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

14 Comments

  1. Laura @ Kneadwhine

    A great idea. D hasn’t done swimming lessons – it’s something I probably should have done.

    He loves Tumble Tots and idolises the ladies there a little bit (but they dote on him too, so it’s fine!).

    • I love it when ‘teachers’ or nursery staff seem to love N so much. Makes you feel like you’ve done a really good job of bringing them up.

      We don’t have tumble tots in our town, so never had the chance to try that type of thing.

  2. My son’s not that keen on his swimming teacher (I think he finds her a bit scary) but my two-year-old daughter idolises her. All the while she and I are splashing around in the big pool, she’s begging to go next door to join the lesson that my son’s in, and ‘see Laura’…

    • It definitely makes a difference when they’re not so keen. I think N had a bit of a shock at first when his teachers changed when he was young – just very different style and voice. But he seems to switch allegences quite easily thankfully.

      So sweet what your daughter says!

  3. Think you are doing great to get to swimming lessons – my seven year old only manages to leave my side for Brownies – swimming seems too much for her (although she loves going with school!). Her idols are Kylie Minogue, and Jessie J due to the Voice!

    • At least your daughter swims with school. I guess it would be more of a problem if she wasn’t keen at all.

      Good idols – great voices, personalities and strong women who’ve been through a lot.

  4. My daughter used to be like this with her Year 2 teacher. Now she’s a cynical 8 year old she strictly reserves her admiration for Blue Peter presenters!!

    • Ah yes, the tweens beginning celeb adoration. Although Blue Peter presenters should be pretty inspirational given their breadth of experience and what they now get up to…thinking more of Helen Skelton than Richard Bacon in the past!

  5. My daughter has an idol ‘type’ – any young female teacher! She has a male teacher at school this year though so not the same level of idolisation.

    • It’s great that they have someone to look up to. Funny that she’s not fussed about male teachers – but good that a female proves good enough and inspiring enough in a non-celeb role

  6. Clare Kemp

    Loved this … hitting the nail on the head once again! Phil and I have been getting frustrated with T’s plateauing in swimming and in particular the ever elusive star float. But hand him over to Lynsey and he’s like a different child. He knows what he’s supposed to be doing, but just doesn’t want to comply when either one of us is about! … (he did a pretty good attempt at a star float last week – but supported by Phil, I am wondering if that’s because I said he could get a pool toy if he did one!? Bribery and corruption! Eeek!

    • Maybe now we’ve cracked potty training, we’ll have to move the rewards and bribery from that to star floating! N refused to let Lynsey help him with a star float…I think we need a good back week, and we might get him to try it then.

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