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My Child is misbehaving at swimming lessons again.

You’re at your weekly swimming lesson and “Lachlan” is playing up once again. You’ve given him the warning speech before the lesson started but once again it’s gone in one ear and out the other. He’s bobbing underwater while the teacher is talking and he’s distracting the other children in the class.

This is when you start to think

  • I’m not bringing him to lessons anymore

  • The teacher thinks I have no control

  • The other parents are getting annoyed that my child is disrupting the class

  • This is so embarrassing….

Rewind just a little bit. No one is judging you, “Lachlan” is completely normal and don’t worry because you can work with your swimming teacher to overcome this phase.

Things to remember

  • Being in the water is fun and exciting and so different to being on land

  • Children love to jump and bounce and experience the different sensations especially weightlessness

  • Have realistic expectations of your child’s behaviour and consider their age and attention span

  • Remember swimming is one of the first formal and structured learning environments before children start school Things to avoid

  • Don’t bribe your child with lollies unless you are prepared to give them one every week

  • Don’t make idle threats like “You can get out if you’re not going to listen”

Things to try

  • Talk with the teacher about your expectations (this may require talking to administration or the deck supervisor if your child’s instructor is teaching a class)

  • Find out what the class rules are

  • Make sure your child understands the class rules and expectations

  • Be consistent and follow through with consequences

  • Watch your child’s lesson and give them positive feedback after they have finished the lesson

  • Give your child a chance to play outside of the formal swimming lesson

  • Make sure you let the teacher know if your child has any learning difficulties

Don’t be embarrassed because all parents have been there, whether it’s during swimming lessons, at the shopping centre or while visiting friends and family. All children go through stages where they are testing their boundaries and your child is certainly not the first child your swimming teacher has dealt with and certainly won’t be the last.

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