This week our youngest son's swimming instructor called to inform us that she wanted to introduce another child to his lesson. He has already progressed to swimming with armbands and a woggle to being able to swim a short distance with no armbands. The natural progression is for him to learn to swim with another pupil. He was not happy when we started to prepare him with this change at home this week but seemed to accept this was what was going to happen.
When we arrived at the swimming lesson on Friday he refused to get changed and was crying that he needed to swim on his own. We explained that the new pupil had never swam before and was hoping our son could show her what to do as he's now the expert! He wasn't going to fall for that and was stamping his feet and refused to come out of the changing room. The swimming teacher spoke with him and encouraged him to show his swimming skills. In the end we carried him out to the pool and took off his t-shirt and trousers as he already had his swimming trucks on underneath and passed him to the teacher who was already in the pool. The expression on his face reflected his angry mood and his selective mutism was apparent as he was reluctant to talk to his teacher with someone else in the pool and their parent watching. Our son does not like attention on him.
His biggest fear was that the other child would splash him and as soon as he registered their legs were kicking he closed his eyes. During the lesson we gradually saw him relax in the water as he enjoys swimming and after 30 minutes there was a small smile on his face.
Although it may seem harsh that we made him get into the pool, It was important that we did not allow our son to control the situation. We will persevere and have a joint swimming lesson again next week and hope that each week it will get easier and he will become happy to swim alongside another pupil.