So when this morning dawned I was feeling pretty good, knowing they were a little more confident and knew the kinds of things they'd be asked to do. Then it all went pear shaped. Muddy Preschooler was up first, she refused to get into the pool, then once she got in she cried and cried, the swim instructor (who is also a Mum) was really lovely and positive and helped her do the first few tasks. Then the crying got old very quickly, Muddy Preschooler flatly refused to do what was asked, even when I climbed in with her (the only parent in this age group class to do so), hoping it would encourage her. It didn't matter what amount of firmness, niceness, flat out bribery I used it was a disaster and I asked myself several times 'Why am I doing this?'.
I tried to be patient I really did, by the end I was threatening to go home (I know, not the best thing to so, but after 25 minutes I was getting desperate), Muddy Preschooler kept saying she didn't want to go home, wanted to stay, but kept the crying up, which for the last 5 minutes was admittedly only a whimper. As soon as the lesson was over she put her towel on and stood by the pool watching Muddy Pixie's swim lesson.
Muddy Pixie started out really well, until we got to the part where she held my hands and jumped in the pool, she slowly backed away from the pool, to where she was out of my reach and no amount of coaxing was getting her back towards the edge of the pool, finally a Dad who was observing gave her a little nudge from behind to just put her into my reach and then I didn't let go.
Not the best of starts to our swimming lessons, and admittedly I came home a little disheartened, I am determined not to give up, to try and remain as positive as I can, as I know it's probably very daunting for them. The disheartening bit is I know they can do everything they were asked to do, they chose not to though.
My plan for tomorrow is Bribery! Lolly bribery (not my favourite, but at the moment it's what works) and so far I've had firm agreement from them that they will participate and not cry, several big statements such as 'I'm going to jump in really big', and 'I'm going to do everything Alicia asks' and my favourite 'I'm not going to cry', because I can cope with the refusal, I can cope with the excuses to get out of the pool 3 times, but the crying breaks my heart. If you have any ideas on how to manage my swim lesson dilemma, or anything that has worked for you please share! I have another 9 days of swimming lessons in front of me and I think I'll probably run out of bribes by Thursday.
|Muddy Preschooler having fun with her Muddy Aunty|
|Muddy Preschooler paddling on the noodle|
|Muddy Pixie and her Muddy Grandma|