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Swimming lessons become a chore that most parents dread, not to mention one of the most expensive after school activities for kids…

Knowing how to swim is essential for any Aussie kid, but a growing number of parents are becoming frustrated with the process of getting their children to and from regular swimming lessons. Not only that, but many are questioning whether parents are starting the lessons with their children too early, suggesting they are a waste of time.

An Essential Or A Luxury?

One mum took to the Essential Kids forum to ask whether paying for her fourteen month old to attend swimming lessons was a bad idea. “Our fourteen month old attends swimming classes and I’ve now had two negative comments along the lines of ‘why would you pay for your small child to splash about in the water?'” she wrote. “I’m second guessing myself but I thought I was doing a good thing!” Responses to the post were mixed, but many parents echoed the mum’s doubts. “My third child had no swimming lessons until the age of five,” wrote one forum member. “After a few lessons, he was pretty much at the same swimming stage as his brothers were…yet they’d be doing customary swimming lessons from a few months old.”

All Too Hard

Many parents are being put off taking their child to swimming lessons due to the difficulty of getting to the lessons on time, the requirement for parents to remain poolside for the duration of the lesson, and the lack of interest shown by their children in learning how to swim properly. Caitlin Fitzsimmons, from The Sydney Morning Herald, says that starting lessons too early can do more harm than good. “One mistake a lot of families make is they start too young,” she wrote. “Then, fed up with the grind, they pull the children out before they really have the skills.”

We can totally understand why some parents become frustrated with the whole process, but learning to swim is such an important part of growing up in Australia. If you’re concerned about the cost and commitment, we definitely think it’s important to wait until your child has the interest and motivation to get the most out of structured lessons, but the sooner you get them used to being in the water, the better!

Do you think swimming lessons are non-negotiable or a waste of time? Tell us in the comments!

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  • 100% worth every cent and every bit of time.

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  • Nowadays swim lessons becomes an important skill for kids or adults. So as per my thoughts, everyone should learn how to swim because it is a fun and life-saving activity or skill. For this you can also arrange the backyard swim lessons at your home. It is not a waste of time.

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  • Learning to swim is a vital skill. Not waiting for swimming at school…Im teaching my baby myself.

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  • What price a child’s life?

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  • non-negotiable kids need to be safe and lessons are part of that

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  • I think they’re essential and made sure my kids knew how to swim

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  • A must

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  • For us swimming lessons is a MUST. We have 4 kids, two of whom are twins, and I’m not going to lie, it was really difficult especially when they were really small. My son doesn’t like it but my oldest daughter now swims competitively because she loves it so much. One of the twins has just started swimming competitively too and the other twin wants to but isn’t ready. I think it’s important they learn to swim for their own safety and it’s lots of fun too when they go on holidays etc.

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  • For our family they were a non-negotiable. For my son’s safety but also swimming enjoyment, I wanted him to undersatnd water safety and learn to swim.

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  • I think that water safety is essential for everyone and this is what swimming lessons should focus on. Swimming lessons that only focus on strokes and technique is not needed, but how to save yourself and get to the edge of a pool or to float is essential.

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  • We moved to the country and they had lessons during school time as part of PE which was free and the teacher was a swimming instructor so we were very lucky.

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  • I’d actually love to see classes for older kids to help them be confident around water, how to float, how to survive in water that you can’t touch the bottom of, swimming itself I’m.not fussed about but to actually long how to keep your head above water and to “swim” in their comfortable style to safety. Having ASD children they won’t go into water past their knees. If they do they cling onto me nearly causing me to go under without being able to get above water …. even smaller classes it’s just so hard to find services that are willing to work with more sensitive children

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  • Kids aquatic survival school is definitely worth the time and money. Most drowning happen to under 4 year olds. Children who can walk should Allison’s can know how to survive in water, with no assistance and fully clothed.

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  • Most definitely depending on what the school teaches. KASS Kids aquatic survival school was worth every cent as most drowning are under 4 my child went into lessons at about 12 mths and could float thus save herself within weeks. Following which she was taught strokes. Children are capable of learning these skills at a young age with the right schools.

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  • Definitely worth it. I’ve just started taking my 8 month old but it’s pay as you go before they are 1 so if we miss a lesson we don’t get charged. Just hesitate in the teacher as she is very quiet and just assumes that because I do lessons with my son I know everything that we are going to do. If they don’t improve I’ll pull her out and wait until she is 1 and get a new teacher.

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  • Swimming is a life-saving skill, so it’s definitely worth taking lessons.

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  • Living in Australia it’s very important that everyone at least learns the basics and part of that is feeling confident and comfortable in the pool – the early swim classes you can probably just do yoiuself at a local pool. It’s really just about introducing your child to water so that they don’t fear it.

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  • The good thing when you start early is that they get used to go under the water and learn to kick etc. But some kids do this naturally and are happy in the water splashing and kicking and blowing bubbles. My youngest started swimming lessons when she was nearly 6yrs old (due to grommets and many ear infections) and it was a fight to get her initially in the water let alone under the water Now after half a year or so she don’t go into a state of panic anymore but is no where near safe in and around the water.


    • My son started when he was 3yr old and created a massive fear when the swimming teacher kept on pushing him under the water. Following years swimming lessons was drama, crying and even vomiting from fear !

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  • We were lucky in the NT to get given swim vouchers for kids under school age and sport vouchers for kids in school however lessons were few and far between so it was a fight to get them into classes. Well worth it though. I loved being in the water with my kids I never saw it as lessons but as us time when they were little and I think we are much closer for it.

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  • I’ve just started my 3 year old and 5 year old and I think it’s a good age because they’re both enjoying it. I don’t see the point in starting them earlier for the price you pay!

    Reply

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