Towards the end of the summer holiday’s we were told, by Roran’s swimming teacher, that he was ready to move from the stage 3 ‘yellow hats’group into the stage 4 ‘green hats’. Roran was really excited, but we then had the mission of finding a space in a class that would suit. Most green hat classes are after school and we knew he would be too tired to join one of those. Not to mention the nightmare of controlling the little two whilst we tried to sit and watch! We managed to get a space in an early morning class on Saturday, and better still it was with one of his two favourite teachers.
His first lesson arrived and excitedly we waited at the side, green hat and goggles on and ready to go. The big difference between his yellow and green hat class was that the teacher taught from the side, not in the pool. He would also be going side to side rather than up and down. We soon realised it wasn’t his teacher, which worried Roran but he got in the pool confidently. Being the smallest in the class and youngest, I had hoped the teacher would had paid attention to him on his first lesson but he was distracted with another child and it took him at least 10 minutes to see Roran struggling.
Roran being keen had got into the deepest part of the pool and could not touch the floor. Confident he could do it, he had headed off trying to keep up with the older children and struggled. It was hard to watch and I had to stop myself getting up and taking him out the pool or shouting at the teacher, who was now busy talking to another teacher. Eventually he offered him a float and brought him to the shallower end.
When he got out I told myself I wouldn’t tell him how good he did and how well he had tried. However the first thing he said to me was ‘it was hard, I want to be a yellow hat’. I was heartbroken to see my water confident boy so down. I knew he could do it, but he lost his confidence. Next week we had to convince him to go, whereas normally he is excited about his lessons. Daddy took him to see if it helped. No he sat and cried.
We talked it through and decided to try another week, and I would talk to his normal teacher. So before his lesson, as he clung to my arm, I spoke to her about how the first lesson had gone and raised my concerns. She knew Roran from teaching him before and knew he was capable of the class. She also mentioned that not being able to touch the floor was a disadvantage. She gave him a float to start and helped for the first few things. Without him noticing she took the float away and was joining in with the class. Afterwards he got out all smiles and told me ‘it was easy’, not really but he had his confidence back and if he say’s it easy then that’s fine.
He has now been in the class for about 6 weeks and his attitude has changed completely, he is happy to go and confident to get in. His teacher has made a huge difference just by giving him some time and believing he can do it. She has actually been away for two of the classes and let him join her in the Sunday class instead so that he has had the continuity needed. We have our confident water baby back, and now enjoy watching his lessons again.