Kids UnderwaterYou take your child to a pool party, another community pool or a hotel swimming pool and they turn into a “wall hugger”. After all the money you spent on swim lessons, imagine the horror! This is very discouraging for parents.

Here is my opinion why this happens:

*Most swim lessons are conducted in the same pool every week. Your children know the depth and length of this pool. They feel comfortable and safe having their lessons in the same pool every week.

*Swim lessons are a ‘structured’ environment. (Mine are). For instance, I always begin by reminding my students that we must blow bubbles and I ask them “why do we need to blow bubbles”? (So water does not go up our nose and in our mouth. But that is another article). Next we warm up by doing ‘pop-ups’ and blowing bubbles. (Some teachers call pop-ups ‘bobs’. I do not use the term ‘bobs’ as I think it is a man’s name). Just sayin. Then I begin my lesson.

When you take your children to pool parties, other community pools or hotel pools you want them to jump in and do cannonballs and have fun like they do with their swim teacher. Your camera is at-the-ready but they act shy and say they don’t want to. Ugh.

*Did you do any preparation to help them adjust to the new environment? Or did you hop in a chair and get out your iPhone? Did you explain to them where the shallow end is? The deep end? Did you tell them how to get out at the steps? Where the ladders are?

*Is there a lifeguard on duty at the private pool party or hotel pool? My students know where the lifeguards are. I have told all my students about lifeguards and what their job is. Food for thought.

*What is the water temperature of the “other” pools you are swimming in? This makes a difference believe it or not. They need to be eased in….slowly.

*Your children may associate swimming with their teacher. They also think trust.

*Are you going to be swimming? Do you have any intention of swimming with your kids? Can you swim?

Experience is priceless. Whether it is swim, karate, piano, guitar or gymnastics lessons your children know and trust their teachers. And the pool where they are taught.

Not all children can put on a show in front of their parents. They also feel pressure when other people are around and when they are in a new environment. Be patient, it just takes a little time and they will be saying “watch me”.