Listen to Your Swim Instructor
Private swim lessons are (in the opinion of the majority; including myself) the quickest way to get your child to learn how to swim or to be water safe. It all starts with a great instructor AND (most importantly) a great attitude from the parents. Yes, it does all start with the parents.
Your children know you. They know when you are sad, scared, worried, happy, etc. If they feel at any point that you are scared of the water, or scared of them being in the water, they will build that fear up within themselves. During swim lessons there have been countless times when the parent has pulled their child out of the water in the middle of their private swim lesson because the child was not into it. WORST THING YOU COULD DO. Why?
Well, by pulling your child out of the swim lesson you prove what they were thinking in their mind; they cannot do it. You perpetuate their fear of the water. You teach them that they can get out of a swim lesson if they give a big fuss. From that point on they will keep crying, fighting, etc. They know that you will eventually pull them out of the swim lesson.
Swim instructors know what they are doing. They have taught countless kids at the same level and age as your child. Yes, they have taught lessons where the child screams their head off the entire lesson. Yes, it is very normal for first time swimmers. Especially swimmers that have had tubes in their ears when they were younger, or have had a slip in the pool before. The swim instructor is expecting a cryer if they know it is the first lesson. So as a parent you do not have to feel embarassed or bad if your child is crying during the first swim lesson. On that same note, some kids cry throughout the swim lessons, having waves of good and bad days.
The bottom line is as long as your child is progressing during the swim lessons (even a little) they are getting somewhere. A swim instructor has to be tough while building trust with the child, and this is very difficult to do if they do not feel trust from the parent towards the swim lessons.
If you get only one thing from this blog it should be to trust your swim instructor. For the first few lessons you can sit outside from a distance and watch your child in the water to make sure that the swim instructor is great with you child, but after that it is time to leave for the lesson. This is essential for children that are afraid of the water, and for parents that get nervous with their child in the water during the swim lesson.