Swimming Lessons Done Right: 11 Effective Techniques if Your Kid Doesn’t Listen to Your Swimming Teacher

by | Aug 3, 2023 | Swimming | 0 comments

“My child doesn’t take interest in swimming lessons. How to cope with this situation?”

“We are lapsing behind in our swimming lessons. My child doesn’t seem to show interest…” 

“My child is afraid of swimming lessons. He hides when I tell him we are going for swimming lessons. What should I do?”

These are a few queries you may encounter as a swimming instructor or a parent on different platforms daily. 

So in this blog post you are going to get all the answers to all these queries from the experts who have been working with kids for a long time. You will get satisfactory and workable solutions so that you can understand what’s going on in your child’s head. Either he is afraid of water or has some concentration issues.


Kids Needs Patience and Understanding:

Kids are so delicate that they sometimes don’t even know how to express themselves. Your kids are the most beautiful blessing. Keeping them safe and understanding them is your primary responsibility.

Swimming is a valuable life skill and it can enhance a child’s health, self-confidence, and safety in and around water. Enrolling a child in swimming lessons is a positive step. 

It ensures their safety and building skills. Despite the numerous benefits of learning to swim, some children may need help following their instructor’s guidance. This behavior can be frustrating for parents and instructors. It’s essential to handle the situation with patience and understanding. You may adopt practical strategies to encourage positive learning experiences for the child. 

In this article, let’s explore various reasons why a child may not listen to their swimming teacher. We will also try to suggest the solutions for children with ADHD and autism. This blog is actually a guide on how parents can address these challenges positively and constructively.

Swimming Lesson Done Right: 11 Effective Techniques for Kids Who Resist Swimming Lessons

Understand the Reasons:

Before taking any action, it’s crucial to understand why your child may not be listening to the swimming teacher. Some common reasons could include:

Fear and Anxiety: 


Children may have a fear of water. Or they may have a previous negative experience due to which they may be reluctant to swim. Some children also experience anxiety about trying something new. Any of these factors can lead to resistance and non-compliance during swimming lessons.


Lack of Confidence: 


Some children may need more confidence in their swimming abilities, making them hesitant to follow the teacher’s instructions.


Attention Issues: 


Some kids may need more attention than other kids. So they may need help to focus on the swimming teacher’s instructions which may also be the cause of non-compliance



Each child has a unique temperament and state of mind. Some children may be more resistant to authority or instruction by nature.

Swimming Lesson Done Right: 11 Effective Techniques for Kids Who Resist Swimming Lessons

Now let’s discuss the strategies to make your child listen to the teacher!

Communicate with the Swimming Teacher:

Effective communication between parents and swimming instructors is crucial. Arrange a meeting with the swimming teacher. Discuss your child’s behavior and any concerns you might have. Meeting with the teacher can help you gain valuable insights into your child’s behavior during lessons. The teacher may provide you with suggestions on how to address the issue. 

Observe the Swimming Lessons:

If possible, observe your child’s swimming lessons discreetly. It will allow you to see how your child interacts with the teacher and responds to instructions. Observing the lessons can help you identify specific areas of resistance or challenges your child may face.

Encourage Positive Attitudes Towards Swimming:

Talk to your child. Foster a positive attitude towards swimming. Highlight the positive aspects of swimming. Emphasize its benefits. Speak about your own experiences with swimming. Share stories of how swimming has been enjoyable for others. It can help create a sense of enthusiasm and excitement for swimming lessons. 

Address Fear and Anxiety:

If fear and anxiety are the primary reasons behind your child’s non-compliance, addressing these emotions is essential. Take small steps to make your child comfortable in water and swimming. Allow them to play in shallow water. You may use floatation devices for support. Stay and play with them in the water. Build their confidence in swimming gradually.

Participate in Swimming Activities Outside Lessons:

Organize family swimming outings or pool playdates with friends. Make swimming a fun and social activity for your child. Swimming outside of lessons is great! It reinforces what the teacher taught. Plus, it makes swimming an activity that bring enjoyment for your child. So, try to have some swim time on your own. Practice those skills and have a blast in the water.

Set Realistic Goals:

Set achievable and realistic goals for your child’s swimming progress. Celebrate their achievements, no matter how small, to build their confidence and motivation. Avoid putting excessive pressure on them, leading to resistance and stress. It may also lead to demotivation because kids don’t cooperate in swimming lessons.

Swimming Lesson Done Right: 11 Effective Techniques for Kids Who Resist Swimming Lessons

Be a Positive Role Model:

Your child looks up to you, and by being a positive role model, you can inspire and guide them better. Show more interest in swimming and engage your kids in water activities yourself. Your enthusiasm and support can change the game. It may have a significant impact on your child’s attitude toward swimming.

Use Positive Reinforcement:

Use positive reinforcement to encourage your child to follow their swimming teacher’s instructions. Praise their efforts, improvement, and willingness to learn. Positive reinforcement may boost their self-esteem and foster a sense of accomplishment.

Discuss Expectations and Consequences:

You can have a calm and transparent conversation with your child. Communicate the importance of listening to their swimming teacher. Explain the consequences of not following instructions. Explain to them that they may reduce their playtime if they don’t listen to the swimming teacher. Inform them that by doing so, they may be missing out on a fun activity with friends.

Stay Patient and Consistent:

Avoid becoming frustrated or showing impatience. Relax and try to realize that consistency is the key. Over time, with patience and encouragement, most children improve their behavior. Learning is a continuous process. It may take time. But with constant encouragement and effort, your child will learn to swim.

