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Why Regression Happens

Childhood is marked by milestones, and those accomplishments are worth celebrating. But what happens when normalcy and routine are upended in the age of COVID and regression happens? If your family returned to swim lessons after our temporary closure only to find that your child’s swimming skills have regressed while we were apart, you may be wondering why. Let us explain. 

Simply put, regression in children is normal and even more common during times of stress. According to psychotherapist Noel McDermott, “In general, we are all going to regress a little in our functioning during this time of major transition. Children are going to regress more than adults, and the younger the child, the more the regression is likely to be.”  

In fact, children under three years old do not yet possess long-term memory, and the “use it or lose it” principle comes into play when they are out of the water for extended periods of time. For older children, taking a break is just like pausing any other important skill—reading, writing, mathematics, sports, music, etc. If they take a break, it is inevitable that some momentum will be lost, and upon returning, they will have to redevelop the skills they were close to mastering before.  

So, what do you do?  

Stay Consistent 

While children are learning the layers of skills that build a safe and confident swimmer, consistency is key. Swimming is a skill that needs to be practiced until it becomes second nature (their automatic response in the water). Participating in swim lessons year-round is the most effective way for children to retain more knowledge for longer periods of time.   

Remain Patient 

No one quite knows how to respond to this season of uncertainty and extending an extra measure of patience with children is necessary. Our curriculum is built on this idea that regression, like tears, are normal in children. It is part of learning and part of life, and it’s ok to go up and down like the waves. 

Trust the Experts 

We remain committed to getting your little one caught up on swimming skills that may have been lost during our time apart, and our swim coaches and staff are here to answer any questions you may have about your child’s progress in swim lessons. Ask us more about where your child is on their Aqua-Tots Swim Journey. We’re happy to explain. 

At Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, our customers are our family, and we are happy to come alongside you to find a new normal together. Seeing our happy, splashy tots once again reminds us why we have one of the most important jobs in the world—helping them remain safe in and around the water! 

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