Swimming: Pandemic kids have missed out on learning important life skill – Hayley Matthews

I was on BBC Radio Scotland during the week talking about swimming and how kids who would have been learning to swim a few years ago have been held back due to the pandemic.

Swimming pools can initially seem daunting to young children (Picture: Ian Waldie/Getty Images)
Swimming pools can initially seem daunting to young children (Picture: Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

That’s us! My three-year-old can’t swim and is terrified of swimming pools. The strange thing is, he loves water. He’s always been great with water on his face, loves to hold the shower and stand underneath it, paddles in the sea and enjoys a huge bubble bath.

Swimming pools, however, are a no-no. He’s been in an outdoor pool once and that was only up and down the steps in the baby pool. When I’ve tried to take him swimming, he’s had a meltdown and won’t even go past the showers.

I’m not sure if it’s the enormity of the swimming pool, not being able to see the bottom of the water or just the enormity of the place, but he really does not like swimming pools.

I don’t know how I’m going to tackle it as swimming is a life skill everyone gets a benefit from.

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It also gives parents the extra reassurance that when you’re on holiday by the pool (which to be honest I haven’t done for seven years now, but I’d like to again soon as we’re all in desperate need of it), it means you know your child is confident around water.

We did some one-on-one classes with my eldest when he lost a lot of confidence swimming and I’m thinking about doing the same for my youngest but with the cost of living so high, I’ll be deciding between eat or swim.