As parents we want our children to enjoy extracurriculars, but sometimes new activities don’t always seem successful. It takes a lot of courage to take the first plunge and learn to swim, and with that sometimes there are tears.
When first exposed to swimming lessons, children are dealing with a completely new and seemingly frightening situation. So Mom and Dad, don’t fret if the tears start to fall. Your child is in the hands of professional instructors who understand your child’s tears.
Crying is only temporary and usually only lasts for two to four sessions. Your child will not be harmed in any way or disliked for what may seem like a lack of cooperation. We are all here to help our new friends cope with this new experience through patience and care. As parents, you can help in many ways that will reassure your child and speed the learning process:
- Becoming overly anxious or concerned about your child’s crying may be interpreted by your child as a way to get extra attention from you, or a lack of faith in your their ability to handle this new experience. Realize that our instructors know that your child will eventually learn that swimming and the water are fun. They respect your child as an individual and know what his or her capabilities are.
- After the lesson, don’t punish, criticize or try to force your child to stop crying. Act positive about the learning experience and pay very little attention to their crying.
- When your child returns home to a secure surrounding and the crying episode is mentioned, say as little as possible. Try to impress upon your child that he or she is learning something new that is very valuable and fun.
- Lastly, don’t expect too much from your child in the beginning. Remember, learning is a continuing process, so be encouraged by any improvement.
The most important thing is to remember that our instructors enjoy teaching your children to swim, so relax. We’ve encountered all behaviors from all ages and each individual response is normal and temporary. Through your confidence in them and positive attitude toward lessons, you will be helping your child adapt to this new experience and enjoy learning to swim.