To Swim or Not to swim that is the question


New Member
We started swil lessons with Sammy. Its only purpose is becuase he likes the water and we thought it would be fun. It didnt look like he was having much fun yesterday! In fact, he was screaming bloddy murder for over half of the lesson. The last part he did what he was supposed to do but he wasnt smiling or even looking content. My question is, since Sammy is so senstive to situations, meaning that one little thing can cause it to be a bad experience, should I say forget it, we tried , or give it another shot? I dont want to ruin the fun of playing in the water! :confused:
3 is the age of major fears. We are experiencing that with our 3 yo right now. Things she previously loved doing, suddenly she is scared to death.

Do they have an alternate program, like a mommy or daddy and me swim class he could switch to? It might give him the added confindence with one of you there in the water with him.

Hugs and good luck!!


My difficult child had tubes in his ears for the first two years. I put him in lessons when he was three because we have a cottage on the water and I needed him to know how to swim. difficult child screamed too. I blamed myself since we were so protective of not getting water in his ears for two years. He did learn to swim and he did enjoy it. Took some getting use to. And it was a mommy and me class. He REALLY took it out on me then.

When easy child took lessons way back when, the parents were not allowed to watch the first week because they cried. More so if they saw mom or dad. After the first week we could watch but if they cried we had to leave. I don't even remember if she told me he cried or not. They dunk them. I believe if they did not he would of never put his face in the water. Same with difficult child.

I'Learning Disability (LD) give it a week and see if it changes.


New Member
I wonder if the sounds in the pool are too overwhelming for him? I know at our local Y, the pool area is very loud and echoey...just the accoustics of the room the pool is in...every sound just bounces around in there. With Sammy's Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) diagnosis, it just makes me wonder if that's maybe why he was screaming his head off? Just a thought.

I wouldn't ditch class after just one trial. Give it another go and see how you make out.


Well-Known Member
I would maybe try it one more time and if that is a disaster try another way to teach him to swim. Can you take him to a pool by yourself at a quiet time?

My kids all learned to swim on our own. They grew up in Myrtle Beach as babies and then we went to my moms there every summer. We live on a river here and they swam in it. Jamie was afraid of the water as a toddler because he had eczema and was restricted on bathing as an infant so he didnt get used to splashing in the tub. It took him until he was about 4 to get over his fear. Get over it he did though, he passed his water survival test at boot with pneumonia at the highest level! So never fear...what they are like at 3 isnt set in stone.


Active Member
He's only 3--If it's not working I'd get him out of there. I wound up waiting until my difficult child was 5 and he's no worse for the wear.

Try taking him to the pool when there's fewer people (supper hour is good) and no agenda if scheduled lessons don't work out.

Our parks and rec pool lessons do provide individualized instructors for special needs kids so you might look into that. We also have private pools where you can get private or semi-private lessons which can be another solution.