05 May What To Do If Your Child Cries During Swimming?
Swimming should be an enjoyable experience for both parents and children and no child should be placed in a stressful or intimidating environment while learning to swim. At Super Swimmies, we believe that by aggressively forcing children to learn to swim while they are crying will not only backfire the good intentions, but also kill the interest for the child towards swimming.
We understand that many parents will worry about their child crying during swim classes. In fact, it is also quite normal that you would consider putting off swimming classes for them until they are much older. However, in this article, we would like to assure you that if you persevere and place them in a loving and understanding environment, responding to their cues and requests to make them feel comfortable, your child will be swimming happily and confidently very quickly.
Preventing fear for water
As your child grows, they develop their own opinions and ideas. Sometimes, post-experiences also make them develop a certain fear – fear of insects, animals.. and in this case water. Very often, children develop a fear for water because they did not have an early exposure. Other reasons include parents using scare tactics to instil fear in the child.
Try to avoid threats like, “You will fall into the water and drown!” or “The swimming pool is very dangerous!”
Instead, instil positive ideas such as, “You will be safe when you are with daddy/mummy, don’t worry. You can’t go into the pool yourself now as you are too young. When you are older and can swim better, you can then go in on your own.”
Other reasons children cry and how to avoid them
Sometimes, children cry simply because they are not in the mood to participate. It could be due to:
*A long break from the usual swimming class
*They did not have sufficient rest the day before
*The class is too early/late
*They are hungry
*Getting pulled away from their usual favourite activity (e.g. if they have a favourite cartoon screening at 10AM, try to arrange for a class before or after the programme, so that they do not feel like they are sacrificing something that they love for something new)
If you have a scared or uncooperative child, do remember not to force or hurry them. Instead, look out for these possible problems that are causing these breakdowns and try to work around it. By forcing them, it will only make it more difficult the next time you try to bring them to the pool.
Tips for a successful lesson
*Arrive early so that your child can warm up to the surroundings and also watch how other children are enjoying their classes
*Ensure that your child is well-rested and had a light meal so that he is not hungry
*Use positive words to encourage your child – “good job!” / “wow, I see that you’ve improved!” / “good work, you are doing your best, aren’t you?”