“How can I help my child stop crying in swim lessons?”

Crying is, by far, the biggest concern parents have regarding swim lessons.

My favorite quote from Becky Bailey (Conscious Discipline) is “What you focus on, you get more of”!

Think back to when you baby was learning to walk. Did you make a big fuss every time he toppled over or did you smile and encourage him to shake it off, get back up and try again 😍👍?

The same is true of swim lessons. We can subconsciously project our own fears and emotions onto our children and shape their attitudes and behaviors by the way we react to a situation.

If you hold him close before the lesson and repeatedly tell him “It’s ok, don’t cry, it will be over soon 😫”, etc and hold him closer every time he cries, he is going to to continue to cry to get that attention and response from you. If you look tense during the lesson and shout things like “Mommy is right here! It’s almost over”, etc, then that reinforces that swim lessons are something negative and scary. If you scoop him up as soon as he gets out and say things like “You’re ALL DONE 😭!, You don’t have to go back in today, It’s all over! Don’t cry 😢”, etc, etc, again, you are accidentally reinforcing the crying and a negative perception of lessons.

You are your child’s biggest cheerleader 🎉and he will be looking to you to see how to react to lessons. Remember that before starting lessons, most children are used to only playing in the water and not having to do any work. Learning to swim is hard work, but they are in good hands, they are safe and they are learning skills that can keep them safe and provide a lifetime of safely enjoying the water 🏊‍♀️!

So stay positive 😀👍before, during and after lessons and discuss any concerns away from your child. Before the lesson, give her a big hug and kiss 😘, tell her to have a great lesson, and hand her to your instructor .

Smile and cheer when she looks at you during the lesson and follow your instructor’s cues to reinforce what is being mastered. Ex: If your instructor says “Good job kicking your feet!”, or “Good job laying your head back in your float!”, cheer them on for these accomplishments! 🥳

When the lesson is over and your child is placed on his towel, copy your instructor and tell him he did a great job (opening his eyes under water, kicking, laying back in the float, or whatever he was working on), dry him off, get him dressed, get a sticker and go about your day 🙂

Verbally reinforce and focus on what is being learned during the lesson (and ignore the crying!), and that is what you’ll get more of! As skills are mastered, crying is replaced with smiles and feelings of accomplishment and soon enough, most kids are crying because they don’t want to get OUT of the pool! ❤️💦

Register Now for Summer 2018 Lessons

Swim Lessons are in full swing!  There is still time to get your child on my schedule and be swimming and floating independently this summer!  Just Complete the “Contact” form above or shoot me an email to ginger@miswimschool.com for more information and to reserve your spot on the schedule.  Space is limited, so be sure to register early!

 

Benefits of Early Swimming Lessons

An Essential Life Skill

Mastering swimming at a young age can benefit a child in many areas throughout life.

Safety

Perhaps the most important reason to teach your child to swim, along with aquatic safety skills, early in life is for safety.

It may seem like common sense, but now a study conducted by America’s National Institute of Health confirms that participating in formal swimming lessons is associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in children aged 1 to 4 years (Archives Paediatric Medicine, Vol 163 No 3, March 2009).

Surrounded by swimming pools, beaches, rivers and lakes, combined with a natural attraction to water, it is just a matter of time before swimming skills are put to the test.

Health

Swimming is considered the ideal activity for developing muscular and skeletal growth by many physicians and pediatricians.

Swimming is unique in that it uses all the body’s major muscle groups, promoting complete development. It enhances flexibility and builds strength.

Swimming develops coordination by requiring combinations of complex movements of all parts of the body, which enhances muscle function, grace and fluidity of movement.

Development of Whole Child

Additional data comes from research at the German Sports College in Cologne. These studies demonstrate that swim lessons for babies and toddlers don’t just save lives but they can accelerate their development physically, intellectually and emotionally. As compared with a control group which did not take year-round lessons, the children who swam consistently from infancy were significantly stronger and more coordinated. The children also scored higher for intelligence and problem-solving, which carried over into excellence in academic achievement. Emotionally, they were found to be more self-disciplined with greater self-control and an increased desire to succeed. They rated higher in self-esteem and were more independent and comfortable in social situations than the control groups.

These are just a few of the many, many benefits of teaching your child to swim and float independently at an early age. Be sure to speak with your friends and family members and read the testimonials of other parents that have experienced these and other amazing benefits after completing lessons at Merritt Island Swim School!