We see it all the time. Your little one comes to swim lessons and clings to you as the teacher pries them away and takes them into the swimming pool. Then, they have a tough time during the lesson and may even cry for the duration of it.
It is extremely difficult as a parent to watch your little one cry during lessons, even if you know they are learning a lifesaving skill! Many times we tell parents to stick with it. It usually gets better after three lessons or so.
If your child has been in swim lessons for over a month and is still having a hard time, there may be some additional steps we can take together to help them become more comfortable in the water.
Here are some things that may be affecting your child’s success in swim lessons. Before you throw in the towel altogether, consider these factors.
The time spot isn’t working
If your child has lessons at the end of a long school day, or during nap time, they might not be able to give it their best effort! If the pool is really busy at a certain time, they might need a more quiet environment in order to focus. If you think this might be the issue, talk with us in the office so we can try and find you a different swim time.
You’re doing too many other activities
If your kids are involved in sports, swimming, gymnastics, and other activities, it could just be too much for them! Look at all the activities and choose one or two for them to focus on. These activities take a lot of mental and physical energy from kids. Swim lessons are a lifesaving activity, so we recommend prioritizing them first!
Your child isn’t clicking with the instructor
All of our staff goes through the same training but some kids just click better with certain personalities. We have a range of staff members, including those with more tender, nurturing personalities, and those who are better at pushing kids who need a little more of a firm hand. If you think your child might do better with a different instructor, talk with us and we can help find you the right fit.
They just went through a big transition
Did you have a new baby or recently move? Transitions like these could affect your little one’s swim lessons. Keep things as normal as possible during transitions so that your little one doesn’t feel overwhelmed. If you’re already in lessons, keep coming and your little one will adjust!
If none of the above seem to be a hindrance, then keep encouraging your child in swim lessons. There are things you can do at home to ease their nerves. Also, talk with their swim instructor! They may have some insight into why your child is having a tough time or how to help overcome it.
One thing to keep in mind is that even though your child is crying in swim lessons, they are still learning. We have heard numerous stories from parents who said their child cried throughout lessons and didn’t demonstrate the swim skills. Later, their child fell into a pool or slipped into one unknowingly, and was able to climb out or roll over to their back! We are so thankful for stories like that and never want to hear one of our swim families experiencing the outcome any other way.
Some of our favorite stories come from parents whose child had a tough time in the beginning, but they pushed through, and now their child enjoys coming to swim lessons and is learning valuable safety skills and enjoys swimming! We know it can work for your child too, so let’s figure out how to make it happen together!