MY CHILD IS A CRIER. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
We first want to assure you that you are not alone. Many parents have gone through this experience successfully! It is completely normal for children to be unsure of a new environment, and to be wary of being separated from their parent. BUT good news! We have found that it takes about three to four weeks for your child to build a bond with their teacher and become comfortable in our environment. We ask that you give us the full three to four weeks to develop trust with your child so they feel safe when in class.
Here are a few helpful suggestions to make this transition as smooth as possible for all involved:
We ask that you have your child remain in lessons for the full 30 minutes, even if they cry and scream the whole time. We want to show them that they are safe with us. We also want to show them that mommy and daddy will always be waiting at the end!
It’s preferred that when your child is having a hard time that you sit somewhere out of sight of your child. When parents are easily seen from the pool, instructors have a very difficult time creating a much desired bond of trust.
One technique that we use to create a bond is to have students play “monkey” on their instructor’s back. This activity lets your child know that they can trust their instructor to keep them safe when they are in the water. At the same time, this also allows us to free our hands and work with the other students in the class.
Be VERY encouraging and optimistic as your child tends to feed off your emotions. Stand firm in your decision to do lessons, even when they request not to. This will send the message that we all (the instructor, the desk, the deck assistants, and you, the parent) want them to learn how to swim and be safe around water. We are a team, and if you ever have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to speak with us.
WHEN SHOULD I START MY CHILD IN LESSONS?
Any age is great to begin swim lessons! Swimming and learning to be safe around water is a LIFE skill that everyone should be equipped with. We offer lessons starting as early as 6 months in a parent-assisted class. Before the age of 12 months, children naturally hold their breath, so this is a great time to begin lessons. Around 18 months of age, children develop reasoning and a sense of fear. It is our professional opinion that children should begin taking swim lessons between 12 - 18 months. For toddlers, they are typically socially and developmentally ready to be in an independent group lesson. Our motto is “Equipping all generations with LIFEsaving swim skills”, so we teach everyone, even adults!
WHAT DO WE NEED TO BRING TO SWIM LESSONS?
We require a good fitting swimsuit, a towel, and recommend a hair tie for long hair. Please make sure if your child’s hair is especially long to pull it back as it can be a distraction during class. Goggles are provided, but you can bring your own if they fit well on your child’s face. Please note: During the summer months, make sure that you wash any sunscreen off your child’s face WITH SOAP AND WARM WATER before they come in for lessons. Sunscreen can cause the goggles to irritate the eyes. We do not have a dress code for swimsuits as long as your child can move freely in the water without any restrictions.
We DO require all those under the age of three, or those over the age of three who are not yet potty trained, to wear a reusable swim diaper with tight fitting elastic around the waist and legs. Disposable swim diapers are not allowed in the pool. Swim diapers are available for purchase at our front desk.
Lastly, we ask that all students rinse off before getting into the water. Not only will this help keep our pool clean, but it will also keep your child’s skin and hair from readily absorbing any chemicals from the pool.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT LEVEL MY CHILD IS IN?
Here at LifeSTROKES, we do not place students in levels, but rather in classes that are both age and skill appropriate. Our program follows a swim progression, so you can rest assured that your child is always progressing - keeping in mind that every child moves at their own pace.
We are very passionate about our student’s progression and safety in the water and for this reason have done away with checklists for levels. Halfway through every session, we do assessments to monitor your child’s progress. Notes are taken and recorded at the front desk to ensure your child’s class placement is a good fit. If you ever have questions about your child’s progression, feel free to talk to us at the front desk during lessons, fill out a comment card, call us at 421-SWIM (7946), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
AM I ALLOWED TO WATCH MY CHILD DURING LESSONS?
YES! We strongly encourage you to stay and watch your child progress in the water! Being present also allows you to assist when there is a need, such as a bathroom break or possible class closure. Our facility has a comfortable parent viewing area that allows you to view all of the classes.
We do ask, however, that you be mindful of other parents around you. Please keep bags and clothing under your seat to open up seating for others. If you see an opening in the middle of a row, please “slide in” to help others see open seats. When your child is completing their lesson, we ask that you stand near the changing rooms by the front desk to greet your child when they come out of the pool room. This will also help keep traffic flowing and seats open and available each half hour.
DO YOU USE A LOT OF CHEMICALS IN YOUR POOL?
Our facility has a state-of-the-art UV Filtration System. Though we do have chlorine in our pool, we aim to use the lowest amount required per the State of Nebraska. Our UV system uses ultraviolent light to kill all germs that even chlorine can’t. We believe that less is more and aim to keep chemical levels low for our sensitive-skinned swimmers.
Even though we keep our chemical levels low in the pool, we still believe it is important for all students to rinse off before getting into the water. When your child’s skin and hair gets pre-rinsed with fresh water, chlorine and other chemicals are not as easily absorbed.
CAN I TAKE PHOTOS OF MY CHILD DURING LESSONS?
Of course! We love for our families to take photos of their children enjoying swimming lessons. We have both a Facebook and an Instagram page where we would love to highlight your child having a great time in the water.
We do ask, however, that you zoom in as much as possible on your child when you take their picture. We are proud to offer pro bono lessons to many foster children from Lincoln and surrounding communities. Because of this, we want to protect their privacy and ask that you take care to only capture your child’s image.