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Swim lessons can be terrifying for kids who haven’t done them before, so here are some tips to get through them!
My husband is an excellent swimmer, however, so he has expectations for our kids. My only expectations are that they learn how to swim so one day (probably many, many years from now) I might actually be able to “lounge” in a lounge chair at the pool.
My three-year-old and five-year-old are now on their second round of swim lessons for this summer.
Here are some tips I’ve come across to help you survive swim lessons.
7 Tips to Survive Swim Lessons
1. Take them to the pool beforehand. Meet the swim instructor if possible. It’s always comforting to “see” where you’re going to be if it’s an event you are dreading. It’s the same principle behind bringing kids to meet their kindergarten teacher before the first day of school. Let them see the pool and have some fun in it. Create a positive association with it.
2. Leave little ones at home or bring a mother’s helper (or a stroller). I dragged my toddler to every swim lesson during the first two-week session and it was a nightmare. He missed his morning nap each day, plus all he wanted to do was get out of his stroller and get into the pool. I learned my lesson this time, though, and now I leave him home.
3. Bring something to entertain other kids. Along those lines, if you have other kids who will be hanging around with you during the lessons, make sure you bring snacks or something to entertain them. It’s hot out, it’s probably boring for them, plus your attention may be on your kids who are doing the lessons.
4. Read a book. If your kids are really nervous about starting swim lessons, try reading a book about the topic. Sally Loves…to Swim! is the motivating story of a young girl who wants to compete in a triathlon. Maisy Learns to Swim and Leo Can Swim will also help nervous youngsters prepare for their first-ever swim lessons.
5. Promise a reward. We’re still allowed to use bribes, right? I don’t see anything wrong with promising a cookie if your child participates in the lesson, or you can even make it a bigger reward and give it to your child at the end of all the lessons. Bribes definitely work in my house!
6. Stay close by for reassurance. Your child may feel uncomfortable and scared in the water. Stay where he can see you, but far enough away so that you’re not interfering.
7. Explain why swim lessons are important. There are perks, too! Your kids should know that swim lessons aren’t a punishment– they are a necessary part of summer so that you can be safe. But also, knowing how to swim is your ticket into the deep end, off the diving board, and down the big slides!
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