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More attention for children finding it harder

(20 Posts)
Vijac Fri 07-Nov-14 23:21:03

This is my first experience of this and I guess it is the right thing to give more help to those finding it harder but it does seem a bit unfair and makes me wonder if this happens at lot at nursery etc. when I'm not there to add my praise. So, I attend a swimming class and some of the children are more nervous than my son. So they get lots of praise, one on one attention and help. Whereas he is quite confident and does all the skills but the teacher doesn't comment. He is 3 and I think he may notice that his friends are getting lots of praise without realising why and it could undermine his confidence and enjoyment of the class. There are only 4 in the class. Suspect I am being a bit pfb to even be thinking about it!

AsBrightAsAJewel Sat 08-Nov-14 08:22:17

I think you need to separate the issues of attention and praise. At school and nursery of course those children who are struggling should get more adult attention (i.e. support) - imagine if your child was struggling with learning to read, etc. and the teacher didn't give extra support? We have children in nursery with 1:1 support due to having additional learning or medical needs and the other children don't get hung up on the fairness. In main school children are in small groups and one-to-one for lots of things. On the odd occasion a child queries why they aren't I explain that people are all different, so X finds one thing easy and something else hard, but Y finds something else hard and Z that easy and needs extra brain-stretch (meaning they are having more able extension); that everyone needs to work at something different, so we have extra groups and staff to make sure we can help each child. Maybe you could use a simplified version of that with your DS?

Praise is something different and should be use for effort and achievement. Research shows that to be effective it should be focused on specific things. However, the child/ren in swimming need all the encouragement they can get if they are worried by the water and a positive and encouraging manner from the teacher will go a long way to give them the confidence to develop a lifesaving skill, so please don't begrudge them that input. They probably having to show great effort to actually even be there facing their anxieties so praise is very valid.

Toomanyhouseguests Sat 08-Nov-14 10:58:41

This kind of thing happens. It's normal, it will continue right through school. Kids do get used to it, and they do come to understand that everything is relative.

It can be annoying sometimes, if you feel your child is vulnerable in some way and you feel the instructors/teachers don't see it. The most important thing is that you give him attention and praise. Also, you are in a position as the years go by to put him activities/situations that do build him up, if you feel that isn't happening at school.

But that's all about the future. As for swimming, it sounds like it is time he moves up to the next level. You can always remark to the teacher that he looks like the odd man out and you wonder if he should be moving from "Ducklings 1" to "Ducklings 2" or whatever they call it these days.

lemisscared Sat 08-Nov-14 11:00:38

If your ds goes on to have sen then you wont be quite so pfb about it. You will be glad of the extra help.

lornemalvo Sat 08-Nov-14 11:10:07

I think that if an instructor is unable to give each child adequate attention in a class of 4 it does not bode well for the average child in a class of 30. Perhaps some of them are ignored, which pfb parent or not, we do not want for our own children. I think you should remind him how proud of him at swimming every week.

Vijac Sat 08-Nov-14 14:49:16

Ok thanks lesmisscared, I'll bear that in mind! I don't begrudge the other kids getting more time and individual skills, it would just be nice to have a few more enthusiastic 'well dones' etc. when my son's made a real effort.

AsBrightAsAJewel Sat 08-Nov-14 14:55:21

I can understand that Vijac, I think you need to see that as more to do with an individual swimming teacher, rather than the approach of staff in nurseries and schools.

Vijac Sat 08-Nov-14 15:12:52

Yes, hopefully that is the case and it is just that teacher. It's just this is the only teaching I see in action. When i pick up from nursery, I usually get told 'he's had a good day' which is probably what everyone gets but is just not that specific.

ChloeHutchinson45 Thu 13-Nov-14 17:22:21

It's definitely the case... I have seen this loads with family. It's disheartening because those that are good can actually LOSE that confidence over time because of the lack of praise. It's an awkward one... I find it works to just be really positive all the time.. over dinner "you're obviously one of the best swimmers in the class, that's what the instructor told me when I was watching at the side a few weeks ago" that sort of thing! :D

mrz Thu 13-Nov-14 18:30:23

Should you praise something that requires little effort or something that requires a great deal?

Vijac Thu 13-Nov-14 18:40:42

You should praise effort but in this case if one child is really trying hard quietly and doing what is asked of him and the other child is a bit scared and keeps having mini tantrums and refusing to try things then who should get more attention/praise?

mrz Thu 13-Nov-14 19:00:50

I would never praise a child who is having a tantrum

Vijac Thu 13-Nov-14 21:40:15

Thanks Chloe, I'll give that a go.

Messygirl Fri 14-Nov-14 18:32:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sneepy Sun 16-Nov-14 11:15:50

As the parent of 2 easygoing children, my only advice to you is get used to praising him yourself. Other children need more attention than my 2, that's fine, the only real problem is when yours is not getting the attention HE needs, because he just gets on with whatever he's supposed to. I've seen my dds (and others) left to fend for themselves many times while the instructor is focusing on another child, often the other kids aren't even given praise for their patience. It's one of my pet peeves, children don't mind that the teacher has to take extra time with one student but they do notice when their own hard work is overlooked.

Might just be a poor teacher, too. I have seen teachers who are really able to include and notice every child while helping the ones who need extra. Hopefully your DS will move up a level soon.

ReallyTired Sun 16-Nov-14 19:18:24

Excessive praise or praise for poor quality work can really backfire as even the youngest of children can see through it. Excessive "encouragement" for medicore work shows low expectations of a child.

Praise needs to be very specific. (Ie. praising a child for swimming a whole length without putting their feet down rather than telling them that they are clever.)

Children who are good at swimming get loads of swimming badges and go up the stages quickly. They aren't likely to get discouraged.

In a school setting SEN children need more attention just like sick people need more doctor attention. If the SEN children don't get one to one support then they create absolute havoc and no one learns.

ouryve Sun 16-Nov-14 19:35:40

If the SEN children don't get one to one support then they create absolute havoc and no one learns. hmm

"The SEN children"? Really?

And no, not all children with SEN do create havoc. Many children with SEN, if their needs are not met, become even more passive than they already are, withdraw further into themselves at school and then let the stress out when they get home, even going as far as self harm.

MidniteScribbler Mon 17-Nov-14 01:36:15

There's a massive difference between a fully trained school teacher and a swimming teacher. Not having a go at swimming teachers, I wouldn't want to do it, but the training and experiences are massively difference. You really shouldn't make assumptions about your child's whole education based on one swimming lesson.

ReallyTired Mon 17-Nov-14 09:15:19

Ourye it is rare for children to have one to one support full time. Sadly Sen children without behavioural issues or extreme disabilities get limited support if any. I am not saying it's right, but children with severe behavioural problems stand a better chance of getting full time support in many schools.

I think it's silly to compare the swimming pool to the classroom. The chances of dying in the classroom are less than a swimming pool. The skills a swimming teacher needs are very different to a school teacher.

catslife Mon 17-Nov-14 10:11:10

A different situation with teaching swimming OP. The teacher is probably self employed and if the nervous children drop out, the classes may not be viable and the teacher wouldn't be paid.

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