Should I Make My Child Swim If They Are Crying?



We all have been there, whether it be as a swim instructor or a parent.  Your child recently started swim lessons and every time they set foot near the pool the tears start to fall.  What are the reasons for this and should I continue to make them swim? This is a question we hear a lot at Patti’s Swim School.

We all know that it is not fun to see any child upset and of course we want swimming to be fun but there are also some cases where it is ok for your child to be upset and still  make them swim.  For example, anything new is always scary especially to a child who is young.  Most of the time they will stop crying after a few lessons, once they start to get use to the routine and realize that everything will be ok.  What we don’t want to do is take them out of swim lessons after one day just because they cried, give them a few lessons to get comfortable.

There is also the case of a child crying because they have recently started to become independent and do not want a (stranger) telling them what to do.  Ergo they will start to cry in hopes that the will not have to do what is asked of them.  In this case it really is up to the parents, however as a swim instructor I can tell you that once your child realizes they have to do what is ask of them they get use to it and there will be no more tears.

Some children are absolutely terrified, now parents you know your child better than anyone.  If they are legitimately scared you have to decide.  Are you okay with the swim instructor going a little slower so that your child can start to trust them or do you want to wait awhile until you feel they are ready.  The reason I say this is because of course we want your child to swim but we don’t want to push them to the point where we have made swimming such a terrible ordeal that they never want to come back.  However if given the time to adjust and realize that there is nothing to be afraid of, your child will thrive at Patti’s Swim School!


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