Being Comfortable in the Water at Goldfish Swim School

When we first began swimming lessons with Goldfish Swim School, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t interested in lessons where I would have to “dunk” my daughter’s head under water. Luckily, this wasn’t the experience we encountered in our lesson. Goldfish Swim School practices patience and  allows your baby to experience water on her terms. In each lesson, the instructor provides techniques to help you guide your child to feel comfortable in the water.

The mini lessons are formatted for the parent/child to participate in the class together. If your child is anything like my daughter, she will probably cling to you during the first few lessons. As your child becomes more comfortable in the water, she will be more willing to try the skills expected of her, but don’t worry, she will have plenty of opportunities to check back in for a hug and to hold on tight to you for security.


Each lesson, your child will acclimate to the water with water conditioning. A duck cup is provided for you to pour water on your child, starting with her arms and working up to her head. The instructor will talk you through how to pour water and will encourage you to pour water on your child’s head “when your child is ready.” Throughout the lesson waiting for your child to be ready is encouraged. The instructor guides you to watch your child for cues that she is becoming comfortable in the water and is ready for water on her face and head.

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The instructor provides different levels of modifications to help your child learn a skill and become comfortable in the water. With the otter float (pictured below), your child can lie back on you for support. As your child becomes more comfortable in the water, you will be provided with different modifications. We have never been encouraged to force our child’s head back into the water.  With patience and continued exposure to this skill, my daughter is now relaxed in the water and will lie back on her own.

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With each lesson, you will see your child’s comfort level in the water increase. Your child will be provided with opportunity to briefly separate from you to work on independence skills. Again, Goldfish will not force you to separate from your child. You will be guided to read your child’s cues and only let go when both you and your child are ready.

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By following your child’s lead in the water and allowing her to experience water on her terms, you will be setting your child up for a great relationship with water. With patience and weekly exposure to water, my daughter has gone from being tense and clinging to “catching her bubble,” independently dipping her face into the water, and demonstrating an overall increased independence in the water.


The Details: We are currently in the Goldfish Mini 2 class at Goldfish Swim School. We attend lessons at the Goldfish Swim School in Dublin, Ohio. Check out this link for location, address/telephone details and how to sign up for lessons.

Disclaimer: We were provided free swimming lessons by Goldfish Swim School in exchange for collaborating blog posts. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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