This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Swimming lesson nervousness!(13 Posts)
DD is five and just started swimming lessons. Due to Covid, parents had to be in the pool for the first set of ten lessons we did. They've now changed this and gone back to normal, with two/three teachers (depending on numbers) in the water and parents at the side. She's did not cope well with this! She's a fairly shy child, takes time to get used to new situations, and obviously liked the reassurance of having me close. We've had a LOT of worry and upset over the past week about not wanting to do it without me (anticipation of things she's nervous about is a big thing too).
I don't really know how to play it. I want her to learn to swim properly, she's confident in the water and ready for it in that sense. Any swimming lessons at this point are going to be parents on the side. Also, I've paid for ten sodding lessons do I want to at least try and coach her through it! I just don't know how to make it easier for her or alleviate the worry. I don't want it to be something she dreads every week! I've told her for now I want to do two more to see if she gets used to it/we can think of ways to make it easier. But other than really hoping she magically makes a friend there - not sure how to approach it!
*so I want to at least try...
a couple 121 lessons with you in the pool at first and the backing off? Share a lesson with a friend? Or maybe you guys couple watch another lesson before hers so she has an idea of how it will go?
Could you try and arrange a coffee date with one or two of the other parents and kids from the class so she can make friends? A few of us from DD swim class go for coffee after their lessons (she's 1 so it's a morning class) and it's really helped the kids bond and they get a chance to play together.
Do you have a friend or family member who could take her to a local swimming pool occasionally so she's got chance to be in the water without you?
Other than that I think it's just gonna take time :/ I was the same as a kid, eventually I got used to it and went on to compete nationally! good luck though!
If we could get a friend into these classes it would be amazing! But there's a bit of a waiting list, so it would be tricky even if I knew of someone nearby looking to start. I'm not sure more time with me in the pool would help. We had that, and it's what she wants back - just doing more of it isn't going to make the eventual transition any easier. Watching an earlier class may help - but I think it could easily go the other way and she just has time to work herself into a state before she has to get in. Feels risky, but then again the setting of expectations does generally help!
Has she had just time in the pool before ? I took my shy/nervous son just to play in the pool a couple of times a week before lessons started back up again. No pressure just playing with me in the water. He got his confidence moving around in the water and got familiar with all the sensations being in the pool so when it came to lessons again he had no concerns and was fine with me being on the side.
More good suggestions! It's older kids so it's very much in and out with not much chitchat among parents - I think it's probably more social with babies - but if I could even get a name of a kid and a few friendly words then it might be enough to feel like she was going in 'with' someone. I think she'd be fine with someone else in the water with her - but the leap to a class would be just as big from there.
I honestly think she will get used to it in a few weeks - but I don't know how to get her through those weeks without nightly tears! It's probably more of an anxiety management problem than specifically swimming. She seems to be a bit of a worrier, poor kid.
Mol - yes, she's more than happy in the water. She just isn't quite on board with heading into a pool with unfamiliar teachers and kids without me there.
I'm having exactly the same with DS aged just 6. Following
Can you bribe with the promise of sweets afterwards?
Tried it fruitpastille - not even the offer of a Peppa Pig magazine dialled things down!
Is it the separating from you that's a problem, or is she upset all through her lesson? I'm just wondering if she would be better if you weren't watching/she couldn't see you?
It was all through. I could see she was getting a bit wibbly - poor kid! I think that's another strategy that could go either way. She might be better if she couldn't see me, but I suspect she's getting a little bit of reassurance from proximity and might be worse!