Swimming Lessons should be a fun experience for your child. While they might stress out at first, this is part of the learning and isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You want your child to not only be able to enjoy the water, but also understand its dangers.
If you have been following for awhile you will know why we chose to teach our child to swim and how it has created a bonding experience for both of us, if not see Swimming Lessons. If you have then welcome to Part 2 – current situation.
Slowly Getting Better
It has been a slow process I feel like we are finally getting somewhere. Our son is starting to pick up on the actions and match them to the instructions we give him. He is learning something! If I’m honest for awhile there I thought he was never going to get any better.
Do we kick our legs every time we are asked? No, but we do kick them from time to time which means we are getting used to the action.
Do we hold our breath when we go under the water? Sometimes yes, others we forget and come up coughing and spluttering.
Can we lie still and float on our back? Yes, actually we do this every time we need to (take the little wins where you can).
While he won’t win any races anytime soon, it is nice to see progress. As a Dad you want your child to be the best and you try everything you can to get the most out of them. Weeks and Weeks of following the same routine did work out in the end! I think the main part of it boiled down to your child being comfortable in the water, which leads me to. . .
No one told me this at the start but this needs to come before any real skill development. If your child is stressed out even just being near the water then there is no way they are going to focus enough to learn anything from you. The old ‘Sink or Swim’ (Dad Joke!) piece isn’t going to work here. As a toddler your child still looks towards you as a parent for comfort, especially when distraught. This is where you need to spend the time building that confidence in the water.
Now no doubt some of you are going to argue that isn’t it better that your child is at least a little afraid of the pool, if they’re afraid then they won’t go near it which reduces the chance of drowning. While there is some logic to your response, one day your child is going to be curious enough to go near the pool, if something happens and they fall in, wouldn’t it be best if they have some sort of skills in the water?
Ultimately you need to think back to why are we trying to build this confidence, that’s right as part of swimming lessons. Its not like we are just going to get them interested in the water and then take it away without giving them the skills to survive.
Are the lessons going to continue? absolutely! now that we are seeing progress we know he is learning in this environment so its not a complete waste. While we aren’t going to push him into becoming an elite swimmer (although we would be pretty damn proud), we do want his confidence to continue to build and his skills grow so not only can he survive in the water but can enjoy it as well.
What about outside the pool? we have enjoyed the beach on multiple occasions. The water is a lot colder then we are used to (that goes for both of us). Living Down Under means the beach is going to be in the majority of our lives so we will definitely return, but for now we are almost in winter so that’s a few months away.
Until then the lessons must go on