Hope your are doing fine.
I desperately need your help regarding my son. He is 6 years old. Generally he is a shy child....needs an extra push to learn new things....like one year back when we introduced 2 wheeler cycle with training wheels....he just refused to learn the concept of pedalling...after months of cajoling by his dad n me, he finally learnt to ride..he still cannot ride without training wheels....the same is with his studies....he needs a lot of visual aids for him to learn new concepts....i have accepted the fact that he needs lots of motivation and patience from our side which we do try our best...
now to my current problem...we have joined him for swimmimg class with him agreeing to go...infact he was quite entusiatic about it....in the beginning i.e about 10 days back, he was quite happy...they were holding on to the rods and just jumping about....then the coaches slowly upped the intensity...they slowly started to introduce them to actual swimming..like standing without support in the water (just 3ft of water)...kicking the legs..etc...from that day he is terrified of going to swimming class....he just keeps repeating that i will drown n so i dont want to go....he cries sooo badly that he is unable to follow thier instructions.....
We have tried everything to boost him confidence....like asking him to be brave like his favourite cartoon character Chhota Bheem...even punishments like not allowing him to watch his favourite shows....nothing works....I have told him so many stories of brave boys who tried and tried and then they won....he will agree that he will also try...but the moment he is in the pool he'll start crying...
The thing is he willing comes to the pool...but he is unable to let go of the supporting rod and learn actual swimming...
On top of that my parents look accusingly at me as if I am purposely torturing my child...I just want him to try and no give up in the middle...that he has to atleast try....
Kindly do advise me :
1. If I pull him out now, will it create a negative impact that if I cry very badly mummy will do as I say...
2. Is it o.k to pull him out and then join him next year when he is more mature?
3. Should I try and encourage him more?
Personally I want to try and encourage him. Any tips would be most welcome...
Please do help me.
Thanks in advance!!!
Suggestions from other parents are also most welcome!
get his vision checked-for depth perception. That can create anxiety in learning new motor skills.
Seek some professional help for the anxiety...from what you say it does seem to interfere with reaching his potential.
As for the swimming...can you get in the pool with him? A child with sever anxiety needs more support? Can you work out a plan with the instructor to make his pace slower-that way you are not giving into his fear but at the same time it doesn't make him so stressed...? Maybe if you can work out a behavior plan with him where he breaks it down into small manageable goals...it may give him a sense of control.
Thank you for the kind suggestions...
I will definitely get his eye-sight checked....and maybe get professional help also...about me getting into the pool with him thats not possible because I have a younger child with me who is about 2.5 years....I will try to ask his father and his coaches about the feasibility of the parent in the pool....because when I discussed with the head coach today, he said he will get over the crying once he realises that there is no choice but to swim...he may take longer but eventually he will learn...thats what the coach said and I am pretty sure that my husband will also support him...infact my husband is of the opinion that I should stay far away from the pool and try not to mollycoddle him ....my husband also says that it may take longer for him to learn....whereas others kids learn in 20 days he may take double that....
in the meantime I am trying to boost his morale by inventing stories of brave boys...hope to god that he overcomes his fears...
Yes,standard practice is to say the child will get over it...I understand your difficulty in wanting to help your child and explaining to the other adults about encouraging rather than enforcing...this is where you have to rely on your instinct to know when to push or pull back.
I would recommend that you try to make it easy on the child rather than make him even more anxious. Good luck.
sorry for the late reply. i wasnt well.
all children resist learning those skills that involve falling or other hurts in the beginning. but soon they pick up the skill, fall less and start enjoying.
if a child is too scared and for a long period of time, despite being encouraged gently and consistently, it's not advisable to continue without finding out the root cause.
as Mizzs suggested, get him assessed for depth perception. also, some children with enlarged adenoids find it difficult to control their breathing, which is quite important in learning how to swim.
sometimes, children who have seen/heard horrid stories of people drowning in rivers/seas feel discouraged to step into water. they are too small to understand the 'need to learn'. they are too focused on 'the fun' part. if fun is missing, they back out.
when pushed too hard, a child may develop intense fears. some children learn under pressure, but some dont. you need to figure out the method that works with your child
if he relies on your support to learn, there is no harm in giving. but you need to help him develop an inner motivation, so as to rely less on outer pressure.
sometimes parents rely on the method of comparison (see he is learning, see he fell down but he is not crying). this demotivates children. they may control their responses to please their parents, but thats not healthy. make sure you are not doing that.
Thanks for your reply. Hope you are doing fine now.
It seems that my son wanted his father to be with him to learn swimming. For the past one week, my husband has been accompanying him to the classes and he hasnt cried even once ...Now my son's like ' I like swimming' ....He has slowly started to enjoy swimming...the only thing is he is unable to kick his legs and come up when he is underwater but now he is no more terrified of drowning...
As you mentioned he had adenoids problem LAST YEAR. It was cured by giving him homoepathic medicines. His frequent episodes of cold,cough and fever reduced drastically after that.
The one thing we feel that he doesnt have enough strength in his legs to kick and come up from water....we are taking him for cycling and walking to strengthen his calf muscles. We will also put him for the same basic swimmimg classes once his school starts n that too only for weekend classes so that he is not burdened.
Thanks once again both Mizz and Aanchal for your kind suggestions!!
I thought i could give u some suggestions. I had the same problem with my son when he was 6. ( He is now 9). He is actually a smart boy and was interested in studying each and everything but when it came to swimming he was so scared and would keep on crying. The coach would force him to jump in the pool and make him swim which only increased his fear. Somehow we compleated one month but he did not study swimming properly.
So my husband who did not know swimming went for swimming classes and learnt swimming. Since we did not have pool in our apartment we would go to resorts for one or two days and my husband would make swim there. Gradually he felt more and more confident and now he is not at all scared of drowning in water and can swim for longer distances.
(My husband was his coach and he was more confident) If the kids are scared please do not force them. It is not going to help them in any way..this my personal experience. I feel sorry for my son thinking why i forced him to swim when he was only 6.
actually my son used to love to "swim" when we used to go to the resorts...n before putting him in we had ased whether he'll go...only after his afirmations did we put him....he used to get scared earlier i.e. beginning of the classes when water used enter his mouth n nose...even then he used to willingly come for the classes...in his batch I have seen couple of kids being forcibly dragged by their parents and pushed into the water howling....I had decided that if that stage comes with my son I would rather pull him out of the classes.
Actually what you have suggested that we are planning to do. We are planning to take him to some nice resort where his father can coach him...maybe once or twice a month...then put him for proper coaching next year...
Thanks once again!
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