Some kids never cry. You know the ones I mean. These are the babies that have never met a stranger. As toddlers they launch into new activities with enthusiasm. They sleep through the night at birth. If you’re lucky enough to have such a child as this, well, good for you. This article is for the rest of us, because when starting swim lessons a solid percentage of young kids are going to wail their heads off. It’s nothing personal, just biology, really. Babies and toddlers are hardwired to communicate by crying. What they are really saying is a salty version of, “No, I’d really rather not go with that stranger in the big bathtub.” We understand, kid, but we’d really rather you didn’t take a header into a pool and not be able to save yourself.
Our experienced ASC instructors have a few things we wish every parent bringing their child to swim lessons for the first time knew. Over the next four weeks we’re going to lay it out for you. Here’s the first thing you need to remember:
Stick It Out. Three lessons is the average amount of time it takes for the instructor to stop being a stranger and a bond to develop. For many kids, the first swim lesson is his first experience with being entrusted to a teacher without Mom or Dad present. A child may also protest for the first few lessons strictly on principle; an automatic, knee-jerk “NO” to anything new. If you haven’t experienced this colorful bit of toddler behavior yet, wait – you can count on it making periodic appearances at the family dinner table. (“It’s disgusting! I hate it!”; “What do you mean? You’ve never had it before!” But I digress. . .) In any event, give it three lessons. If you still don’t see any hope of your child ever enjoying himself, or at least quietly resigning himself to the inevitable, talk it over with your instructor and the office staff. There are other options you can explore in your quest for a watersmart kid.
Come back next week when we Keep Calm and Carry On.