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  5. Swimming Lessons for my 3yo.............Is there any point??

Swimming Lessons for my 3yo.............Is there any point?? Lock Rss

OK, so let me explain myself.

I was looking into signing my son up for swimming lessons. He has never been in a pool before although he loves water (baths, play pools & the beach).

I got all the information I needed from my local swim school and when my husband came home I discussed the possibility with him.
He was of the opinion that perhaps we should wait until he is older (around 5yo) before we sign him up for lessons because he thinks he won't learn anything until then and that it would be a waste of our money.
My MIL told him this and naturally, if she says it then it must be right! tongue

What does everyone else think??

Oh yes- definitely worth it!! Dd is 22 months and has been going for the last year or so and loves it! She has learnt alot- she's been taught when she jumps in to always turn and grab the wall, how to hold the wall and make her way down the pool, to wait on the edge and never get in without someone- she's learnt alot of safety issues not to mention she loves it!

Give him a go, never mind your mil tongue

I'd get him in now it's proven that kids as young as 12 months can benefit from swimming lessons and it could help if he ever gets in to trouble I.e falls in a pool or something
I'm not saying you wouldn't watch him closely I'm just saying things do happen better to safe then sorry
Hi, we put our little boy in swimming lessons when he was 16 months and it was fantastic. They really focus on water safety and building confidence in the water, rather than teaching than actually how to swim as such, although they do teach them how to turn around so they can grab the wall if ever they were to fall in. I think you have nothing to lose by putting your little one in, sadly childhood drownings seem to happen alot and anything that promotes water safety can only be a good thing! smile
My DS has been going since he was 5 months old. At this age it's about water confidence not technique. I thinks it's really up to you. I'm lucky in that my MIL wanted to pay the fees as a Christmas gift to DS and my reason for starting at this age is that I am petrified of water as my parents try to start swim lessons at 5 and I was so horrified by the experience I never got In the pool again. It took me 5 lessons until I could get in the pool with DS and the pool only comes to my breasts.

DS knows his cues to hold his breath and how to hold the edge of the pool and turn around underwater to grab the edge. I would never, ever leave him unattended near a body of water but my biggest fear is what could happen when he is being babysat by someone else.

We started swimming lessons from 6mths old. To be honest at that age lessons are a bit of a waste of time.and money, but by 3, the kids are in the pool with a teacher, use a noodle to move around the pool on their own and gives them the confidence in a pool, and they are old enough to understand.

By waiting until 5, you run the risk that your child will fall behind from the other children (unless you go private lessons) and that can be very degrading for a child. However in saying that, if you regularly go to swimming pools, and ds can put his head under water, knows how to get to the edge of a pool, use a noodle to swim strokes, then avoid the lessons. We have too many friends and family with swimming pools, so for us (besides reading books) swimming is mandatory.
I think it's a great idea my little girl is 4 month's old and im just waiting for summer to come so i can take her, i think it's great to teach them as young as possible to be safe in the water. If she's ever around water before school age at least i'd be confident knowing that she could at least know to turn to here back and know the basic's.
At the end of the day money shouldn't be the issue, if you think it will be benificial for your baby i think you should go for it.
Drowning is the leading cause of death in Australia in the 1 - 3 age group (WHO). Swimming lessons in these early years are not about learning the strokes, they are about water confidence, and water safety, so that if kids do end up with their face in the bath, or in the middle of the swimming pool, they are familiar with how to react and have half a chance.

I was appalled at the number of kids in my daughters first year of school (5 and 6 yr olds) who were still standing in the pool, practicing putting their face in the water, and pretty much scared of it. They were doing ring a ring a rosie to get used to going under the water. While I'm sure parents can teach those skills, I wonder how many would actually take their kids to the pool once a week and regularly practice those skills.
I guess you need to ask yourself why you want to do the lessons. If it's to keep your child safe around water, then yes, there is a definate benefit. If it's to learn to do freestyle etc, then probably better to wait. I think you can guess which camp I'm in. We spend time at the beach, go to parks with creeks and have friends and neighbours with pools. Unfortunately accidents do happen and I like to do what I can to elimate the risk.
TBH a lot of things aimed at mothers and babies are a rort. See I would never send my child to a kinder gym but that's just personal preference. My DS enjoys the lessons and it's the only way he gets exposure to water as I am not confident enough to do it elsewhere. It 17 dollars a lesson that covers car parking and pool entry the same costs as I would be paying in the area I live to visit a swimming pool myself and take DS.
The main point of baby swimming lessons is parent education. It isn't a rort to make people think their kids can swim, it is designed precisely so that parents understand how easy it is to drown, how helpless a baby is in the water, and how important supervision is.

