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Swimming- drop or stick it out?

(12 Posts)
Mimia Mon 26-Jan-09 13:44:32

Very honest opinions wanted here please, I can take it!

DD is 2.7 and has been going to swimming lessons since she was 12 weeks old. (I know they are not real swimming lessons but you get the gist!). She has always loved the water and now is very confident - happy to go off, disappears under the water regularly without prompting, can safely get in and out of the pool using the side or the steps and so on.

The lessons are in the learners pool which at 98cm she can now hold her head above water at any point in the pool, so she just bounces around with her feet on the bottom. Which doesn't bother me as such, I wasn't expecting her to swim as such yet. The teacher has suggested using various floats- woggles, back floats, holding floats, armbands to keep her in the "right" position. But DD is very strong willed and refuses to use any of them for more than a few minutes, she just takes them off or lets go. IMHO this is because she likes to dive under the water and the floats stop her. I know from seeing her myself in the occasional bigger pool that she can do a doggy style paddle when needed, but bouncing around on her feet is just easier so she does that when she can. Today the teacher said that she really should go in the big (colder!) pool because that is the only way she will stop "cheating" by bouncing on her toes and will actually learn to swim which is what I am paying for. She is a lovely teacher so she didn't say this perhaps as bluntly as it sounds.

She is getting fed up with the lessons, she is in the 2-3 group but this is her fourth term in the same group so I wonder if she is getting bored. She gets very insistent on doing whatever part of the lesson she wants, just not when the teacher wants her to, so she will be off wanting to do pushing off from the side when everyone else is floating.She also gets annoyed with having me trying to get her to do things "Go away mummy, I am swimming myself!"

So my questions are:

1. Should I just stop the lessons and take her by myself instead?

2. Should I be making her join in with the lesson?

3. Am I just being precious by thinking she is bored by the lessons now and that the teacher might be wrong?

4. Should I just continue going and take what we want from the lessons as she moves up to 3-4s in June.

5. Surely by "making her swim" through being out of her depth in the big pool I'm just going to make her hate it?

Dillydaydreamer Mon 26-Jan-09 13:52:33

If she is confident and enjoys it then I would stop the lessons and just go yourself with her in the big pool. IMO until they are over 3 their concentration is irratic and taking orders is almost impossible as like you said, she insists her way is the right way. She will probably benefit more from getting used to the big pool where she can't stand up ( I have the same problem with dd1 3yrs).

Mimia Mon 26-Jan-09 14:14:52

Thanks Dilly, glad to know its not just me with the standing up problem!

Clary Mon 26-Jan-09 14:19:04

Yr DD sounds super doesn’t she. Well done her (and you) for her being so confident at an age when some children won’t even let go of mummy in the water.

My DS2 was the other way round – only when he could safely touch the bottom (when he was about 3 IIRC) did he consent to take off armrings and then start swimming properly.

I hear your teacher about the feet on the bottom thing tho – DS2 is now 5 almost 6, and his next level of lessons is in the big pool, which would really be a good thing.

Are the lessons very expensive? If so I might be tempted to give her a break from them for a bit until she can progress to the harder level, but continue to take her regularly. Could you take her in the big pool sometimes? If she is almost 3 the temp is not such an issue as with a tiny baby.

HSMM Mon 26-Jan-09 14:31:34

I took my DD out of lessons for a while when she was little (opposite problem - she didn't want to put her face in the water and they said she had to). I fully intended to take her to the pool myself once and week .... well that never happened! Anyway ... the following term she went back to lessons and carried on as before. She didn't move up to the next class for ages, but she was happy and she learned to swim, so who cares if she is a little behind - she doesn't. (and she will swim under water now)

Mimia Mon 26-Jan-09 14:36:36

I think the temp is more of a problem for me grin

The lessons are not overly expensive, about £3.50 a session so cheaper than paying to go swimming as she is free and I cost £3.95. It is not a problem to take her regularly as the siwmming pool is very close. Also you can go in the big pool and the learners pool in the same session. I might just have to invest in some dive toys as she loves doing that.

I just spoke to her about it, as seriously as you can with a 2.7 yo! She said she wants to go swimming in the big pool with the big people not the little pool with the babies (she see the baby class before hers). She said then in the big people's pool she can be Ariel and be under the sea, bless. So perhaps a break would be a good thing as you both have suggested. I think I was abit worried that I came across all "I don't need the lessons anymore, MY daughter goes in the big pool" which is very far removed from what I am really like!

UniS Mon 26-Jan-09 19:37:56

Nowt wrong with going in big pool. Boy has always been out of his depth for lessons. Now in shallow pools he cheats and won't swim, in deep pools he swims and enjoys it.
If you can't do a class in deep pool why not just make a regular date and go to a deep pool any way. Shes fed up of lessons, a few month of playing with you in a deep pool will not hurt a bit.

hotbot Mon 26-Jan-09 19:54:35

did you do a warterbabies class? if so i think that if oyu are using armbands etc she may be getting confused as she is already water confident. i would just take her yourself at least in the big pool she can watch the really competent swimmers and get the gist herself iyswim
my dd is also 2, and swimming form 2weeks also we have finished the course and have been successful at taking her to the pool ourselves hse is virtually swimming on her own now

hotbot Mon 26-Jan-09 19:55:22

arrgg swim lessons from 12 weeks.....

cmotdibbler Mon 26-Jan-09 21:21:09

But what is wrong with bouncing around on your toes ? DS (2.8) loves to zoom around the shallow pool being a boat or whatever, and sometimes he wants to swim with his woggle - and I really don't see the problem with that.

If he wants to go in the big pool, we do, but he would rather be under his own steam and do as he likes than have to concentrate on swimming all the time.

But we don't have the option to go to a lesson as there aren't any for under 5's out of work hours

Mimia Mon 26-Jan-09 21:28:44

No, Hotbot it wasn't a waterbabies class, just a local ASA one that goes on and on and they just go up the classes forever (it seems). I do think she is getting confused as she doesn't want the flotation aids on her. We do go occasionally on our own and she just goes off in the little pool and does what she likes, it is very relaxing for me just wallowing. The teacher herself said that DD is very water confident and just needs to be in deeper water. I have decided that I am indeed going to see out this term (seeing as it only started 5th jan, bugger) and also take her to the big pool and see if it makes a difference to her. Thanks all for replying!

specialmagiclady Tue 27-Jan-09 14:08:26

Could you take her to swimming lessons at the normal time, and then if she misbehaves in the lessons, just take her out and go in the big pool for that time. That way you don't have to give up what you've paid for, plus you get the cheap time. If she finds the pool too cold you could say "we can go back in the warm pool if you do what the teacher says"

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