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Thread: 2.5 year olds first swimming lessons. Should we keep going?

  1. #1

    Question 2.5 year olds first swimming lessons. Should we keep going?

    DD's 1st lesson about 4 weeks ago was awesome. She had a good time and I was amazed that she enjoyed it.

    Lesson 2 - she screamed and screamed as I handed her in to the pool. She even had her hands full of my hair, just latching on to anything she could find! She didn't scream throughout the lesson (Thank God!) but was visibly upset and teary and tried to escape a couple of times.



    3rd Lesson - She didn't scream, but was even more upset and still tried to 'escape'.

    Next Lesson, she was sick so we didn't go.

    4th lesson - She cried for the 15 minutes before the lesson and screamed when I went to hand her over, only to be asked by the swim teacher if she was meant to be in her class and to double check at the counter!!! I went to the counter and told them that even if she was meant to be in her lesson (She was) that I wasn't going to go back and put her in after sitting there all that time only to be asked if we were meant to be there!

    They are going to give her 3, one on one lessons now, but I'm still so put off by it all. Should we keep going? There's only 5 more lessons and she hasn't made any progress. When I take her in the pool she kicks like a champion and puts her face in the water, walks around the edge of the pool and can climb out really well.

    Anyone have a similar experience?

  2. #2
    Nin Guest

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    I went through that with my eldest two children and ended up taking them out of lessons. I really wanted them to be confident in water and be able to swim but it wasn't the right time for formal lessons because they were getting so stressed.
    I ended up taking them to the local swimming pool for free swimming play with me. We would both get in and gradually I would get them used to having water over their face and going under etc.
    When they were older and could doggy paddle I then put them back into lessons and they were fine.
    With my youngest we now have our own pool and he is very confident around water. I will wait until he is older before enrolling him in formal lessons though.

  3. #3

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    personally i wouldn't force it. swimming lessons should be for fun at that age imo.

  4. #4

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    Sorry, I am going to against the grain here. I have had Tehya is swimming lessons for months. First of all she did a swim survial class, we started this last year, and even though we went a couple of steps back over the holidays she has finally caught back up and has completed that class.

    It is hard to watch your baby crying in the pool, what is harder is watching her under water, struggling to get to the top, it goes against every thing in me as a mother, I want to jump in and pull her out. Now after these heartbreaking lessons I can see my daughter fall into a pool, face first, fully dressed, with shoes and socks too, turn herself over and float for 15 mintues.

    God forbid that Tehya ever fell into a pool, but I know now that she does have the ability to help herself. Was it worth the lessons of her crying and vomiting. Yes, it sure was. Far better a screaming child on top of the water than a quiet, still child on the bottom of the pool.

    Tehya has now graduated that class and this week will start a swimming class. I should add though that all of these classes have been one on one. If your daughter is really scared perhaps this is the way to go. Also be sure to take her to the pool for a swim in between lessons.

  5. #5

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    Both my boys started lessons at 3 months and I'm really glad we started early as they have loved it from day one. Jack is now very competent in the water at just 2. I think it's harder for them when they start older.

    I second what Trish said about the one on one lessons. I'd try this first before giving up. If she is still distressed then I think maybe stop for a term or two but make sure you take her swimming lots of times and get her used to it. Then try the lessons again. I totally agree with Trish that water saftety is just too important.

  6. #6

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    I totally agree with Nin. I wouldn't force it. We started Luke at 6 months and he loved it. By 3years old he hated it and used to cry before each lesson. At this stage he is not suited to the stuctured lesson with other kids (In a swimming pool setting). He has stopped going now. If we take him to the pool just with ourselves he is confident and loves getting in the water. Some kids love the lessons and others don't. But at that age I wouldn't push it. We pushed Luke and it really didn't work and caused him and us both a lot of stress. I would wait until she understands why she is there a bit better.

  7. #7

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    I don't think I would force it. If she happy with just you then maybe you could get in with her or just take her to the local pool on her own.. My 2nd son was a water baby till he fell in some water early last year and it is only now that he will get into the pool without any encouragement. I used to try and force it and he would scream and scream but I then left it and a few weeks ago he even let me put him under the water

  8. #8

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    I think that in Australia so much of our recreation is near water that it's really important that children can swim. Maybe for a couple of lessons you could hop in with her so that she's near you. Yasin is a similar age to your DD and we still do parent and infant lessons together, they don't graduate them to solo lessons until they think that the child is ready regardless of age. Maybe you could book into infant and parent lessons instead of solo ones until she's ready. TBH I think that 2.5 is really young to expect a child to do solo lessons unless they have been swimming for a long time like Teyha has. Yasin has been doing lessons since he was 6 months (with a break last winter) and he's still not ready to go it alone.