I don't think anyone expects it to teach babies to swim to shore if their parents' boat capsized at sea or something grin

Many drownings occur in shallow water, or in the bath because parents have not had exposure to water time with their kids and so the realities of kids and water do not necessarily sink in. Swim lessons show parents exactly WHY supervision is needed.

Parents definitely could replicate water awareness by taking their kids themselves. But most would not get around to it, hence the benefit of having something paid for and booked in. When you have more than one child, it gets hard to take kids yourself regularly.

Also, many parents are anxious around water so the water awareness is as much for them as for the kids.

It is also a really great bonding experience for parents and kids to do together, and something to look forward to every week. That to me is a wonderful thing about swimming lessons for younger kids - they don't have to get in to a lesson and be taught "proper" swimming, or be worried about whether they passed their level or not, or about how far they can swim before resting - they can just go and have fun in the water, and spend a lot of physical time with someone they need to immensely trust.

Who cares if they don't "learn" much? You do a lot of things with your kids simply to spend time with them and give them something enjoyable and to make them happy, without the goal being to learn something specific. You wouldn't say that you shouldn't read to babies because they won't learn to read until they are 5 for instance. It is about spending time together and building the awareness in a happy way.
i didn't start DD until she was 18mths & this was in my neighbours pool as she is a swim teacher. DD screamed every lesson for about 6mths. She is now over 3 & has being going to the local swim school since she was 2. In the last 16mths she has come such a long way & can swim laps of the pool (dog paddle) on her own. She is starting to learn freestyle aswell.
I would never leave her alone around water, but i am confident that if she fell in, she would be able to turn around & get back to the edge.
On the other side of the table, we started DS when he was almost 10mths old as DD was so frightened when we started her at the later age. He loves the water & at 18mths he can hold himself on the side for almost 20seconds. He loves playing in the water, but hates having to kick his legs or paddle his arms. He loves the water so much, that it scares me sometimes cuse he will just jump in.
He progressed through the baby levels really quickly, but now won't do anything in lessons unless it involves jumping in or swimming under water. I sometimes think what a waste of money & I should just pull him out, but I know that in the long term being in the water is more beneficial for him & i'm sure his stubborn streak will pass soon & he will be back to kicking & paddling around the pool.
All 3 of my children (4 and under) are in swimming lessons and have all been doing them since they were under a year old. If you get a good swim school it is definitely worth the money.

DS1 started his lessons at 8 months (the others were even younger) and at four has only just started to be able to swim the length of the pool, but I don't see the fact it's taken so long to be a waste of money and it wasn't the intent of the lessons in the first place. Instead when I take the kids swimming in public places and see other kids the same age getting into trouble in barely knee deep water, I know it's money well spent. It's also reinforced when I have other people commenting to me about their confidence and ability. Other parents at the swim classes also find the same thing.

In regards to the supervision and parental education aspect of it all. I was always very aware of the dangers and the need for supervision, but saw swimming lessons as a non-negotiable because we have a pool in our back yard. While I knew that swimming lessons weren't the be all and end all to a child's safety around water and that they wouldn't be properly swimming for some time, even with regular lessons, it was still an extra barrier of protection for me. Having said that, I have still learnt a lot from the lessons myself about disciplining kids to keep them safe around water and not take risks. Plus I'm also more confident in myself in regards to being able to take all three children to water based activities without my DH around for back up because I know exactly what my kids are and aren't capable of and I don't have all three of them hanging off me constantly because they aren't terrfieid of even shallow water.

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