Welcome to part 2 of our Tadpole Level – A Parent’s Guide post! Hope this rounds out your informational needs, but always let us know if you would like more information or have questions, we are here to help!
What To Expect During Class:
Tadpole classes have varying monthly themes; Balance, Safety, Breathing, etc. You can expect to follow similar class structures each class you take. While some variances will occur, AquaTech follows a repetitive format on purpose, as repetition is the key to learning. You will see small improvements in each drill over the course of your classes. Your instructor will work with your child’s ability level to ensure they are progressing and advancing towards the classes main goals. Feel free to speak with your instructor if you have questions or concerns about your child’s progress.
The Tadpole class goals are designed to help each child achieve comfort in, around and under the water. Full submersion, short distance swims, basic leg kick and arm movement, comfortable floating, safe pool entries/exits, lifesaving techniques and pure enjoyment of the aquatic environment are the goals of the class.
Your Tadpole may show signs of fear or distress in your initial lessons. Experience has shown that consistent attendance and routine will transform the most fearful Tadpole to one of the happiest. Don’t be self conscious about your tearful or protesting Tadpole. Our instructors are trained to work with these types of students and will give you tips and guidance on how to handle your time with them in the lesson. The best thing you can do is keep coming with a positive attitude and reward the small improvements each time, this too shall pass! Most people in this situation see a transformation in their child after the 4th lesson, generally, but each child is unique, so be patient with your Tadpole.
Just like adults, children have good days and bad days. Sometimes a child will be overly tired at an irregular time, cranky from teething or growing pains, or lethargic from the previous night’s lack of sleep. GO WITH WHAT THE DAY IS. If one day they are not performing at peak, don’t want to participate with the class, want to get out early, fall asleep in the car and miss the first half of class…go with it! Find what works for you that day and make the best of it! Not every class is going to be perfect, just as in life, not every day will go perfectly. One of the important lessons your child will learn in addition to their swimming skills is to keep a positive attitude and make things work despite adversity!
After Class Routine:
When exiting your class for the day, be sure to say goodbye to classmates and your instructor, allowing your Tadpole to give their own form of goodbye to their friends and instructor. Immediately wrap your child in a towel while you wait to rinse in the pool deck shower. After rinsing, wrap a towel around yourself to stay warm while you undress your child and dress them in dry clothing (it is not advised to leave your infant/toddler in wet clothes after class ends). Once dry and dressed, give your child a snack/bottle to occupy them while you get dressed.
If your child is nursing and cranky after class, nurse them after they are dressed and before you change into clothes. If they are patient but hungry, allow yourself to get dressed and find an area to nurse comfortably. Having a child enjoy a snack in the facility as a reward after a class helps build positive connotations around the lesson.
Utilizing AquaRec & AquaBaby:
A great addition to any swim lesson level is recreational swim time. Practice class skills or allow your child to free play and explore with you. Let the other parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin swim with your Tadpole and share the enjoyment of being in the water. The more time you spend in the water, the faster your child will become accustomed to and comfortable in the water, along with getting to practice what they know.
It is very important that a child is not taken outside of their comfort zone during recreational swim time, as it could inhibit the progress your child is making in lessons. Ensure that any new person swimming with your child adheres to the same routines and practices the child has been working on in class. If mom usually brings the child to lessons and they have been working on confidence with short under water submersions, it could be detrimental if dad brings the child to AquaBaby and puts them under the water in a different frequency and fashion or visa versa. Communicate with others involved in the aquatic process or supervise the swim by getting in yourself!
Thank you for reading, and again, congrats on a well made choice for your little one!