Seek Professional Help if Needed:

If your child’s non-compliance persists despite your efforts, consider seeking professional help. Contact a child psychologist or counselor who specializes in working with children. They may help identify any underlying issues. The counselor may provide appropriate strategies for addressing the issues.

Swimming Lesson Done Right: 11 Effective Techniques for Kids Who Resist Swimming Lessons

Children with ADHD:

Swimming can be a fantastic activity for children with ADHD. It allows them to burn off extra energy and have fun while improving their focus and self-control.

ADHD is a condition that some kids have. It can make it hard for them to pay attention and follow instructions during swimming lessons. They might act impulsively and do things without thinking, which can be risky in the water. So, everyone needs to be patient and help them learn to swim safely!

Children with Autism:

It is a complex condition affecting how some kids communicate, interact, and behave. Imagine going to a swimming lesson, but for kids with autism, it can be a bit tough. They might feel anxious, not like sudden changes, or get overwhelmed by their senses.

For example, loud noises or bright lights could be bothersome. So, it’s essential to be patient and understanding, making the swimming experience fun and comfortable for everyone.

To manage and improve ADHD and autistic children in swimming lessons, you need to understand their unique needs. Make sure to offer suitable adjustments. Creating a friendly and supportive environment is most important.

Be patient and encouraging during the lessons. Keep instructions clear and straightforward. Use visual aids like pictures or demonstrations. Allow breaks if needed. Celebrate their progress and efforts. These strategies allow us to have fun and inclusive swimming lessons for all.

Communication with the Swimming teacher

You must maintain open and regular communication with the swimming teacher of ADHD and autistic children. Inform the teacher about the specific needs of your child. Explain the triggers which may be disturbing for your kid. Make the teacher understand the accommodations that might be necessary during the lessons.

Highly Structured Lessons:

Request the swimming teacher to create a structured, predictable lesson plan with clear instructions and routines. ADHD and autistic children often respond well to consistent and organized environments.

Visual Aids and Timers:

Use visual aids, such as pictorial schedules and timers. It will help these children understand the sequence of activities. They may be able to manage their time effectively during the lessons.

Break Tasks into Smaller Steps:

The swimming teacher should break down swimming skills into smaller, manageable steps. Provide simple and specific instructions. The teacher should offer praise and encouragement for each successful completion of a step. 

Use Positive Reinforcement:

A few words of encouragement can produce extraordinary results. Positive reinforcement, such as verbal praise or small rewards, can be highly effective. These small gestures may motivate ADHD and autistic children. Encouragement can help them stay engaged and focused during swimming lessons.

Provide Frequent Breaks:

Request the teacher to allow for regular breaks. It will help these children release excess energy and maintain focus. Short, frequent breaks can prevent frustration or sensory overload.

Swimming Lesson Done Right: 11 Effective Techniques for Kids Who Resist Swimming Lessons

Sensory Considerations:

Beware the swimming teacher to stay mindful of sensory sensitivities. Some autistic children may find overwhelming sensations, like water splashing or pool chemicals. Adjust the environment as needed to minimize sensory triggers.

 Individual Attention:

Request the teacher to offer individual attention when necessary. Special attention is much more required during the early stages of learning new skills. It has been shown to have a positive impact on a kid’s mindset. It can foster confidence and alleviate feelings of anxiousness.

Use Social Stories:

Social stories or visual narratives help in preparing children for new situations. It may be more useful in swimming lessons. The swimming teacher may use simple language and pictures to describe what to expect during the lessons

Peer Modeling:

One suggestion for the swimming teacher would be to pair the child with positive and skilled swimmers as peer models. It may improve their swimming abilities. Observing other children performing swimming skills can encourage them to try and imitate.

Patience and Flexibility:

Both the parents and the teacher should be patient and flexible. They must understand that each child is unique, and progress may vary. Avoid rushing or putting unnecessary pressure on the child.

Safety First:

Focus on safety at all times. Ensure that the swimming environment is safe. There are adequate lifeguards or instructors to supervise the children during the lessons. Along with this, stay at the pool for some time. Your kid must feel safe during lessons.

Inclusive Environment:

Suggest the swimming teacher encourage all children. Everyone should participate at their own pace and promote an inclusive environment. Foster a supportive atmosphere where everyone feels accepted and valued.

Swimming Lesson Done Right: 11 Effective Techniques for Kids Who Resist Swimming Lessons

 Sensory Integration Techniques:

Suggest the swimming teacher try sensory integration techniques for children with sensory processing difficulties. These can include deep pressure exercises or using sensory toys. They help kids handle their sensory experiences better. It can make swimming lessons more enjoyable and comfortable for them.

Seek Support and Training:

If necessary, seek support from professionals experienced in working with ADHD and autistic children in aquatic settings. Specialized training and parent recommendations can help swimming instructors understand and address the unique needs of these children.


It is very challenging when a child doesn’t listen to the swimming teacher. But only parents can help their children as they can understand their children better than anyone else. You can only help your child with patience, understanding, and utilizing supportive strategies.

Every child has their own needs, preferences, and mindset. Therefore, a strategy may be successful for one child but not for another. Parents need to be flexible and open-minded to try new approaches when necessary.  Your primary focus as parents and teachers is our children’s safety, well-being, and happiness. For specialized plans and expert instructors you can reach us any time.


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