Giving your children a swimming skill is one of the most important parenting checklist item that have to be ticked by all means, all parents. It gives your children the skill for life, confidence, happiness and for some , could be the lucrative career and fame. But all of those need to be started as something fun for the children. The children should be the focus, not the parent. Let us see why it better to be like that.
My daughter has just finish her usual weekly swimming lesson in our local suburban swimming pool. And as usual she will play around the pools just to splash and giggles for some times. This time is quite special as all of us , including my wife and my 1 year old also join for a bit of wet. But what happen next is quite disturbing.
On the other pool where the lesson is conducted, there were 2 screaming and crying children, maybe around 5 and 3 years old. Obviously, quite new as we hardly see them before. Together with them are the older brother inside the pool and a older man that I assume to be their father.
From my judgment, it looks like the father is not familiar with the water (cannot swim?) as he act awkwardly around the pool. He was busy giving command to the older brother to calm the younger brothers. He has strap both the youngster with some floating device on both arm and at one point literally throw one of his young into the water. As natural as he was, he also try to shush both the youngs with some body language and command
The father obviously knows that the young children will have some difficulties with the lesson as that’s why he bring the aider to be wet inside the pool, isn’t he?
I do have the sympathy to the instructor which I know as well as he taught my daughter. I can hear repeatedly he said “It’s not going to work” – but since the father is pretty insistent , I guess to avoid heavy confrontation he also becoming busy to calm both boys down.
So, for at least half hour before I leave, the 2 young children was constantly crying and screaming. It’s not really whining cry, but it’s frantic and terrifying cries. Is this how we give a swimming lesson? It’s totally not cool !
It’s Supposed To Be Fun !
I know first hand that sometime children doesn’t want to do something that it is actually important, including swimming lesson. And I also acknowledge that different kid will have some different tolerance and opinion about water. But swimming is suppose to be fun ! Not traumatic experience.
For those who got problem introducing water to their children, how about start it with playing in a well theme aquatic park like Sydney Olympic Park’s Aquatic center. With herding instinct among human, especially looking at other children have a laugh, giggle and have a great fun, most children will not be taken too much time to get wet. Of course, if possible have the closest person accompany them (maybe father, mother or grandma, perhaps?). Take them several time there, have great fun and finally ask “You want to learn to swim?”
If you start with fun, although I cannot really guarantee 100% success giving the childresn a swimming lesson, but I can bet the situation will be much much better than the lunatic father describe above.
Remember, child age is sensitive age. Giving them traumatic experience, and they will remember it for the rest of their life.
Have fun with your children in the water !