Peanut and Lil C have been going to Goldfish Swim school since November. It started with Peanut and I in the beginner class. She was afraid to do anything, and clung onto my neck or wrapped her legs around mine the whole time. She refused to get her hair wet or to even try to blow bubbles in the water. By class 2, she became a little less afraid of being in the water and actually started to try to do what she was being taught. Fast forward a few months and she was doing everything that was asked for her. She did everything better for her teacher then when it was with just me.
In March we were promoted to the next level. Peanut was competent in all her basic skills. Her first few classes …she was a star! She did what her teacher asked her to do. She did need help still in some of her skills (like the otter float) but other skills she was confident enough to do on her own (like pinch pinch pinch on the wall). Then all of a sudden….
It was like it came out of nowhere. She acted terrified of the water. As a parent, I felt crushed. I saw peanut sitting on the turtle float on the side of the pool. The first thing that ran through my mind was she was misbehaving, being disobedient, and had been put in time out. What little did I know, this was a bit of regression. She’s not afraid of the water, she just is afraid to swim.
What may cause this regression?
Toddlers are quite complex creatures. Sometimes we don’t know what will change their attitude about something they love. This regression could have been caused by many things.:
1) Having an off day – Just like us, little ones also wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
2) Having a bad dream – making them think they are more scared to do things than they are.
3) A change in routine – This could be anything from changing what time he/she wakes up to changing the time of the class.
4) A change in teachers – Even though your little one seems to get along with everyone, they do form a bond to some of their teachers.
What can you do to help your child over come this regression:
Open Swim Sessions
Remember those days where you and your little would get in the pool together and learn to swim? Maybe he/she misses that bond that you guys had. Try to go once a week to the pool together. Not only is it good for your son/daughter – but you know as well as I do, getting into a nice warm pool is something that most of us wont complain about. While at open swim not only can you take the time to try to get your child to do their kicks and pulls, but there are a bunch of toys and floats that the kids can play on. This will make your child think of the pool being fun, and not just “lessons”
Go Into your lessons with excitement
Kids feed off of our energy. So if you are excited for swim class, then that will help your child be excited for swim. In the pool even, all the teachers are VERY positive and excited for the kids! I know Lil C gives his teacher High Fives when he does a great job! And the same with peanut!
Talk to their teachers – and maybe try a new teacher
In peanuts class, there is 1 teacher for up to 4 kids. She’s in a class of 3yr olds and up. She was able to advance to this class even though she wasn’t 3 yet – because her birthday is right around the corner. All the kids do behave and listen to the teacher – and know that they are to sit on the bench and not wander off while the teacher is helping a student. Plus the supervisors are right there out of the water watching the kids. Peanut did not want to have anything to do with her teacher herself, so one of the supervisors, Nico, took notice and jumped into the water to help. Even though she still tells him “blah” when he asks her to do something, she does give in and will do what is asked of her.
We have been trying the above 3 tips for the past three weeks. I am proud to say that Peanut is starting to warm up to swim again, and is starting to cry less. You can see that her confidence is starting to grow again. She’s starting to show off how she can “pinch pinch pinch” and “kick, kick, kick”. We are still working on her pullers, but she’s at least wanting to go in and see her teachers and friends again!
Disclaimer: This Mamas Life has partnered with Goldfish Swim School. All opinions, thoughts, and statements above are those of our own.