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Swimming Class: Frightened, Screaming Children, Part 3

Frightened, Screaming Children in Swimming Class 

Last time we discussed the dos of dealing with Frightened, Screaming Children in Swimming Class:

Image of a child and adults in the water facing each other. The child is crying. What to do with frightened, screaming children in swimming class

Frightened, Screaming Children in Swimming Class

This time I would like to talk about the miscellaneous aspects:

  • "Bribery works"
  • "Expect that they will do what you say"
  • "Do what you say and say what you will do"

Bribery works 

When my children were growing up, my wife and I read all the "raising children books" that we came across...well the truth be known my wife read them and underlined all the bits that she thought I should read. The one thing that was put forward over and over was that you should never bribe a child, you should always contract with them; to this day I have never figured out the difference.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

Bribery works, not all the time but enough to make it worthwhile making an attempt.

It is definitely Ok to offer a child something in exchange for their compliance. This is one thing that parents can be a great help.

Parents usually know what their child would consider a worthwhile swap. But there is a caveat. The reward must be realistic and it must be available as soon as the new swimmer complies.

Twenty dollars in 2011 to three year old is ridiculous but a bright shiny 20 cents could be just the ticket

A ride in daddy's new car when he comes home is too long to wait but a big hug from mummy now may be just the thing. Get the idea?

Expect that they will do what you say

When I was a church youth leader I had Many occasions where I organized weekends away for children and young people. On one such weekend, I had one of my leaders come to me and say in frustration "why will the children never do what I say" to which I replied, "that is the problem, you never expect them to".

Children are very perceptive and if they detect any wavering on your part you can expect them to capitalist on it.

My favourite line in the movie kindergarten cop is "have no fear".

It's all about your personal presents. Say what you need to have done with confidence and say it in a way that there is no doubt that you expect it to be done.

It's not about raging like a fool or having an overabundance of courage. It's not about being overbearing. Rather it is having and portraying the confidence that you know what you are doing and have the well-being of your charges at heart.

If you believe that you are going to be ignored then you will be but if you respect and care for a person, particularly a child, then they are most likely going to respect you and if a child respects and cares for you they will do what you say.

It is kind of biblical really.

Do what you say and say what you will do

This to me is the most important thing of all. If you take nothing else away from what I have written here you Must take this.

Don't ever trick Or deceive your new swimmer into thinking you are going to do something and then do something else.

Don't ever tell a child you are not going to put them underwater and then do just that. I know many a person has thought that if I can just get their head underwater they will be fine and that may or may not be true but if you do it by deception, even if it works your credibility will be shot and you can expect resistance from then on. You can expect that the progress of your new swimmer will always be tempered by their lack of trust in you.

What's more, if you do something different from what you say you are going to do and it doesn't work you can forget about getting your student to do what you say for a Long time.

So make sure that you do what you say and say what you do. Do not deviate or deceive. Your relationship with any new swimmer depends on it.

In fact, making sure you do what you say and say what you do should be your mantra no matter what level of student you teach.

Remember that the most important thing you can establish when you have a crying, frantic, frightened or screaming child is to establish trust. If you can't establish trust you are doomed to fail. But if you can establish trust you will not only gain a new student but a friend.


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