Swim lessons are a great way to teach your child to love water, and to encourage water safety. Many children start swim lessons at a young age. If the child is unfamiliar with the water, or swimming, they might feel very anxious about getting in the water. If your child is nervous about the water, or is not performing for swim lessons, you should consider doing a couple things.
1. Don't Force Them
Trust is an important part of water safety. Being afraid of the water is a very real fear; realistically, it is a very healthy fear. As a parent you want your child to have a healthy fear of the water. Thus, the child needs to be able to trust you and know that you have their best interest at heart and that you care about their safety when teaching safe and unsafe water conditions.
This is why you shouldn't force your child into the water. If they don't want to get in, don't throw them into the water and force them to swim. By doing this, you might not be teaching them to love the water, you might teach them to fear the water even more. In addition, you may betray their trust.
Instead, if the child really doesn't want to swim, allow them to take some time off, perhaps sit on the side of the pool, and wait until they are ready.
2. Swim Together
If you child is feeling nervous to do the swim lessons on their own, perhaps you should consider doing a parent-child class. Having you present the whole time can be a great way to encourage bonding with your child, as well as teach the child important skills when it comes to water safety.
After the lessons, you should take the time to swim together in a fun way. As they learn to love the water, in the presence of a loving and trustworthy parent, they will become more confident in their lessons.
3. Consider Private Lessons
If your child is having an exceptionally hard time, you might want to try private lessons. Private lessons will help the child to feel more comfortable, since they are not competing for the attention of the teacher. In addition, if your child is disruptive during the lessons, it might be nice for the other students if your child is taken out of the group lesson, and into a private lesson.
These are just a couple tips for helping a child to become more confident in their swim lessons, like those offered at YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.