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3 year olds and "unaccompanied&
Hi, I've got 2.8 yo twins and I've noticed that for swimming classes, ski school, ballet etc, the earliest age for "unaccompanied" lessons (parent sits on the side/parent not present) is already 3. The thought that my two small bundles of chaos are going to transform into two reasonable children whom I can entrust to a swimming teacher for half an hour seems ridiculously optimistic. And yet I remember being 3, and my memory of that is that I was quite reasonable and could have gone at least in a dance class on my own.
So my question to you, dear mumsnetters, is: what age were your children when you felt able to let them go into an unaccompanied class or "sit on the side" and not have to intervene?
DD went into swim classes with an instructor from 2.10. We were both bored of the parent and baby classes.
She was fine initially, then cried for a couple of lessons and we had to take her out of the pool. Then suddenly she adapted and is now absolutely loving it and it's brilliant not having to get in the water as well
All the unaccompanied swimming classes start around 3. Ds1 was about 2.9 when his teacher said he would be moving up in the September when he turned 3 I was sceptical but he was absolutely fine. The teachers are well able to handle them and none of it is beyond what they are capable of.
DS1 started unaccompanied swimming lessons about 6 weeks after his 3rd birthday. His lessons with me or DH in the pool weren't getting anywhere and just ended up with everyone getting cross with each other. On his first unaccompanied lesson (with a different swim school) he cried for about the first 5 minutes, but now loves them.
We have a great teacher and I think that for him at least he is more likely to do what he's asked by another adult rather than me or DH (in a swimming context) I like the fact that I'm not in the pool and have no control, as in his previous lessons it felt like I was doing something wrong when he was uncooperative. It's also made our family leisure swimming more enjoyable as he has grown in confidence.
I think a lot depends on a child's maturity whether they can cope with an unaccompanied class at the age of three. Most children are ready at three years old, but children do vary in their development. Most private classes insist the child is reliably toilet trained. I realise it is not pc to suggest that a child who still needs nappies is unlikely to have the independence skills to cope with a formal class.
Please don't worry that your twins seem nowhere ready at the moment. Children can change a lot in 4 months. Have your children started nursery yet? If you think back to what your children were like this time last year and realise they will change just as much in the next twelve months.
Oh that's all quite encouraging! I think we might start with a dance class, they'd probably love that.
Oh imagine having some free time on the weekend... at the moment it's me, DH and the two of them down the soft play Saturday and Sunday. So much energy to burn off but we have to supervise constantly as it's very busy. It would be so ace to just be able to have one of us sit in with them while the other gets the shopping in...
My 2 year old just moved from parent-baby swimming class to unaccompanied class. Before the transfer to a new class, they had few lessons, where parents were in and out of pool. It is actually amazing how quickly they "got it", e.g. stopped jumping into deep water from the platform if parent is not nearby. They behave much more sensibly when left alone with the teacher. It takes few lessons to adjust though, but afterwards they just get the new rules. It is obviously depends on a child as well, but in our pool all children progress to unaccompanied classes at 2 (there are 3 children per teacher).
3 for various things incl swimming. Do you really go soft play every Sat & Sun?!
DS (now 5) was always the child, in "mum and toddler" classes that was trying to do just about anything other than what he was supposed to... Was often a bit stressful...
However, you will be surprised at how they can "rise to the occasion" when thy move up to the "unaccompanied" classes (even the heavily independent, distracted ones like my DS). Sometimes they mess the instructor around less than their parent...
Sometimes there is a period of "adjustment", but they do adjust and everything is good and you get a break too
My daughter has been doing ballet class while I sit in the other room since 2.5 years. She is almost 3 now and also has done private swim lessons with out me and gymnastics. Of course I am always watching from a distance. It works better when she does not see me. She loves going to all her classes and does really well. The first time for ballet and gymnastics when I sat in the room...she kept wanting to stop and give me a hug....so I got like twenty hugs during the class! It was cute and made me laugh...but the next class I sat in different room and let her do her own thing and she forgot about me
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