessons but she's beginning to swim quite well. Nowhere near as well as her friends who go to classes but she wouldn't drown if you chucked her out of a boat. I never had lessons and have always enjoyed swimming. I see it as a hobby and I would definitely not be forcing a three year old to have any hobbies. Give her time and maybe ask again in a year's time if you're really keen for her to do it.

Ellieboolou27 Wed 27-Sep-17 22:36:41

Agree with the above, 3 is quite young and I started my dd at 4 which was in hindsight still a bit young.
Try taking her swimming on your own between lessons to see how she copes, if no improvement then stop until she's older.

Nicolaw06 Wed 27-Sep-17 22:44:25

I have been taking her on my own and she's fine in the water with me. I'm guessing it's because it's not all "fun and games" in a lesson and I'm also not in the pool with her.

Gaggleofgirls Thu 28-Sep-17 19:28:05

I'm going to disagree with the previous posters. My DD at 3 had the same initial reaction, I would say persevere. It's a good life skill and it's amazing now knowing she loves it and safety wise she would be able to calmly swim to the side. (She's only 4 now)
One thing I do think is it depends on the teacher, when she had an overly cautious one she reacted in the same way.

dementedpixie Thu 28-Sep-17 19:30:40

Is it a life skill that is essential at age 3/4 though? A break might made a difference and she could go back happier and more receptive to learning to swim again

Nicolaw06 Thu 28-Sep-17 19:49:43

Gaggleofgirls - a parent of another child in her same class told me her boy went 8 weeks of crying and now loves it so much. They didn't take a break and he seems to be doing fine! This is why I'm a bit unsure! She LOVES playing about in the water and try's to kick her legs a bit etc , so it really seems like it's because it's a different setting - i.e. That I'm not in there with her.

citychick Fri 29-Sep-17 05:19:04

op you nailed it in your response .
its all fun and games with family .
then parent free classes start and the kids lose it.
i teach babies and young children.
in their eyes its a huge jump not having a parent in the pool .
I have to set boundaries very quickly. i cannot have a class of 4 3 yrs olds 2 of whom want to learn and 2 want a power struggle. i don't have time to spend on baby whispering . the adult free classes really do require the children to be able to take a little bit of structure in the lesson . its safety after all . some children will relish lessons for others its a step too far too soon.

it is often worse with mum or dad on poolside the i prefer they are not. but after 2 lessons of dominating a geoup class with screaming/ bold behaviour i would be suggesting more parent toddler classes or private lessons to build trust and confidence .

for me as a parent who had the screaming child, and as a swim teacher, i would say persevere. but u may have to consider private lessons.
learning to be swim is non negotiable in my book . a good teacher will make it fun but the kids have to be ready and / or able to listen.
good luck

UnaOfStormhold Fri 29-Sep-17 22:06:36

We've recently started solo swimming lessons having done group ones up until 3. First session he was fine until the very end, second he just cried and clung the whole time, third session he was upset at the start and then started to get vaguely involved, fourth and fifth session he was totally fine. I didn't want to push too hard and was thinking about trying to arrange a few private lessons with the teacher and me to get him used to her, but that didn't prove necessary. I did do a lot of talking to him before the third session, explaining where I'd be and trying various stories with a general message of "even if you're sad, try and have a go, it will make the time go faster and might make you feel better" - no idea if this helped but might be worth a try.

TeenTimesTwo Sun 01-Oct-17 13:36:04

I would say that if the child isn't happy to be left and to take instruction then it's too early. It's not fair on your child, or the others in the group to have a child crying the whole way through.

PumpkinPie2016 Mon 02-Oct-17 21:41:14

It's not necessarily too early. My son is 3 and has been having lessons for about 3 months. He cried the first week but has loved it since and is doing great.

The pool where he has lessons has two instructors per group - one poolside who leads the lesson and one in the pool supporting the children. Does your pool have this? If not, can you find somewhere that does? It seems to help the ones who are initially screamers.

Otherwise, I'd leave it for now and try again in a few months - it should be enjoyable rather than an ordeal.

Nicolaw06 Wed 11-Oct-17 17:48:00

Thought I’d give an update as it’s been a a couple of weeks. I decided to see how she goes for a few more weeks and go from there. Last week she was still crying, I spoke to her teacher and she said my daughter is doing everything she’s asked to do in the lessons, she’s just crying for me (and I could see she was making progress when I was watching from an area out of her sight). Success this week - no crying! Looking happy in the water and still doing everything she was told - I could even sit poolside and watch! It was lovely! So it seems the crying was just because I wasn’t there with her and (fingers crossed) it will be the same next week! smile

Nicolaw06 Wed 11-Oct-17 17:50:22

“There with her” meaning in the pool with her.

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