swimming boy
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Do parents need to be able to swim for baby swimming lessons

Swimming’s a funny thing.  Some people love it, some can swim purely for the safety aspect, others hate it.  Some find it really easy, others are scared of water despite never having had a problem in the water.

I’m on the side of ‘love swimming, can do it well enough, enjoy doing lengths when I get into the habit’.  But swimming is definitely an activity I want N to be able to do from both the safety aspect and the fun side.  Surely summer holidays have to include splashing and playing confidently in the pool.

To me it seems madness that children end up leaving primary school unable to swim.  It was something we didn’t even think about when we were kids.  You just went to swimming lessons at school and that was that.  But if there’s no opportunity at school, and parents aren’t confident in the water themselves, it’s understandable that children might not have the chance to learn something that most of us assume is obvious.  You also have the whole time issue.  I know when our swimming lessons are off for the school holidays, I say we’ll go each week still, but everything gets in the way, and we don’t.

Some parents who aren’t keen on water worry about starting their children swimming when they have to go in the pool with them.  From what I’ve seen at Water Babies lessons, it’s not really an issue like parents think it will be.

In babies classes, we were only ever in the shallow end.  The most challenging part would be doing a glide holding your child, from the side of the pool underwater.  That is pretty difficult to do, but if the parent wasn’t sure, then the teacher was able to help.  For underwater activities, parents could always wear goggles.

In toddler classes it obviously gets more advanced, but even so, there’s not that much swimming needed by the adults.  We do head down to the deep end with the toddlers swimming on their woggles.  I tend to scull down, but there’s the option to take an extra woggle or float for the parents.  It saves treading water at the deep end.

So, I think taking a baby swimming when you can’t swim isn’t going to be a major problem.  It might encourage you to learn to swim as well.  It’s never too late…my OH’s aunt is learning and she’s going to be close to 70 if not over.  Being able to swim and confident enough not to fear the water is definitely something to relish and enjoy as your child experiences it and learns to swim.


Disclosure: We swim with Water Babies and blog for them.  All words and views are my own.

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  1. I had swimming lessons at my first school, I can’t remember how long for, but as I was terrified of water and couldn’t let go of the float, I think they just gave up on me. It’s not an activity we ever did with my parents. I did have lessons 20 years ago, before that I couldn’t even have a shower if the showerhead was fixed. I made the mistke of not continuing lessons, hebce why I’m starting again next month.
    I was adamant that Monkey would learn to swim, and wouldn’t share my fears. Before we started him on classes, a friend of mine came with me to the pool to help me get used to it, so I wasn’t so scared. I can’t put my face in the water (yet!) and would panic if monkey splashed me in the face. But I explained my ‘issues’ with the teacher and she was brilliant. Then the pool closed for a year – but that’s a whole different story!

    1. That’s typical that when things are progressing, inconveniences like pools shutting happens. Sods law.

      Glad that you’re making the step to start again then. Hopefully it’ll be a smoother and seemless progress and you’ll start to feel more comfortable in the water. (goggles might be the way to go if you dislike being splashed – although practise wearing them at home first so Monkey gets used to seeing you in them)

  2. I totally agree with you, I started swimming when I was very small and I can’t imagine being unable to – plus it’s fun for the little ones 🙂

  3. Thanks for this. I can’t swim, I never learnt. I can flap my arms about enough to stop from drowning if I need to but that’s about it. Looking to start taking the kids swimming soon so this has reassured me x

    1. Aw, pleased to have reassured you. It should just be a case of let the teacher know up front, and they should be able to reassure or cater for the bits you’re not so keen on. That’s what one of my friends found during our classes. She can swim but doesn’t like the water and hates going underwater, but actually found because she was so keen to not let it show, it really helped her too. I think as long as you’ve got a class and teacher where they understand and listen and want to support, then you should be fine. Good luck with it

  4. I loved the baby swim classes and watching all the little wee things gain confidence in water. I agree with you it’s essential for kids even if parents might be nervous of the water.

    1. You’re right. It’s so lovely to see how the babies enjoy it (on the whole), and I think that almost helps the parents if they’re not strong swimmers. I know one of my friend doesn’t really like the water, but she was so determined to ensure her daughter loved it, that it helped her overcome some of her fears too.

  5. I agree that swimming is SO important and three of my kids are currently enrolled in weekly lessons. It’s a vital life skill in my opinion and you are quite right, it’s never too late to learn!

    1. I guess it’s really scary if you’re not a fan of water, but so many things your children pick up from you, so I’m all for learning ahead of the children. Thanks for popping by

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