Active Swim Tips For First Lesson

What to do when your child starts crying in a swimming lesson?

At Active Swim we constantly train and develop our teachers teaching skills in all our venues, Rickmansworth School (Rickmansworth), Queen Elizabeth Boys School (Barnet), Millbrook Combine School and Royal Grammar School (High Wycombe).

Therefore all Active Swim teachers are experts in how to deal with a child who start crying in the water.  However, there is a long list of things parents can do to help their crying child and the swim program they are at.

We are going to first go through what a parent should do to keep their child from crying or reduce the tear time to a minimum.

To prevent children crying at swim lessons:

• Mentally prepare your child for the swimming experience.

When you sign up for swim lessons inform your child that they will be participating in swim lessons. Let them know in clear terms that they will be at class once a week for 30 minutes, and that they will learn how to go underwater like you do in the bathtub or shower, and will practice moving through the water safely.

Remind your child that there will be other people in the class with them and that a swim instructor will help them learn how to swim and keep them safe

• Visit the pool before swim lessons.

The fact that your child see the swimming pool and other children learning to swim in a safe and fun environment will automatically make your child feel comfortable.  Seeing other children of similar age and ability will even increase your child interest in joining the lessons.

• Do everything you can to spend some time together at your local swimming pool. The best idea is to get in the water with your child and walk them through getting in the water from the side with assistance and blowing bubbles. Play games together and do your best to laugh, have fun, and be positive. We want to create a positive association with the water and swimming environment.

When your child comes to the swim lesson they would already have a positive and happy association with the water and swimming environment. Beyond reacting to tears this one thing will require a little bit of your free time and will prevent the majority of children from crying.

• Constantly offer support and encouragement in the days before the lessons, immediately before the class at the pool, and after a lesson.

During the lesson try to have minimum eye contact with your child, this will help the teacher to build a rapport with your child.  If you have constant eye contact with them then your child will not listen or pay attention to the teacher.  As a result the lesson will not be effective as the child entire attention will be towards the parents not the teacher. This can be the hardest part for parents but it really does work.  The moment your child do not receive much vibes from you, they will automatically start to listen to the teacher and soon you will see a smile on your child face as they start to communicate.

Parents are the choreographers of their children’s emotional state. You should present a positive welcoming and happy outward demeanour when you are describing swimming and swim lessons. Tell your child how much fun they are going to have at the pool. Remind them about the fun things that you did together at the pool when you went swimming before the lessons. Your goal should be to boost their confidence and load them with positivity and excitement for the coming lesson where they will learn new and wonderful things in the water.

Do your best to lace your language with positive words and actions. Give hugs, kisses, encouragement, and present a reassuring confident body language to convey confidence and certainty to your child.