We’ve all seen (or rather heard) it. The screaming, crying and uneasiness of first time swimmers who just don’t seem to be enjoying their lesson. Maybe it’s your child or maybe it’s someone else’s but the bottom line? It’s perfectly normal. We see this every day.
When someone is first learning to swim, the prospect of water can be incredibly scary. Whether you’re an adult or a child, many first time swimmers face unique challenges that we recognize can’t simply go away. It takes trust, perseverance and time. For children, being away from parents and interacting with something that’s only been introduced at bathtime is strange and new. For adults, fear or discomfort around water can be deep-rooted and stem from a negative experience. From 3 months to 93 years, it’s never too early or too late to start swimming lessons and we take pride in making that experience as easy and smooth as possible.
First lessons are often challenging for parents and guardians.
During lesson times, we ask that parents remain in the viewing area. Often times, seeing a familiar face can actually make children more upset. While we acknowledge that it can be difficult for parents to watch their child cry and remain distant to the situation, your child is in good hands. Being in water can be scary and we typically see an adjustment period of about 4-5 classes before they understand that water can be fun. Hang in there! Things will get easier. We promise!
Often, we hear from parents that they are embarrassed or feel guilty that their child can be heard from the viewing area. Please don’t worry! Our staff complete 40+ hours of specialization training on top of their current instructor qualifications. We see resistance every day and many of the parents in the viewing area have been in your shoes.
Feel free to grab a coffee, run to the grocery store or just sit back, relax and enjoy your child-free time.
Something else that parents may be faced with is their children not wanting to attend swimming lessons at all. While swimming may not be the choice sport for everyone, it’s an important lifelong skill that is key to ensuring the safety of your child. If your child is expressing that they simply don’t want to go to their lesson, it’s a good idea to try and decipher why.
Are they too tired? Do they find that as they are getting older, there are other things that they want to do instead? If this is the case, it might be of value to try an alternative lesson time. If your child is old enough, speak with them about when they would like to take their lesson. Maybe a Friday night isn’t ideal if they’re missing out on plans with friends every week. If there’s a time that you can both agree on, that may help with feeling excited about coming to class! If they don’t feel that their instructor is a good match for them, let us know! Perhaps they’re feeling discouraged by a lack of progression through levels. We can help with that too! Whatever the reason, we are here to help.
We want to ensure that all our fish (including our first time swimmers) have the best experience possible and that means our older students too.
If you are an adult and feel hesitant about starting lessons, you are not alone. In fact, our adult classes are quite popular and fill quickly! Our adult program is about goal setting and building confidence in and around water. Believe it or not, adults actually fall into the highest percentile for drowning. It’s never too late to learn how to swim! It’s not a matter of whether you’ll need to know how to swim but when. Our adult classes are offered at quieter times in the pool so that you don’t need to worry about space, distractions, and the eyes of everyone in the viewing area. Our instructors are well-versed in the best techniques for helping to combat fear and uneasiness around water and will gently encourage you to reach your goals.
Ultimately, we want to ensure that everyone’s experience, including our first time swimmers, at Russell Aquatics is the best it can possibly be. If you are concerned about your child showing resistance towards lessons or you, yourself are nervous when it comes to pool time, we are always happy to help. Speak with one of our team members and we can give you some helpful tips and tricks to make lessons easier for the whole family!