  9. #9

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    Ella, I didn't start my DD in lessons until she was almost 4 i think? Though I do wish I had started her earlier.. Lessons are for 30 mins and DD would scream and cry for the whole 30 minutes!

    It broke my heart, and made me frustrated at the same time. Week after week she would scream. This went on for probably 7 or 8 weeks, out of a 10 week term, until she finally began to settle down in class.

    Then we had winter, so no swimming. When we started back up in summer she had a couple of weeks were she was upset, but not as bad as the previous term.

    Are you able to get a different swim instructor? Maybe a day or time where DH can go with you as well. Although my DD is a bit older than yours, she absolutely lives for the days that DH can go and watch her swim.

    Nic

  10. #10

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    I agree with Trish - i would continue the lessons, but like someone else said, maybe one-one one.
    Both my girls started at 6 months. My eldest, whom is 3.5 years, still attends. We've had a backward step of late - in November she went in my sisters pool, and went underwater ( 3 adults in the pool, me watching on sideline, i cannot believe how fast it happens), anyway, its really effected her. She would scream and cry at her swimming lessons, moving back into the 2 year old class (when she was 3) and having floaties back on (major backward step). She was petrified of the water. Im lucky in that the teacher is well taught and really cares about her students, she offered one-on-one classes with my DD each friday arvo. I took her up on it. Its been 6 weeks now.
    We went swimming today and she swam across the pool (side to side) with no floaties, blowing bubbles and kicking her legs.
    I cannot tell you how happy it made me - i actually had tears in my eyes. Its so hard seeing them cry and scream out "mummy....mummy, get me out". But honestly, it will reward itself.
    Can you take her to a public pool and pop in with her, take her around the pool ? Show her that you can have fun in the water, it doesnt have to relate to tears all the time.

    Good luck hun....

  11. #11

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    Thanks ladies. I have been off line, so haven't been able to respond.

    We have a one on one lesson tomorrow, so I'm hoping it will go a little better. (If not a lot better!) It all depends on tomorrow's lesson, as to what we will do next. If I had have known what I know now, I possibly would have left it until she turned 3. In saying that though, my Mum has a pool at her place and Mum looks after her while I am at work on the weekends, so that has been the driving force of getting the lessons. (Me being worried about the pool)

    Will let you know what happens!

    Thanks again.

  12. #12

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    Hi Ella's Mum

    Yes, keep going. I was a swim teacher for 3-5 years olds for 5 years while I was at uni and the best thing I can suggest is for you to drop her off and leave the pool so she cant see you (even if you go and sit in your car and read a book or something). She is only screaming because she wants you to remove her from the situation. If you're not there, she should settle down very quickly. I have seen this over and over again. I'm suprised the teacher hasnt suggetsed this already .....

    Good luck with her swimming.

  13. #13

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    Hope all goes well today

    Nic

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    ellas mum its hard to watch your little one be so upset but i can tell you that it does get better ive been teaching kids to swim for few years nows and i see alot of kids scared thats ok maybe changing to class where you can get in with her and over time gradully move yourself out of the pool to the top step then sitting beside side of the pool ect this is a slow process but it works, 2.5 in young to be in a pool by herself if she has no previous swimming lessons. What time of day does she go is she tired ? does she like the teacher? swimming is very important for life saving and enjoy ment i would continue with it just make few changes to make it a happy time if the place of bussisness wont accomidate you and ella go elsewhere.
    kittykat

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    Is there a class you can go to where you can participate?. Kaitlyns swim class is with parents and I think that makes her feel more comfortable .

  16. #16

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    Thanks ladies!

    The one on one lesson went really well. She carried on when I handed her over, but it didn't take long and she was a lot happier. Once she went under the first time, she seemed to relax a bit more. I think that was a big fear (Apart from being with a stranger) the head under water bit.

    I'm hoping things will only get better from here. Hoping and praying!

  17. #17

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    Good to hear. So glad its going well - well an improvement anyway.

    My DD has a problem with goggles ATM - anyone whom wears goggles in the water she screams at (incl her teacher) and says they look like a monstor....its amazing how there little minds work.

    No doubt in a few months your DD with be over her fear of going underwater, and my DD will have realised monstors dont wear goggles....LOL.

  18. #18

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    Glad to hear all went well i hope things get alot better.
    kittykat

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