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I have my 3yr old enrolled in swim lessons. We have gone few times and it has been quiet trying.. He is the yougest in the class and parents sit on the side of the pool.. they do not go in with them. I think he is some what afraid but I think he likes to swim because when he is actually out with the teacher he is smiling! BUt it has become a battle he will not sit on the side of the pool like he should he keeps trying to hang of the stair rail, he is splashing other kids... and when it was his turn yesterday he flat out refused, came out of the pool, said he wanted to go home.. started screaming at me and decide to hit me in the face.. this is typical behavior we have been having lately... it is only a 40 min class.. and the teacher really dosen't have that much time to mtg. my child... SO how do I handle this? I feel like the entire class is " ds you need to sit down.. ds you need to not splash other kids in the face... ds lets just try it once you will like. I feel like The whole side of the pool looks at me and my son like "oh, that child again". No one else seems to have these issues. I don't want to "force" him but Learning to swim is not really negotiable. we boat a lot and for his safety he needs to learn how or hopefully develop some comfort in the water. I have taken him to the pool by my self and I really have to work towards coaxing him in before he has fun.. What do I do?
 

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Can you switch to a class in which you are in the pool with him? Around here that is the norm for 3 year olds--my daughter is 4.5 and we'll be doing parent/child lessons this summer.
 

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I'd give it up, honestly; it sounds too stressful for the both of you, esp. if he's the youngest in the class and he's expected to adhere to a standard of behavior that's too much for him.<br><br>
The boating thing--I don't know what to tell you. We have a boat too; our kids (4.5 y.o. twins) have wanted nothing to do with it so far. We work around it.<br><br>
I'd also let go of the "decided" to hit you in the face--he's sending you really strong signals he's not ready for this. Listen to him.
 

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I agree with the others, I would give it up. It seems pretty clear that right now he is not ready, not happy, and not comfortable. I would either try again when he is older--maybe in a parent/child class--and/or also consider the fact that swimming/boating/the water might just never be an interest for him. Continuing the struggle is only going to turn him off even more than he already is.
 

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I am a HUGE proponent of swimming lessons- both of mine have been in them continually since they turned 1. I would pull him out.<br><br>
Take him swimming for fun, enjoy it. Talk about it. Find a class where you can go with him that's based on fun stuff to break the ice.<br><br>
He is telling you he is not ready for this class. I'm surprised they've let him stay in it.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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I'd take him out, too. My 3yo ds is definitely too little for any organized class. Dd would have been able, but not him. I'd guess another year will make a huge difference.<br><br>
Can you take him to the pool a lot and teach him basic safety stuff. Y/k, roll over on your back and float, etc? Really, swimming skills, IMO, aren't that beneficial to a little one because they don't have the strength to sustain a swim to save themselves. You can teach him the stuff he needs to know to save his life at this point, and worry about "real" swimming when he's bigger.
 

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I would totally take him out.<br><br>
I used to be a swimming teacher/coach (for about 10 years). I tried dd in swimming lessons to start at 2.5 and it was terrible for the same reasons you describe. I pulled her out and her and I just started swimming together and while it wasn't fun for me, as I had some kind of expectations for her to learn and she wasn't, I could see it was fun for her to just be there with me. And eventually she ended up learning...just not at the speed I wanted...which was a huge lesson for me in patience for her needs, not mine.<br><br>
My parents have a boat and we have just taught her the safety components of boating and she always wears a lifejacket. ALWAYS - even when the boat isn't moving. She is one of the safest boaters I know and encourages all the others to be very mindful on board. In a canoe she is calm and thoughtful about her movements and always has been, without early lessons.<br><br>
She is six now and is a compentent independent swimmer, with only two sessions of lessons. (we did them when she was ready and it was a good social encouragement for her to move beyond her then abilities)<br><br>
Hope that helps.
 

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I would also stop going. Maybe in a few months try a parent child class or a private lesson. The university in my city has group lessons and also private lessons. DD needed the private lessons because she needed someone to focus just on her and work with her strengths and fears. She did a set of 5 lessons and it was so much less stressful then group lessons for all of us.
 

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Everything I've read on swimming lessons says the kids aren't really ready to swim safely until about 4 years old.<br><br>
We've signed up DS for an almost-3-yr-old class next month. It's a parent & child class, and mostly what I expect from it is more socialization, something to get DH and DS out of the house in the morning, and perhaps some games and practice following instructions.<br><br>
If your son is the youngest in the class, is there a different level of swim classes, perhaps with a parent, or a smaller class that your son might try instead?
 

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I understand that learning to swim isn't negotiable - we live on Lake Superior - and I totally get that. However, three is really young for an organized "learn to swim" class.<br><br>
If there isn't a "Swim With Mom" sort of class going on where you can go in the water with him, I would pull him out of this one. He isn't comfortable there, it sounds like, and this could rebound on you: he might end up really freaking out about water with a negative experience like this. Three year olds are funny like that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
My kids are 4 and 3, and my older ds might be ready for an actual swim class next year, but right now, I am the one who is working with them. There is a local hotel near us with a zero-depth entry pool (ramp going into the pool with 1"-deep water at that point), and I pay to go a few times a month with my kids to get them comfortable with the water.<br><br>
They swim at this point in lifevests and love to dog-paddle all around the pool in their "swimmy vests". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I want them to be *comfortable* in the water (and safe, hence the vests right now) before they start worrying about proper technique. It has been working really well.<br><br>
Good luck, mama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Don't go. Three years old is too young to actually learn how to swim anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks all. I have decided we will pull him out! I guess I just really wanted it to be something fun for him, I wanted him to be excited to swim.. maybe in due time! We will hit the pool and beach and see how it goes! Thanks for all the feed back!
 

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We just checked out a book from the library called 'Learn to Swim' by Rob and Kathy McKay. It teaches you how to teach your kids introductory swimming stuff. I haven't looked at it yet, but maybe see if you can get a hold of this or another book. I'm sure there are many out there.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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don't do swim lessons <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kcstar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15430851"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Everything I've read on swimming lessons says the kids aren't really ready to swim safely until about 4 years old.</div>
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My ds spent an hour in the pool today, and 90% of the time he was right in the middle of the pool, swimming with his face in, eyes open, and floating on his back when he needed air.<br><br>
He is 2, going on 3, and he was doing this last year as well.
 

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In your situation I would:<br><br>
try and switch to a class where you go in the pool with him<br><br>
or<br><br>
see if there is a different teacher or group of kids that he would do better with<br><br>
or<br><br>
find another place to do swimming lessons and see if that works better<br><br>
or<br><br>
sign up for an ISR class -this teaches life saving swimming skills.<br><br><br>
Regardless of all of those, make sure he has a coast guard appproved PDF on at all times in the boat. Make it a rule, not an option (same as no helmet = no bike or no carseat = no car ride)
 
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