3 Must-Know Tips to Ease Tears & Help Your Child Love Swim Lessons!
Mermaid Secret #10
Three Easy Tips to Ease Swim Lesson Anxiety
Inside this blog:
Why kids sometimes cry before swim lessons.
3 tips to help them feel more at ease!
Want an extra POP? Get A MERMAID’S GUIDE (The book) to augment these blogs! Reading the blogs is like watching Avatar in 2D. But having these blogs with A MERMAID’S GUIDE by your side is like watching Avatar in 3D. So, snag a copy of A MERMAID’S GUIDE and experience what it REALLY feels like to be a blue alien. Or wait. No. But you WILL get an even better picture about what these blogs are talking about.)
Does your child get nervous before swim lessons?
(NOTE: Relaxation Based lessons are designed to EMPOWER children. That, however, doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges for them to overcome within the overall framework. The challenges are part of the joy! When a child discovers they CAN overcome hard obstacles, they will experience joy, gain self-esteem, and become empowered by the water.)
Parents often wonder why their child cries before or during a swim lesson.
I tell them to imagine what THEY feel like before they start a tough workout or before having to make a breakneck sprint. (I know I feel like crying before a spin class! And during certain parts of the class…like when the instructor tells me to crank the knob to 16 and start our hill climb. BUT after the class is done, I’m so happy I went to the class. It was hard, but I did it.)
Swimming, for your child, is the same!
Learning to swim is a new experience, but once your child establishes TRUST with their teacher, and once they learn that they CAN overcome obstacles, your child will love it. (Pinky promise.)
3 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR CHILD FEEL MORE AT EASE
1) AHM: Acknowledge their fears, Hug their emotion, and MOVE ON
Doing a new, hard task is an excellent opportunity to open up conversations about how to overcome obstacles. Simply acknowledge their feelings by mirroring what they are saying back to them, then let them know those emotions are OKAY to feel. (No matter what they are.) And then help them learn to be STRONG and BRAVE. I always tell students that if they are in a safe space, it’s okay to try new, hard things. For a cartoon and more info turn to page 11 of A Mermaid’s Guide. AHM is so IMPORTANT and incredibly helpful.
2) Give them a run down about what to expect.
And keep it consistent, simple, and matter of fact. For Relaxation Based Swimming Lessons, we “Clean up the toys, play the dolphin game, and then get a sticker!”
3) Treat going to lessons casually.
If you treat the experience casually, your child will learn to manage it that way as well. Imagine you are saying, “We are going to put on your seat belt.” Just change it to, “We are going to a swim lesson.” Be sure to maintain peaceful authority. If they keep festering in their anxiety, go back to #1 of this checklist and repeat all 3 tips!
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RBL (pronounced “Rebel) for Relaxation Based Lifestyle
Stay tuned for the next blog to answer more questions, give simple tips, and bust old, outdated myths.
(Sent with love and an occasional free typo.)
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