Sometimes at BritSwim, our hearts break. Too often in fact. It happens when we have kids come to us with a terrible fear of the water, particularly when it could have been avoided.
Too many children are being traumatised by having someone they are supposed to be a able to trust – their swimming teacher – force them under water. Dunk them. Push them in from the side. Sometimes even hold them under the water as a punishment. Imagine that for a second, how it would feel as a small child to have an adult, one that you have to obey, force your head under the water while you struggle.
We don’t need to try very hard to imagine it, unfortunately, because we have parents describe it to us when they bring their scared children to us in the hope we’ll be able to help restore their kids’ enjoyment of the water.
It’s one of the things we are extremely passionate about – giving kids back their trust, and making sure they see swimming lessons as a safe and happy time.
Please, please, do NOT let a swimming teacher force your child to do anything that makes them distressed.
Your child should NOT cry before swimming lessons. Swimming lessons should NOT be something that they dread.
If your child is afraid to go to class, there is something wrong. Teachers can be wrong. Forcible submersion is wrong. Watch your child’s swimming class. If a teacher does this to your child, stop lessons with that teacher.
Let your child enjoy the water, and let their lessons be a foundation for a lifelong love of swimming.