Be mindful - your child's brain and your relationship matters!
A mother with a 6 month old baby is concerned, contacts me and asks: "He gets very upset every time we submerge him, shouldn't we comfort him? Shall we keep on doing it?"
I answer with a question: "What do you feel?"
Mother answers: "I want to comfort him and it feels wrong to keep dunking him, but I have been told that it will give him the wrong signals if I comfort and if we stop."
-Of course he must be comforted! And of course you should stop doing things to him that makes him feel so uncomfortable that he cries.
In the water and activities you do together, it should feel nice, fun, interesting and safe to be with you.
It's also important that he gets the right emotional response from you. When he cries, he is clearly communicating that something is wrong and hard for him to handle. He needs your help.
You instinctively feel that you want to comfort and help him. Listen to that instinct, it's good, it's empathy talking.
A small child is very sensitive to stress and it's important due to healthy development that your child feels safe with you. You should never be the one that intentionally and repeatedly expose your child to that kind of stress your boy is feeling.
Why do teachers tell parents that they should not comfort and keep on submerging the child?
-They do so because that's what many learned on education and training earlier, and some still do unfortunately.
There is so much new knowledge today. It is important that parents and teachers in baby swimming, learn more about how to take good care of the child's growing brain and the significance of the quality in a relationship for a healthy development and life. We must help each other to do good.
In baby swimming, there are many naturally occurring trust situations where children and parents can strengthen the important trust-bond between them.
Parents can, in the water together with their child, learn and experience many of the amazing things that builds relationship, develop parents leadership and how they can support their child's emotional development and a lifelong joy of learning.
Focus on the water (and on land) must be on a relationship based on trust and respect, so it will be enriching and good. In the water, learning and understanding of the relationship can be lifted to fantastic new heights, that's why I believe it can become the best activity.
The pictures are borrowed from the web. Source unknown.