Sink or Swim

I have taken Mini Mck to swimming lessons since he was about six months old. I found a brilliant swim school, which is in a lovely venue with a salt water pool and great teachers, who are patient and allow each child to go at their own pace. Something, which I’ve heard doesn’t happen at some of the larger, more well-known swim schools.

He used to love it, as the photo proves, but towards the end of the summer term he started to become quite clingy and definitely not interested in going under the water. Things, such as jumping in from sitting on the edge of the pool, that he’d previously been fine with, were now met with tears.

I decided to carry on in September, but with a far more relaxed attitude, making sure we just took things really slowly and we’ve made some progress. In fact, since Christmas each week has become easier and he has finally begun to loosen the vice like grip on me.

Just before half term, which was 2 weeks, I couldn’t make it as I was away. I asked my Dad and Stepmum to take him, with my Dad going in the pool. I nearly told them not to, but felt he’d make enough progress and would be fine. Apparently, it was a disaster and they only stayed in the class for 20 minutes, out of a possible 45.

I got the feeling that my Dad and Stepmother felt I was mean to be taking him at all, with comments like “As soon as we got there he was miserable, once he realised where he was” (he had napped in the car, which would explain some grumpiness)

It was the first week back today and unfortunately I was without a car, so my Dad took us.

It was awful. Mini Mck cried through much of it and he was far worse than normal. Usually, he is a little reticent to begin with and holds on to me tightly, but gradually forgets himself and providing I don’t dunk him, enjoys it,.

Now, I am confused as to whether I finally, just give up. I don’t really want to, as feel I would never take him casually, expecting the worse and we wouldn’t go back to classes for the same reason and I want him to feel confident in the water at some point.  I did get the feeling that because Grandad was sitting by the pool, it was a temptation for him, literally a ‘get out’  clause, if you like. Or perhaps I was more tense, I’m not very good at parenting with an audience.

On the other hand, if he doesn’t like it, why bother? It is expensive and I don’t want to be ‘pushy mother’

We are paid up until Easter, so I have a chance to test my theory that he will be better when it is just the two of us again. I am just so disappointed, seeing as we were doing to well.

What would you do?

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