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  1. #1
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    Default Swimming instructor

    Just wanting some advice if possible ladies

    My nearly 3 1/2 year old DD has done swimming lessons since she was 6 months old.

    She has recently moved up to a class with no parent assistance. So just the kids and the instructor.

    The class size ranges from 1 child to 3 children, so not many at all.

    (Now apologies in advance if i use any of the wrong terminology in regards to behaviour)

    My DD is very well behaved the majority of the time. But does also behaves like any other 3 1/2 year old.

    She is stubborn and strong willed, but also deeply affectionate, sympathetic and caring. She tends to feel everything towards the high end of the scale

    Now, the problem I am having. Is that her current teacher, the way she teaches just doesnt sit quite right with me. She seems like she doesnt have very much patience with the kids and like her heart isnt really in it.

    I completely understand these swimming teachers need to be quite firm with the kids, especially once they move up to the class with no parents in the water.

    Sometimes during lessons, my daughter happily does everything that is asked of her. And other times, it can be a bit of a power struggle. She crosses her arms and says she doesnt want to do something. And i can see the teacher getting really annoyed at her. After a while she snaps out of it, other times I end up needing to have a little chat with her. Now I know this is totally normal behaviour.

    What really bothers me though, it seems like unless she is a perfectly behaved little kid, the teacher really makes it obvious that she is being ‘naughty’ (i am a bit hyer sensitive to these kinds of comments as im probably feeling a little defensive) and then i find myself having to make excuses to the teachers or other parents, which I hate, rather than embracing her strong little personality.

    Now I know i am feeling over protective as her mum, and i do see her through rose coloured glasses at times, but im also under no illusions as well.

    The teachers has said a few things to me about how she parents her own children, and by the sounds of it, it leans towards the harsher way, where i see myself as more of a gentle parent and talk things through with her where possible.

    I am fighting my head and my heart on this one, i dont want to be a bulldozer mum, where any obstacle in her way i just bull doze my way through. And i am also very aware that especially once she goes to school, i cant pick and choose her teachers.

    What would you do?

    Persevere with the class?

    Change teachers?

    Also, how do you deal with comments on your children’s behaviour? Or more specifically their personality?

    She can be quite bossy, and everyone we see always comments on it, and to her directly. And its starting to really bother me, aren’t we raising the leaders of tomorrow? I dont want her to continue to hear these negative type comments and feel like she should change who she is!

    Thanks to those who read my essay of a post 🤣 i ended up going a bit off topic.

  2. #2
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    I would change teachers. You need someone who has patience and doesn't make you feel like teaching your child is a painful chore.

    Your DD is only 3 1/2 - she is still learning how to behave, pushing boundaries and trying to work things out. Having a teacher who is overly harsh and miserable isn't going to do her any favours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mod-Degrassi View Post
    I would change teachers. You need someone who has patience and doesn't make you feel like teaching your child is a painful chore.

    Your DD is only 3 1/2 - she is still learning how to behave, pushing boundaries and trying to work things out. Having a teacher who is overly harsh and miserable isn't going to do her any favours.
    Thanks so much for your reply. I totally agree with what you say, but am also worried about being a bull dozer parent and not teaching resilience etc. But also know swimming needs to be fun and taught with patience, so thats why I am torn!

  5. #4
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    Default Swimming instructor

    I would stay with the teacher , I’m a big believer in kids needing to experience different personalities and learn to deal with different situations, swimming isn’t just an activity it can be dangerous so I get swimming teachers who are stricter , especially with more than 1 child in the water at the same time, DS had a very strict swimming teacher at 4 and he thrived , he’s in squads now and they are literally like drill Sargents!
    obviously, if your child is not comfortable that’s different but if she’s just being a normal kid who may not be used to being told what to do in the way this teacher does just persist a little longer and see how she goes - as far as other people commenting on your child’s behaviour, ignore them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elijahs Mum View Post
    I would stay with the teacher , I’m a big believer in kids needing to experience different personalities and learn to deal with different situations, swimming isn’t just an activity it can be dangerous so I get swimming teachers who are stricter , especially with more than 1 child in the water at the same time, DS had a very strict swimming teacher at 4 and he thrived , he’s in squads now and they are literally like drill Sargents!
    obviously, if your child is not comfortable that’s different but if she’s just being a normal kid who may not be used to being told what to do in the way this teacher does just persist a little longer and see how she goes - as far as other people commenting on your child’s behaviour, ignore them!
    Thank you for your view @Elijahs Mum
    I also agree with you as well.
    I want our DD to learn resilience and seeing as though she isnt unhappy and hasnt got a problem, and after taking with my hubby, i think we will leave her in this class for now.

