My son HATES swimming lessons. Last year I had to go in the water with him, but this year he's big enough to go without mommy. Anyhow, every Saturday morning we go and he won't get in the water! I don't want to force it on him, for fear he'll hate it even more BUT swimming is such an important skill! How did you handle swimming lessons for your toddler?

p.s. I tried bribing, begging, making "deals", and threatening to take his favourite toy away (I know, I'm horrible) but nothing worked! Help!

asked 30 Jan '11, 00:48

Jo's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

+1 I wonder if any of the answers to a question I asked can be of help to you.

(30 Jan '11, 12:53) Emi

How old is he?

(06 Feb '11, 00:50) hlovdal


Perhaps your son isn't quite ready for independent lessons yet.

You don't say how old he is, but here un-parented classes start at 30 months. What about shelving structured swimming lessons for now in exchange for fun times at the pool with Mom and/or Dad in order to create some positive experiences for him before re-enrolling him in lessons in a year's time or so.

You could also try and figure out an underlying cause. If he doesn't like getting water in his eyes, try some goggles (that was an issue with my daughter), or earplugs if it's his ears etc.


answered 30 Jan '11, 06:01

Kate's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%


+1 great suggestions about family pool time, and trying to understand the cauae.

(30 Jan '11, 07:23) Emi

+1 from me too. Both my girls have been through phases of "I'll jump in the deep end" through "won't put my toes in the water". Get them loving being in the water first, then worry about swimming.

(31 Jan '11, 06:38) Benjol

Speaking as a former lifeguard, sometimes children are more willing to cooperate if mom and dad are not around. At the Y where I worked, our instructors would be there early enough to sit with the kids until class time. Mom and dad were told to drop the kids off and then leave the pool area. Some parents would take the opportunity to make use of the weight room, gym, or other recreation rooms at the Y. For those who wanted to watch, we had an observation area on the second floor where the kids would be less likely to see (and therefore want) mom or dad.


answered 30 Jan '11, 17:29

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

+1 My daughter is exactly like that

(31 Jan '11, 21:31) Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 30 Jan '11, 00:48

Seen: 2,157 times

Last updated: 06 Feb '11, 00:50