Swimming sucked. Now what?

As I expected after Friday’s conversations with Hunter, swimming lessons did not go well on the weekend.

Before we got there she was saying she didn’t want to go. We tried to keep it low key and just said that we’d see how she felt when we got there, and that I would stay close.

To start with she refused to even go near the pool. Eventually she sat on the edge. Initially the instructor was really good. She got her in the water and walked around with her in her arms a bit, talked calmly with her, and told her she could get out after a little walk and sit on the edge. Hunter cried the whole time – really cried – but was okay.

After a while the instructor told her it was time to get back in. She took her by the arms and pretty much made her get in even though she was crying and saying she didn’t want to. She cried the whole time again but managed a bit of a giggle too when the instructor encouraged her to splash me.

After that she had her hold onto the edge of the pool rather than get out, but she got more and more agitated and ended up climbing out and refusing to get back in. When it came to her turn again she was really freaked out and really, really didn’t want to get back in.

This time the instructor was saying “stop being silly! stop crying! No, you have to stop now!” It made me a bit mad.

She pulled her into the water again and poor Hunter really was distressed. She was crying for me and saying she wanted to get out but was doing what she was told because she obviously just wanted the experience to be over.

And after all that, she went off and played in the kids’ pool, happy as a clam. Later that day she was talking to leigh and leigh was saying how she’d been good at preschool annd had a really great time this week, and hunter piped up with “yes, and a great time at swimming, too!”

Gah!

Now I am not sure what to do about next week’s lesson. At the moment the plan is to try not to even mention swimming for a few days. On Saturday we’ll try to get there 15 minutes early and let her just sit on the edge of the pool and watch the other lessons, and hopefully be inclined to participate in her own.

If she says she doesn’t want to, I am not sure what I will do. I don’t want her to think she can act up and get out of things, and I do want her to learn that she needs to be with other adults besides Leigh and I.

But I don’t want a stupid swimming lesson to be a huge source of trauma, either.

So. I dunno.

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