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21. My child cries for the entire lesson. Should I take her/him out of the pool? Should I discontinue lessons until he/she is older?

Separation anxiety and fear of the water are two of the most common reasons for crying during lessons.  Typically crying will stop by the 4th lesson when a child develops a bond of trust and confidence with her instructor.  Sometimes it takes longer and it is important to remember that each child progresses at a different pace.  Stay calm and reassuring when you bring your child to the instructor, then leave to watch from the viewing area.  We recommend that you do not pull your child out of the pool halfway through the lesson.  This only reinforces the crying behavior and makes the next lesson that much more difficult.  Stopping lessons all together can be even more detrimental because it allows time for the child’s fears to grow even stronger.   Talk to your child’s instructor, the deck supervisor or the office staff if crying persists longer than you are comfortable with.  Over the years we’ve developed a number of ideas to help children feel at ease in the water and, together, we will find a way to overcome your child’s anxiety.  Often, the loudest criers grow to enjoy swimming the most!

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