swimming boy

To talk or not to talk about swimming?

Both N and I are a tad on the chatty side…(except him on the way home from nursery).  I’ve always been of the belief that a child will be a lot more stable and happier if they have things explained to them, so they feel like part of the decision, or explanation as to why they have to do or not do certain things.

So far it’s worked quite well.  N’s generally a well balanced little boy (he’d say big boy), and while I do wish he’d clear up his stuff a bit more and do what I asked first time, I’ve always found if he’s got upset about something, then explaining more about it has helped calm the situation.

Sometimes I’m not too sure whether I’m right in doing all the talk about swimming.  With the ups and downs N has had with his swimming, I’ve always wanted to make sure I’m communicating with him in the pool.  Water Babies always encourage the parent to tell the child what they should be doing in addition to the teacher demoing.  I agree that it helps the information sink in as N can then learn by the 3 different learning styles – doing, listening and watching.

In the pool the talking totally makes sense.  Talking to your baby or toddler can help them feel more comfortable if they’re not entirely sure about the water.  It helps them learn discipline; explaining why they need to listen and watch, and do as they’re told at the right times.

At last week’s lesson, N needed quite a lot of reassurance.  It was ‘back’ week, never usually that great for N.  As well as that they were doing lots of jumping in.  Mostly N like jumping in, but this week he hadn’t been keen.  Right near the start of the lesson he’d not jumped when told to, then stood on the edge dawdling and telling me to get closer.  I couldn’t as he’d have jumped on top of me.  Instead because he’d unsteadied himself he almost stumbled and half fell/half jumped into the pool to me.  Of course, that would worry anyone, but with N being a bit up and down anyway with his swimming recently, it didn’t help.

He did later jump in again when told to, but he didn’t want to try some of the activities even though I was supporting him.  I made sure I explained to him that being safe was why we learnt to swim and that’s why I wanted him to do what the teacher says and when she says it, then that means he won’t fall in, he’ll be learning in the correct way.  Hopefully teaching him about the safety reasons for learning to swim will mean he’ll feel safer in the water, and know that it’s not just because of a random reason.

I also talk to N about his swimming classes outside of lessons.  I make sure he knows it’s part of his routine on a Saturday.  We also talk about what we learnt in the lesson before, and have a guess as to what we’ll be doing in the next lesson.

Considering what he’s sometimes like in the water, when we talk outside of lessons, N always says he’s looking forward to going, and what he’s going to do when he’s there so I think underneath he enjoys his lessons.  N definitely enjoys the water and being able to swim on his front.  He just seems to have confidence blips.

I do wonder sometimes whether I talk about swimming too much?  But overall I think it’s much better for N to be informed (he’ll probably not take in much each time, but hopefully it does sink in over time) than be in the dark and not really know why or what he needs to learn.

Hopefully we’ll have a more successful lesson today.  I want to get his confidence back, so when he’s 4 and moves to normal pool swimming lessons, he’ll be ok going in the pool on his own.

Do you commentate on what’s happening with your children? Or do you think they should learn for themselves?

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  1. Interesting to hear about the jumping as M has stopped jumping in when told, but will do it happily later during playtime. I think I’m the opposite to you and don’t discuss it enough. I ask him questions about his rugby and gymnastics because I don’t go to those, but swimming tends to be forgotten.

  2. I agree I think it’s best to talk about it and then it becomes just a part of normal life rather than suddenly finding yourself at the swimming lessons once a week! Mine always hated being on their backs too x

  3. We talk about what Monkey has done after each lesson as I can’t always see exactly what he has done for himself and certainly can’t hear what is said. We talk about it before the class too. They have Wow moments at school now so if he does anything exciting say from school we can share his news in a wow moment. It’s amazing what that alone has done to spur him on in class

    1. They have WOW moments at N’s nursery too and I did put up his starfloat with no moaning there. Maybe I should think about putting more up.

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