    This parenting gig is challenging when your head and heart have internals battles with each other i think I also just need to learn to be a bit more assertive and confident within myself in dealing with these situations going forward. Ive always just been the ‘nice girl’ sitting and agreeing with everyone and never rocking the boat.

  8. #6
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    My MIL is 'harsher' than I am when it comes to disciplining my toddler (I don't mean abusive, she's just firmer and doesn't give in). My personality is just more lenient but honestly, my kid is better for it - she's learned to take 'no' for an answer instead of throwing tantrums, for example.

    Sometimes, them experiencing a different style or approach does wonders.

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    MrsMummaButterfly (08-08-2020)

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    I would let the school know that you aren't happy.

    Yes I want my child to be resilient however, I think people should be pulled up on poor behaviour. (The teacher I mean).

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  12. #8
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    What does your daughter think? Is she happy in the class, to go to class? Is she totally resistive? That would probably be my best gauge on whether things were working with the teacher.

    Agree that being safe in the water is important so if your daughter was doing something dangerous then yes, I’d want it addressed. If she is just not wanting to participate, I’d be wanting the teacher to be trying to engage her in a different way. If the teacher is simply getting grumpy at her for everything, she won’t understand the significance of one over the other.

    I’d speak to the teacher, offer your techniques that you use at home with your DD. The decision to request a new teacher would be based how your DD is responding to the lesson (is she happy (generally speaking) about swimming and is she progressing).

    Comments on personality maybe a simple, ‘it would be boring if we were all the same don’t you think?’

    I’ve noticed it always seems to be girls that are bossy! Depending on who makes the comment and the tone that it’s said, I usually say something like...
    I’d say she’s assertive. I’m so proud she can voice her ideas.

    Most people get the vibe that I’m not impressed with their negative comment and it’s enough to end that subject whilst my DD still feels supported by me.

    We do spend time ‘role playing’ at home, asking for our teddy/baby’s ideas as well though.

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    I would swap. I’ve been in a similar situation though my girls are older at 6 and 8. I’ve pushed through with the harsh teacher for two years, she’s meant to be one of the best. And it just made my DD1 hate swimming lessons when she used to love them. She wasn’t even learning that much. Oddly enough the teacher seemed to have a soft spot for my 6yo and I had no issue with how she was treated. DD1 though does not look 8, she looks more like 12, and I think the teacher expected more from her than most 8yos.

    I tried to push through because of the reasons mentioned above about learning to work with different personalities. But I regret not speaking up earlier. I feel like I didn’t have her back. We’re raised to not make waves and to make situations work. However if you’re feeling uncomfortable watching the lessons, it’s got to be even worse to be the kid being treated badly.

    I had decided to pull them out when the whole covid thing struck. My DDs we’re doing a double lesson before school but the teacher booted DD1 out because she wasn’t paying enough attention. I think they had upped their chemicals because it covid and my DD was reacting and super itchy. The teacher wouldn’t know that as she never actually asked my DD what was wrong. That’s when I called it.

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  16. #10
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    Trust your gut. If you feel it's not the right fit, put her into another class.
    There's nothing wrong with being strong willed and independent. It might be inconvenient for an inpatient swimming teacher, but you'll be glad of her strong will when she's older (although about half the time it'll also drive you bonkers ).
    Last edited by SJ565; 07-08-2020 at 22:31.

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