Skip to content

Help, My Child Won’t Swim!

Swimming can be an intimidating skill to learn for a toddler. Often, swim lessons are the first time a child is exposed to a structured lesson plan, and may be intimidated by the skills they are learning.

Parents can help their students feel comfortable and progress in swim lessons in a few different ways:

  • Practice blowing bubbles at home in the bathtub. If there is no bathtub is available, have your child cup water in their hands and blow bubbles.
  • Try lying flat in the bathtub to get used to water in the ears. Having water in the ears can throw off a student’s balance, which can be scary in a new environment.
  • Have your child sing the same songs that they sing at swim lessons. Singing songs can help soothe children when they are nervous, making it easier to adjust in lessons. You can ask the Deck Manager or Front Desk team members which songs they recommend, but the ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Tiny Tim, and The Itsy Bitsy Spider are sure to make an appearance in your child’s lesson!
  • Talk about swim lessons in a positive tone throughout the week. Associating swim lessons with a positive experience can help kids get excited about learning to swim!
  • Use a reward system. Bear Paddle Swim School rewards students who master a skill with a Patch Reward. Offer students a reward, like a special dessert, a trip to the movies, or a Bear Paddle Teddy Bear, to motivate them to complete a level! Stop by the Front Desk to pick up a Patch Reward Guide so your student can keep track of the patches they earn.
  • Be persistent, and be consistent. Continuing to return to swim lessons helps students learn that they can overcome their fears, and by extension builds confidence in their abilities.