After 6 months of swimming classes, my son is finally able to swim from one end of the pool to another without using a float. His journey, and us as parents was not easy. His struggle was to keep practising. Our role was to make sure that he is consistent in going to his classes and persistent in moments when he does not want to swim.
I still believe in some of the traditional ways of raising your children. Which includes not giving in too much into his choices. Cause his choices can be bad for his future. I don’t spank or hit my kid but I raise and harden my voice, a lot. I don’t yell. I just give out verbal threats. Things like,
“if you don’t change into your swimming gear now, I will STILL bring you to your swimming class in those Pokemon pajamas ..”
and I would just stand there, stare him down whilst he cry his eyeballs out. It was hard not to give in but I had to make my stand. He caved in and packed his suit and like most kids, you just need to give them the early motivation, within minutes they already enjoy the class and wants to attend the next one.
But to be honest, the same cycle of ‘I don’t want to go‘ will start all over again.
I did try to explore the reasons of why he refuses to go to class. Some of his reasons include;
- he doesn’t have any friends that he know during those sessions. I told him to make new friends. I also understand that he would feel a bit different there as there are very few Malays but I wanted him to know, mix and talk to other non-Malay Malaysians for exposure.
- he was worried that he couldn’t catch up. I told him he does not need to get everything right and perfect in one go – all I wanted for him is to try and give his best.
- it’s cold in the water. I told him that he needs to eat more then, so he would bulk up and stand the temperature of the water better. I make him drink at least 2 glasses of milk everyday, 3 glasses on a weekend. He is gaining weight and getting taller. Not so much of body fat. haha
I enrolled him in the unlimited class options for RM700 over 6 months. Prior to that huge monetary commitment, I signed him up to the trial class to see if it would suit him. That was 4 classes at RM120. I have not been able to send him there on a daily basis but we make do with the flexibility in terms of timing the sessions on weekends.
I told him that he can stop the classes once he masters the strokes and has advanced to the deeper end of the pool. But his learning journey will not stop there. Once this skill station is done, we are sending him to a language class. It will be up to him then which language he would like to learn.