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Old 08-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #11
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Re: So ticked at 5 year old! Feeling like a bad mom!

Parenting is hard, and I think sometimes our little birds do need that little push. I would definately talk to him- we do need to look at situations from their point of view, but he is old enough to hear your point of view, too (in a calm matter of fact way that validates his feelings)
Are there any other activities that he is interested in? I think you would have more success starting him with ones he shows even a little interest in.

Honestly, I would talk to the swim instructor, and ask them their recommendations- personally, I would just drop him off and say have fun- then leave- and stay out of sight- he may just surprise you and have a better response to other authority (swim instructors) than he does with having you try and force him into the pool- they also have way of cajoling kids in- and they have probably had kids like him before. I would just tell him you are taking him, and expect him to listen to the teachers, and you are proud of him for being brave and trying things out, even if he decides not to get in the water, and leave it at that.

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Old 08-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #12
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Re: So ticked at 5 year old! Feeling like a bad mom!

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Both of my daughters take swim lessons and we pay $300 a semester ( 12 weeks) per child. You cannot get your child over a fear of water in the course of a couple of days it takes time. There are methods you can use to help your child get ready to be used to the water. One is "blowing bubbles" in the bath tub.

I agree with the above poster that apologizing to your child could be a great first step. Maybe next year he will be more ready/willing to get used to the water, or maybe you could find a longer program so that he has the time to get used to the fact that this is something he is going to be doing for a while so he might as well try. IDK if you use positive rewards, but maybe for each lesson he goes to he gets a sticker on the swim chart and at the end he gets to something with mommy and/or daddy that he loves, or he gets a special toy?
That's the thing, he's not really "scared" of the water.... he blows bubbles in the tub, and he gets right in the water of the river and pretends to swim around.... I just think it's the pool vs. a gradual grade. I don't know. He does this alot, just balks at certain things.

It was taking everything in me to be positive about the whole thing, but if he had a good day we would sit on the bleachers afterward and have a special snack, etc. We'd call Grandma and tell her about it. That kind of stuff. He seemed proud to have those good days, but he would still say that he didn't want to the next day.

I just struggle w/ this, especially. I don't really know why. I'm so jealous of the other parents that are sitting there, cheering their little one on that is YOUNGER than my DS and diving into the deep end. I can't help it! My DS has a 1 on 1 teacher, because he can't/won't do what the rest of the class can do. He's in the beginner class, too.

I guess I just want him to be good at SOMETHING. He doesn't want to try anything new, or really have to TRY at anything at all. It's so frustrating to me! I think continuing to talk about it here is just making my feelings worse.... I need to bow out for bit. My feelings shouldn't matter, and they are becoming more important right now than DS's.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #13
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Re: So ticked at 5 year old! Feeling like a bad mom!

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Did he ask you to spend $30 that you didn't have on swim lessons for him? It sounds like he isn't ready and that your choice to put him in swim lessons has caused you BOTH a lot of stress. Unless he was the one that wanted the lessons, I don't think he "got away" with anything. He has tried to make it clear from the beginning that he didn't like this but you didn't listen, so he tried harder to be heard. I think you need to take a deep breath, calm down, and go apologize to him. I don't mean to sound like I'm picking on you. I have done similar things myself as a mom and learned to look at things from my children's POV. Just trying to offer a different perspective.
So you should never push a child to do anything he does not "want" to do? Let a child quit whatever they want b/c they have a tantrum? Never make a decision your child dislikes because you are the parent and you know whats best for your child?

Learning to swim SAVES LIVES.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:09 AM   #14
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Re: So ticked at 5 year old! Feeling like a bad mom!

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So you should never push a child to do anything he does not "want" to do? Let a child quit whatever they want b/c they have a tantrum? Never make a decision your child dislikes because you are the parent and you know whats best for your child?

Learning to swim SAVES LIVES.
I didn't say you should never push a child to do something they don't want to do. If it is life or death or of extreme importance then of course there are times that a child has to be pushed. It is VERY rare that I make my kids do anything though. They are people and I treat them how I want to be treated and I would not want to have to participate in an activity I didn't enjoy. Learning how to swim does save lives, but so does properly watching children near water. The OPs son is 5, still very young. He will have plenty of time to learn to swim without being traumatized by the experience. The best learning takes place in a stress free, fun environment for most kids.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:11 AM   #15
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Re: So ticked at 5 year old! Feeling like a bad mom!

My son did this last year and I sat him down and told him he had no choice. I explained to him about safety and how he needed to learn to swim. I told him he didn't have to like it and he didn't have to do lessons forever, but he needed to at least learn how to swim. And you know what? He didn't like lessons. But, he stopped fighting me on them and he is learning to swim and overcome his fears in the water. There are very few things I push my kids to do, but when it comes to their safety, they don't get the choice.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:17 AM   #16
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Re: So ticked at 5 year old! Feeling like a bad mom!

