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Dealing with Bad Behavior in Swimming Lessons? Part 4

Dealing with Bad Behavior in Swimming Lessons Part 4

There will be more Behaviour Management Strategies to come. But for now, I will draw this series on dealing with bad behaviour in swimming lessons, to a close.

Last time I talked about how:

Now I would like to finish this series with:

Don't reward bad behaviour

Despite my misgivings about those who minimize praise on children, you can overpraise: in that, if you praise children even when they are misbehaving you are just sending the wrong signals. I had one child that was bought to me that every teacher in the whole swimming school was struggling with. I soon discovered why.

Image of a child and adults in the water facing each other. The child is crying. Behaviour management strategies in dealing with bad behaviour in swimming lessons.
Bad Behaviour in Swimming Lessons.

The parent praised the child for absolutely everything. I had a chance to talk to the mother and explained how she was overpraising. I thought that we were making progress until one day when the young boy had been particularly feral, I explained to the mother that she was not to get him his usual ice cream on the way out.

The child was most upset but had started to toe the line in class.

After the swimming lesson, I saw the child and mother leaving. The mother said, "you have been such a good boy today so you can have your ice cream after all".

The next day the child was worse. Remember what I said about following through this would have to be the worst kind.

So the lesson is clear, praise lots, reward good behaviour and don't reward bad behaviour. In fact, if you are doing a good job at praising and rewarding good behaviour you can usually afford to ignore bad behaviour altogether: provided of course you don't ignore unsafe practices.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

Recognizing that a good swim teacher sees everything, for safety sake, even if you are ignoring it; a child may misbehave in order to get attention and more often than not if you ignore it, it loses its point and stops.

Having said that, remember we are talking about the swimming pool, children will often do stuff that to their mind is not misbehaviour.

Which brings us full circle to what I said at the start of this series.

So to sum up we have talked about:

That you have to distinguish between bad behaviour and fear and how you can do that.

We have also talked about how:

I realize I have only touched the surface on the subject of discipline in the pool. There is a lot more that could be said and I hope will be said in the comments. It took me many years of working with children, raising 4 boys and 3 grandchildren to learn what I know now about discipline and what I know could fill a book.

On the other hand, what I don't know could, I'm sure, fill at least fill several books but I hope that, for now, I have contributed significantly to the discussion.


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