Swimming Lesson Horrors

7 Replies
joey - July 26

my little boy will be 2 this week and missed a term of swimming lessons. He has been back for 10 weeks now and does NOT want to join in and swim with the floaties on. He is perfectly happy to be in the water and frolick around playing with the toys etc but as soon as there is something instructed which he needs to participate in (eg learning to actually swim and not cling to daddy in the water) he will NOT do it. He is usually such a good boy and i feel he is distracting the class and not progressing...it is m aking me feel like giving up- which i know isn't an option... he knows the other kids in the class very well and the teacher is lovely... anyone else been through this? any advice would be much appreciated...we just don't want to push him too much because it causes such loud screams!!!


joey - July 26

...also he is perfectly happy to swim with the floaties when we aren't at lessons (on holidays for example) but then when it goes to lesson time he just will not do it...he turns into a different person!!! feeling very frustrated!!!


in the woods - July 26

Sounds just like my son, who is 3.5. Happy to splash in the water but does not like listening to the instructor. And you know what - that's OK!!! my son is still small, still a toddler. 2 years old - you don't ask too much from them. The point of swimming lessons at this age is to just get comfortable in water! - which your son is doing just fine. To have an a___logy with school, even 5 year olds can be too bored to belistening to the teacher, that's why they call it Kindergarden, not quite school, to give them a whole year to get used to structured learning. You are expecting too much from a 2 year old, or you looking at over-docile children in your cla__s. Your boy must be more rumbunctious and adventureous, and he will learn at his own time. Let him play in the water with whatever he wants to, he's doing his part - he's having FUN in the pool.


joey - July 26

thanks, but i have a pool at home which he could have fun in...the purpose of us taking him is so that he slowly progresses into swimming without floating devices- which is for safety not so that he is an olympic swimmer. I don't expect too much from him...he does the lessons with his friends who are all almost swimming without bubbles...i just wondered if anyone had any advice? He is already comfortable with the water but i don't see the point of paying out all this money if he just disrupts the cla__s and isn't learning...i HOPE it will happen eventually...but wondered if anyones child has progressed from this to embracing the lessons and if they had any pointers to give me...


in the woods - July 27

I may be not helping you with "how to make my son listen", but I'm trying to help you to accept that our children may not be what we expect of them. I am a person who listened to all the teachers, and seeing my children being the disruptors of organized activities was a shock and something to learn to live with. My daughter constantly disrupted - ballet cla__ses, circle times, she was the monkey who wanted to have fun. What happened - she grew up, she's 5, and her natural curiosity makes her to sponge in all new info - she listens to instructors now, and swims about 20 yards by herself. My son, I'm afraid, will always dislike teaching. He's OK one on one with a teacher, with the undivided attention, but goes away doing his own business when there's a group. I know all those stares from other moms and some teachers lose patience, too. I am learning to value my son for what he is, and respect his own pace of learning, instead of getting uptight and upset with him. He will not like school, neither, just like his dad didn't. Will I have to go through being miserable for 10 years, being disappointed with my son? I don't think so. I will embarace what he's interested in - even if it isn't science or other smart things. That's a shot too far, but getting back, I'm applying the same philosophy to my son's current swimming lessons - there is no way you can coerce a 2-3 year old into something without making him miserable, and who wins then? I just let it be. Over the 2 week recent swimming session, he got over his fear of the "blue" (deep) section of the swimming pool - when all the kids hold onto a big floatie, and the instructor drags it over the deep end. Small, slow steps. If my son learns to swim by 6-7 years old, that's OK. Yes, it's a lot of money to spend, but the kid is more important.


in the woods - July 27

oops... my daughter doesn't swim 20 yards, only 20 feet. I wish!


luvmybaby1 - August 28

YES! We went through that same situation this summer in our lessons. Eventually we stopped the lessons (I dont want to call it giving up) so that my son didnt develop a hatred of the water. We are going to try again next summer and practice what the instructor told us until then. Best of luck!!


kimberly - August 29

I do agree that it is hard to make a 2 year old do something they don't want to do. You will be fighting a losing battle. I do understand that because you have a pool at home, he needs to be able to swim, but somethings can't be forced. However I would continue to try, rather that be at swim lessons or at home in your pool. Neither of my boys have had swim lessons and they both swim really well and did by age 4. I always just taught them myself, it wouldn't be a bad thing if you had to give up the lessons. You can always continue the lessons at home if you like. Also, sometimes it just takes a while for them to get use to something, he may just need a little more time with his lessons. I bet if you keep up with it he will learn to like it.



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