If you ask toddlers who their heroes are they’d probably say a children’s tv character, maybe a proper superhero if they’re into those, or their mum or dad. N would probably answer ‘don’t know’ which is his standard answer to most questions (I’m dreading the teenage years!). But at our swimming lessons, you can see the children gazing at the teacher Lynsey, in awe at what she’s showing them. It’s like she’s their superhero.
Generally N’s all over the place at swimming. He gets really excited about doing activities, being in the water generally, and just having all of my attention. But when Lynsey is speaking, I tell him to listen, and he’s watching and listening to hear what she’s telling them. If all the children are sitting on the side of the pool waiting to be told what to do, you can look along the line and watch them all (usually mouth open) watching and waiting to get the sign that they can jump in.
When they’re learning new activities, N does find it funny initially watching the demo. But then he’ll turn to me and say ‘Lynsey’s doing xyz’ in surprise, really amazed by what she’s doing. Maybe he’s incredulous at the thought that he’ll have to do the same.
If the children aren’t keen on an activity with their parents, sometimes it’s a totally different case with the teacher. It’s like they know that they have to behave and show Lynsey what they can do, as though they don’t want to disappoint. And if they do the activity, then they get a high 5…such a simple reward, but it works to get someone who’s not mum or dad telling them well done. So often it works with N, although we’re still struggling to get him to try a star float.
So if you find your child doesn’t want to play ball, then try handing them over to see if they’ll try it then.
Do your children have an idol? How do they react to their swimming teachers (or other people who run sessions they attend?)
Disclosure: We swim with and blog for Water Babies., but all views and words are my own