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Does anyone actually teach their dc to swim any more?

(45 Posts)
HopeForTheBest Tue 17-May-11 17:10:03

I mean themselves, rather than sending them on a course or doing it through school?

Was talking to my friend today, and she is desperate to get her almost 4yo ds onto a swim course as they go on lots of beach holidays and she wants him learn how to swim.
All courses (catering for under 5s) were fully booked, which makes me think it's v. popular.

I learnt to swim in the sea, on holiday, with my parents. I remember first holidays were always with those arm floats, and then one year I wanted to do it so they helped me and by the end of the holiday I was swimming. Not great, but swimming.
Dsis learnt same way, and then went on to do lots of swimming courses as she loved it.

So, was just wondering really, has anyone taught their own kids to swim, or is planning to do it themselves?

IndigoBell Tue 17-May-11 17:29:17

I was able to teach my DD to swim. But had to send my 2 DSs to very expensive private swimming lessons because they were scared of putting their face in the water. sad

But DD was really easy to teach.... I think she was 6?

Onlyaphase Tue 17-May-11 17:32:14

I've tried to teach DD (4) to swim for 2 years, so has DH. But she wants to play with us in the water and not swim.

She is having lessons this term and is listening to the teacher and not playing around. She will be swimming by the end of term, and I really doubt this would happen without these lessons.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 17-May-11 17:34:12

Me. I used to take DD to the swimming pool and teach her. Also topped up with loads of swimming with her on holidays.

Himalaya Tue 17-May-11 18:00:11

My DH taught both our kids to swim. But round here going to swimming lessons seems to be is like a religion.

COCKadoodledooo Tue 17-May-11 18:47:46

Oh gawd I hated trying to teach ds1, it was a bloody nightmare.

I didn't take him for almost a year (too stressful) then arranged lessons locally. The first one he screamed and refused to get in (couldn't reach the bottom). Had it been me I would have lost it, but the instructor was fab. 6 weeks later he could jump in and swim a whole length unaided, and my blood pressure was normal wink He was 5 then btw.

If I could have paid someone to teach him to ride a bike I would have too!

DialsMavis Tue 17-May-11 19:30:08

Yep I taught DS (over a long period of time) but am in the minority I think

Allegrogirl Tue 17-May-11 21:13:03

My dad taught me to swim and although I was very confident in the water from a young age children who attended lessons soon over took me in ability.

I love swimming but my technique is rubbish. Keep promising myself lessons but I'm embarrassed at my age. So DD has lessons. She's 3 and it's the highlight of her week. It's been good discipline for her as she can be a bit wild.

pointythings Tue 17-May-11 21:13:47

I can't remember a period when most parents taught their DCs to swim, but then I grew up in Holland in a part with lots of canals - we had swimming lessons in nursery school once a week, and my mum started us on professional swimming lessons at age 4. We had further lessons at primary school. Teaching swimming is not a simple thing at all, you really need to understand the timing and mechanics of stroke and breathing yourself to be able to pass it on and build a strong, technically competent swimmer. Scrabbling across a pool spluttering really isn't enough if they ever fall in and get into trouble. I stopped too early and as a rsult never had a decent front crawl - until I watched the DCs being taught, saw the explanation of the timing of arm movements/breathing and now I can do it! It really does make a difference...

roundthehouses Tue 17-May-11 21:21:23

i think kids just seem to start younger now. i remember lots of swimming with armbands etc with my parents when i was very little and clearly remember my first swimming classes at about 5yrs.

ds (4) went to a couple of classes when he was about 2 but HATED it so we just dropped it, the following summer he was a bit phobic in the water and wouldn´t let go of dh/my neck whenever we were in the water. Now we take him swimming once a week just to splash about and build his confidence. He is still resolute he doesn´t want lessons, we will put it off until he is 5 unless he shows willing earlier and try again then. in the meantime he wears his goggles and armbands and floats and kicks and we just have fun, everyone´s happy smile

but i don´t think i could teach him to swim properly, no (finally answering the question)

onadietcokebreak Tue 17-May-11 21:21:37

Im trying to get my DS water confident. His Stepdad has been helping with this as he has older children.

I will be signing him up for lessons too. We live by the sea. Its an important life skill to have.

fastedwina Wed 18-May-11 00:41:07

my kids learned to swim at 4yrs and nearly 3yrs and suppose it was a mixture of the 2. Probably helped that we had our own small pool so the kids basically just learned to push off and float to the side. It's the floating that's the hard bit.

muminthecity Wed 18-May-11 01:15:19

I taught my DD to swim last year, when she was 4. She now goes to weekly swimming lessons to brush up her skills, learn proper strokes and hopefully in the future will learn some life saving skills.

