We quite often sit around the edge of the swimming pool before our lesson, waiting for the previous class to finish. N finds this amusing as it’s a younger toddler class, and he watches them doing the old activities he used to do when he was younger.
Many in the class have been going since they were babies (it still feels strange hearing them being called toddlers, when they were always the ‘baby’ class before us) so we’ve seen them develop and learn as our own children have. Usually we sit and chat with the parents of children in our class, but this time I was sitting next to a grandmother who’d been brought along to watch the earlier session.
She was loving watching her grandson ‘swim’ (or not as he wasn’t keen on much of the activities), so we were having a good chat about what the activities are they do. What we were noticing was how different each of the children’s expressions were as they were diving from the side to do their tunnel swim with their woggle.
Some were grinning away, and couldn’t wait until they were allowed to dive in.
Others were totally distracted by what else was going on around them, looking around and taking no notice of the teacher or the parent.
A few were more wary and wouldn’t go to the teacher, they insisted on having the parent go through the tunnel with them.
The grandmother thought that the faces and enjoyment level totally reflected what the children were probably like out of the pool. She explained that her grandson was always a bit wary, and going through a clingy phase, so it made sense that the same behaviour would happen in the pool.
Yes, I’m sure to a certain extent that’s true, but for me, it often seems to be a reflection on how long the children have been swimming in that class, with that teacher, and in that pool. Quite frequently children in the classes change, especially for Saturday classes, when mums return to work and therefore can only swim on Saturdays.
In our class, you can tell the children who’ve been swimming together the longest. They chat to each other (some go to nursery together which helps), interact in the pool with each other, and are quite happy to swim round the circle from one parent to another like pass the parcel. Those who’re newer to the group aren’t as happy to let go of parents, and tend to get quite upset.
It’s a process that we went through as babies. I’m really glad we’ve gone through that stage and come out the other side, and that our change from Wednesday to Friday, and then Saturday classes have been smooth.
What experiences have you had when changing classes, swimming or otherwise, with your children? What have you done to help smooth the way?
Disclosure: We swim with and blog for Water Babies, but all words and opinions are our own.