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I didn't say you should never push a child to do something they don't want to do. If it is life or death or of extreme importance then of course there are times that a child has to be pushed. It is VERY rare that I make my kids do anything though. They are people and I treat them how I want to be treated and I would not want to have to participate in an activity I didn't enjoy. Learning how to swim does save lives, but so does properly watching children near water. The OPs son is 5, still very young. He will have plenty of time to learn to swim without being traumatized by the experience. The best learning takes place in a stress free, fun environment for most kids.
How many kids under five drown each year? Learning to swim can very well BE a life or death situation. Swim lessons are non-negotiable in my book, they ARE of "extreme importance". You can watch kids all you want but accidents happen. Knowing how to swim saves lives. AT five it is HIGH TIME that he learns to swim. Maybe it's living near the water but it's rare to find a 5 year old here who can't swim.

Many kids don't WANT to go to school either or do math homework but that doesn't mean you can just say "Oh well he doesn't WANT to". I am GLAD my parents pushed me to do things I might not otherwise would have become competent in. It's part of life to learn that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to.

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Old 08-09-2011, 09:20 AM   #17
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Re: So ticked at 5 year old! Feeling like a bad mom!

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That's the thing, he's not really "scared" of the water.... he blows bubbles in the tub, and he gets right in the water of the river and pretends to swim around.... I just think it's the pool vs. a gradual grade. I don't know. He does this alot, just balks at certain things.

It was taking everything in me to be positive about the whole thing, but if he had a good day we would sit on the bleachers afterward and have a special snack, etc. We'd call Grandma and tell her about it. That kind of stuff. He seemed proud to have those good days, but he would still say that he didn't want to the next day.

I just struggle w/ this, especially. I don't really know why. I'm so jealous of the other parents that are sitting there, cheering their little one on that is YOUNGER than my DS and diving into the deep end. I can't help it! My DS has a 1 on 1 teacher, because he can't/won't do what the rest of the class can do. He's in the beginner class, too.

I guess I just want him to be good at SOMETHING. He doesn't want to try anything new, or really have to TRY at anything at all. It's so frustrating to me! I think continuing to talk about it here is just making my feelings worse.... I need to bow out for bit. My feelings shouldn't matter, and they are becoming more important right now than DS's.
Well, if it isn't fear and just him not wanting to I have no advice there. Maybe keep trying different things until something clicks with him?? We put DD in Soccer, and swimming and gymnastics. She had a hard time wanting to participate at soccer. She didn't like it and after one semester we quit going. Gymnastics were ok, but she really wasn't into it like the other kids, but swimming that is her thing. She really enjoys it. If she didn't I guess we'd just keep finding things until something clicked. I think these things take time. I hope you find something that he enjoy.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:28 AM   #18
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Re: So ticked at 5 year old! Feeling like a bad mom!

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Did he ask you to spend $30 that you didn't have on swim lessons for him? It sounds like he isn't ready and that your choice to put him in swim lessons has caused you BOTH a lot of stress. Unless he was the one that wanted the lessons, I don't think he "got away" with anything. He has tried to make it clear from the beginning that he didn't like this but you didn't listen, so he tried harder to be heard. I think you need to take a deep breath, calm down, and go apologize to him. I don't mean to sound like I'm picking on you. I have done similar things myself as a mom and learned to look at things from my children's POV. Just trying to offer a different perspective.
I'm going to take the other side and say that swimming lessons for a 5 year old are reasonable and a matter of safety. Even if it only putting his/her face in the water without freaking out and treading water, kids need to learn how to be safe in the water. period. While he may avoid water because he's afraid of it, you have no idea what the future may bring w/ regards to his exposure to water--a boat, a bridge, falling in a friend's pool. He needs to be able to not "lose it" in the water and be safe until someone can rescue him. If his trepidation is as bad as you say, OP, then swim lessons are even more important.

I understand your frustration.

And I don't think you need to apologize to your son, unless you want to apologize for yelling. Then explain to him that it is about keeping him safe.

To the bolded--sometimes a child has to do things they don't want to do. Period.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:33 AM   #19
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Hey mama - we have a similar situation here often and I have two thoughts. If he is insecure then LOTS of talking about how important it is to do things we are NOT good at. You don't get to be expert at anything unless you are willing to be bad at it for a long time. Being not so great at things is part of learning.

My second thought and what works for us is incentive. Incentive. Incentive. Whatever works for you guys, but it could be a shiny nickel to put in his piggy bank. A special treat he only gets after swim lesson. A toy he has been wanting. Whatever. Something tangible and fairly immediate. If you don't do the lesson you don't get x bc you can only get x when you do the lesson.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:38 AM   #20
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Oh, and stories about how AWful you were at something and how you got better and look at you now! And LOTS of praise for his successes - WOW kiddo - you got all the way in!! Way to go!!

It is hard to overcome fears. He has been doing a great job.

Oh, and fwiw my 6yo dd is SO hard in exactly this way, so I hear you! It is not a one time hurdle for us but an ongoing life challenge. Some days we do it right, other days are a big FAIL. but hey... Read part one and apply to self as well.

HTH
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