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Should a 7 year old be forced or pushed into doing things in swim lessons?

Should they be forced into jumping into the pool, putting their head under water, and pushing off the wall by themselves? Why or why not?


Asked by DigiScrapperMom at 3:39 PM on Jul. 29, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (23)
  • I would never do that to my child, I feel it's cruel. There has to be a gentler way that won't scar them for life


    Answer by Lynette at 3:41 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • If they want to learn,then yes. if they're not there to follow the rules and learn,then they should be taken out.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 3:40 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • I agree. I don't think it's forcing them unless you have forced them to take the swimming lessons in the first place. They have to do those things to learn to swim.

    Answer by Cindy18 at 3:43 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • What's the point of swimming lessons then?

    Answer by xxlilmomma09 at 3:44 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • I was a lifeguard and swimming instructor through highschool and much of college. My answer is NO (with an exception). Not only is it terrifying to the child, but it disrupts the class as well. Some kids just aren't ready. Although I swam competitively from 7 - highschool, my twin sister didn't learn to swim until I taught her as a teenager, due to a traumatic experience as a child (near-drowning).

    Now the exception. If you have a pool, if they have friends with a pool and will be at that house, or if you are going to be around water for an extended length of time, then YES. However your child might do better in a private lesson setting where they can have one-on-one attention. See if you can watch the instructor ahead of time, or certainly during the lesson. You don't want your child to go through what the poster above said. Set clear limits with the instructor as to what is ok and what isn't.

    Answer by omahamom1 at 4:37 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • No not that young and in the deep end.

    Answer by From2to3 at 3:48 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • No one knows how their child will react once they get there. If they end up being afraid or hesitant then maybe they should wait. They want to enjoy the water, not be afraid, and lessons should be a positive experience.

    Answer by elizabr at 4:14 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • My son had a private swim instructor when he was about 6 who was very strict and tried to make him jump off the diving board and swim even though he was not ready. His little knees quivered so badly that the entire board shook. She yelled at him to jump and he was terrified - I had to march over there and take him off the board. He wouldn't get in the water for 2 years after that. Some kids are just not ready for the water - it's scary to them. Don't force them do anything they're not ready for! My son is 12 now and swims like a fish - it just took a while. Swimming should be fun, not scary.

    Answer by mpeada at 4:23 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • My son had lessons at four. He was scared the first day, but, quickly caught on and got it....before the two weeks were up, he could do a perfect swan dive into the deep end and swim perfectly to the shallow end. I believe all kids should have lessons and be taught early. 7 is already 3 years+ too late to just be getting them not scared.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 4:42 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • I'm with mpeada. Swimming should be fun. And it has been fun this summer for my 7 year old, but today there was a substitute teacher and he terrified her and now she doesn't ever want to go back or ever take lessons again. I was so dumb, I should have just had her get out of the pool and taken her home as soon as she got scared. He kept telling her she was going to drown, which is something she is absolutely terrified of, and he wouldn't let her get out of the pool at the end of class until she had let go of the wall in the deep end and kicked away by herself while he was about 10 feet away from her. She eventually did it when he moved over next to her. I feel like such a bad mom for letting that happen. She cried all through her shower after and all the way to the car and all the way home. After she finally calmed down, she said that he kept pinching her hard from under the water. WTH?!!! We're not going back!

    Comment by DigiScrapperMom (original poster) at 4:45 PM on Jul. 29, 2010

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