Cost: $90/month for one 30-minute class/week
My almost two-year-old is crying and throwing a fit because she does not want to participate in the skill we are currently working on. She hates floating on her back but I continue to work with her on it because I know it is important. I worry because I have had others say to me, “she doesn’t like that” and “why are you making her do that she clearly hates swimming”.
The secret is out…I am in your boat. I teach over a hundred babies a week in various different classes. I can get them to float, swim, calm down and work on the skills we assign them. I see the parents, worried they are being judged for struggling, and I want to assure you that we are all in this together.
My almost two-year old does not hate to swim. In fact, she loves swimming so much she can swim almost fifteen feet to me in the pool. She wants to do everything her own way (it is the age of independence) and I just reinforce that we are doing what the class is doing.
My five-year-old spent last summer crying anytime I said the word “under.” Her fear was so great I thought she would never love swimming as much as I do. Her baby sister, then 6-9 months old, was swimming more than she was. When we first opened in January, I put her in lessons and had my doubts after seeing the fits she threw.
The first few lessons she was timid and a little scared but we kept at it and I reiterated to her that we were coming back every week to make her safe. I see stories constantly about kids who wander into backyard pools or are reaching for a toy and the outcome is devastating. My goal for her was to be comfortable and able to get out of the pool if she ever fell in.
Where is that crying child these days you may ask? She is now in an advanced class learning side breathing and she has become the master of backstroke. She is my little mermaid and I am so proud of her progress and how brave she has become.
You are a step ahead of most in the fact that you have your kid in swimming lessons. Every child can learn but they all learn in different ways. Here at JMSS we take a child-centered approach and work on all skills in a loving and calm manner. We want our swimmers to love the water whether it is in the pool or in the bath at home.
A lot of parents tell me weekly that just being in lessons has made bath time so much more enjoyable for everyone. We have had a few kids fall into pools and recover back to the wall on their own. They are building social skills and developmental milestones are being met in every class. I have had some kids start with me at 3 months old and are now doing amazing things in their weekly classes.
My favorite part of this job: watching kids grow in their love of swimming and becoming water comfortable. We often quote the Griffith University Study on how kids who have an early and consistent water experience before the age of three are developmentally, socially, cognitively and emotionally ahead of their peers.
What advice can I give to those who feel like their kid is struggling? Keep at it! Just Keep Swimming. We, as parents, will set the tone for our kids success in all things. Working with them in class and at home is key to getting them swimming and ready for the next step.