HopeForTheBest Wed 18-May-11 14:47:51

I realise that to learn the different techniques and strokes (if that's of interest to you) you'd want to go for lessons, but I'd just assumed that ds would learn to swim with me or dh.

I was slightly amused that it didn't even occur to my friend that this was something she might do herself with her ds: it was find a course or nothing, despite them taking lots of beach holidays and both her and dh being swimmers themselves ie not water phobic etc.

MCos Wed 18-May-11 16:44:20

I was a swim instructor in my younger days. And I sent my two to swim school. Both are strong willed and don't like learning from Mom - they behave much better for their teachers and instructors!
I did have them in the pool frequently from a young age, so they were already confident in the water, and learned very quickly.

MadameCastafiore Wed 18-May-11 16:46:35

No we pay someone to do it as although I can swim and DH is having lessons at the moment I am not confident that I could teach them properly!

I am 36 and I was taught at the local swimming baths by an instructor so it really isn't that unsual.

Wallace Wed 18-May-11 16:51:36

I taught ds1 to swim. Actually he taught himself. I taught dd to swim but then she started lessons.

Ds2 learnt to swim by himself when he had just turned 3. I took him to swimming lessons after that because I didn't know what to do with him next. He spent the next 18 months doing water confidence classes which was not really what he needed!

Bunbaker Wed 18-May-11 16:52:57

I am extremely short sighted and it was far safer to pay a professional with good eyesight to teach DD to swim. I can swim, but my technique is rubbish. Also the teacher is at the side of the pool so she can monitor her technique and give her suggestions on how to improve it.

I think that when they are in a lesson they listen to the teacher and are less likely to mess around. Also when you are in a free session the children are at risk from other children messing around, jumping in, dive bombing etc. I think a formal lesson environment is much safer.

MoreCrackThanHarlem Wed 18-May-11 16:57:05

Dd swam without any tuition.
Just regular trips to the pool, lots of playing, then one day she took her armbands off and could swim.

She had a couple of years of lessons from 7-9 to perfect her strokes.

sittinginthesun Wed 18-May-11 18:17:23

Both in our case - I taught DS1 until he was 5 and half, but we got to a point where I was stuck. He could swim under water, but not above. Started lessons and, after a term, he got it.

DS2 was desperate to be like like his big brother, and started lessons at 3 and a half. He is 4 and a bit, and can swim a width now.

I still take them both myself each week as well.

alarkaspree Wed 18-May-11 18:24:41

I take my dcs swimming a lot and they both picked up staying afloat with me - not really because I 'taught' them though - just from playing in the water. But dd started swimming lessons last September because I wasn't getting anywhere with trying to teach her proper stroke technique. I am a fairly competent swimmer but I a completely useless swimming teacher, it turns out. Ds has just started swimming a few metres by himself and I'll probably leave it a bit longer before he starts lessons, because he's not at all keen at the moment.

HopeForTheBest Wed 18-May-11 18:37:21

Seems to be pretty much half half then!

Wallace Wed 18-May-11 21:39:04

Seems to be quite common for child to learn to float/move through the water by themselves then swimming lessons to reach actual strokes etc.

dixiechick1975 Wed 18-May-11 21:45:25

DD age 5 has a weekly swim lesson but we take her swimming aswell.

I think you could teach them to doggy paddle but recognised strokes would be more difficult and may be hard for them to unlearn bad technique.

eg i wouldn't have attempted to teach DD backstroke. Teacher taught them holding a float, then arms by side, then with one arm (hold float with other) and swap - now a few weeks later a class of 5 yr olds are swimming backstroke better than I can.

The swim teacher told me the National Curriculum requirement is to swim 25m of a recognised stroke. I think schools go in yr 3. She said she gets a lot of parents of 8yr olds ringing up for crash courses as they haven't had lessons and can't meet the requirement.

fluffles Wed 18-May-11 21:51:33

my mum taught me before i went to primary school.. can't remember how young, maybe 3?, we swam every week from when i was a few months old.. but then my mum was a PE teacher before she had me.

i am pretty sporty myself and love the idea of starting my kids off as young as my mum started me (i don't remember ever not being able to swim).

i went to swimming classes then club when i was about 6/7 up to about 12ish and loved it, but i don't swim anymore as i find public pools too chloriney and hot.

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