How to Turn Tears into Cheers

Why your child cries during swim lesson

It’s your child’s first day of swim lessons. You’ve been counting down the days until they begin their swimming journey, and they’ve been counting down the “sleeps” until they can jump into the pool! But what happens if the day arrives with more apprehension than anticipation, and tears are close to the surface?

We know how challenging it can be to sit back and watch your little one cry, so here are a few things to keep in mind if your tot is teary:

It’s Natural
All children cry. Some cry at daycare. Some cry at bedtime. (Some cry because the sky is blue, but there’s nothing we can do about that.) Crying during swim lessons, however, is completely natural, and no reason to worry. Two common reasons include hunger and exhaustion. Consider giving them a light, healthy snack prior to lessons, and making sure that their lessons aren’t scheduled at naptime. (And if you can change the color of the sky, go for it!)

Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The reality is that most children who cry in swim lessons aren’t fearful, they just want to see a familiar face. That’s why most stop crying after about three swim lessons (on average). If you notice your child turning to find you often, consider stepping out of sight. They’ll calm down more quickly and learn to focus on their swim instructor who is there with all kinds of fun ways to get them splashing happily.

We’ve Got Skills
We don’t mean to brag…but we’ve got skills. Techniques, that is. Our swim instructors undergo over forty hours of in-classroom and in-water training before welcoming your little one into the pool. And part of that training includes learning how to help even the weepiest tot go from tears to cheers. So sit back and relax. We’ve got this.

Just Breathe
It’s easy to let your mind wander when your child is in meltdown mode. “What will other parents think? How embarrassing! Should I get my child out of the pool?” Veteran swim parents will tell you that they get it. “Been there, done that. It’s going to be ok.” Remain calm and encouraging, so that your child is ready and excited to jump back in at their next lesson.

Stick With It
Consistency is key, and swim lessons are all about safety. Keep in mind that if your child cried while being buckled into their carseat, you would tell them how important it was to remain buckled for their safety. No amount of tears would convince you to relent on something that could save their life. The same is true with swim lessons. So as difficult as it can be to see your little one cry, we’re asking you to stick with it. They’ll love swimming in no time!

At Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, we want your child to experience all the fun and freedom that comes from knowing how to swim safely. That’s why we’re here to work through the tears and encourage you along the way. Our red chairs are made for relaxing…and they’re there just for you! We’ll see you at the pool.