A child’s “graduation” from Aqua Babies (Parent-and-me) classes can bring with it some challenges. Below are some guidelines that will help your child through this transition.
1. The week prior to your child’s first level 1 class, talk to them several times about “Swimming in the big boy/big girl class.”
2. When you and your child come to his or her first Level 1 class, let one of our staff members carry your child out to the pool. Meanwhile, remain out of sight, so that your child can bond with the instructor. Tears are normal for the about the first 3 classes without mom or dad. These are simply because of separation anxiety. By remaining out of sight and leaving your child in the class for the entire lesson, you communicate to your child that the situation is safe, and that there is no need for anyone to “rescue” them. Our instructors are well trained in handling anxiety effectively.
3. Relax. Remember that your child reflects your energy. If you are nervous and uptight, your child will sense that, and he or she will reflect your anxiety. Use a calm, soft tone, when talking to your child, and tell them how proud you are that they are swimming in the big boy/big girl class.
4. Be consistent. Make sure that your child attends every class for the first month that they are in Level 1. Consistency helps them to adjust to the new setting as being the “new normal.”
5. Trust the instructor and the deck supervisor. Try to interfere as little as possible, when your child is transitioning. Our staff is well trained in handling anxious/nervous students. Transitioning a student into a Level 1 can be likened to the student starting pre-school. It is important for the parent to be ready to “let go.”