3 year old swimming lesson freak out, what shoud I do?

Jenna - posted on 04/26/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My 3 year old just started a new level of swimming lessons, in a big pool where she can just barely touch the bottom. She did great at the first lessons in the small pool but now that she's in the new pool is freaks out, cried and refuses to get in the pool, or do what she's asked to do. I am looking for some suggestions please! Do I go in the pool with her to support? Do I leave her and have the life guard encourage her? I would love some creative suggestions please!!

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Sylvia - posted on 04/26/2012

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What I would do is try and get a refund on the lessons and sign her up again when she's taller. Or go back to the smaller pool. Chances are she'll calm down after a few weeks, but in the mean time she'll be miserable, her teacher will be miserable, and all the other kids in the class will be miserable.

If the pool will allow you to go in with her temporarily, that would be worth a try, but most won't.

The thing people usually seem to do, though, is make their terrified kids go in the water anyway, even when they're crying so hard they can barely breathe, and act like the kids aren't really scared, they're just crying for effect or something :( It's like the cry-it-out method, I guess -- eventually they give up on freaking out because it becomes obvious that nobody cares how terrified they are.

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