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British Swim School – Pushing Through Challenges with Swim Class

In exchange for an honest review on this blog, British Swim School of Central MD has provided my family with free swim lessons. All opinions and thoughts are my own. See below for an enrollment special!

A quick update today on how Caroline’s swim classes are going, and then an interview with Mr. Josh!

Swim lessons went SO smoothly for us for months! We started with British Swim School back in June of 2017. Caroline started with the Tadpole level, and quickly moved up completing a level each month. She entered the Seahorse level in August, and did fantastic over the next several months.

Caroline loved the water, loved her class, listened well, and always tried her best. She was sailing through things, and having a fantastic time. There were no tears, and only a few fears. She was hesitant to go underwater at first, but still did it even though she expressed she didn’t like it.

Fast forward to February of 2018, and things changed drastically. All of the sudden (for several weeks now), she is refusing to go underwater, and refusing to try her float. She is the one screaming and crying in the pool. She refuses to try things, screams through everything, and then wants to have fun during the play time at the end of the lesson. She loves the water and still enjoys the playtime. As a result, last week she didn’t end up getting that fun play time because of her behavior.

This week, she had a great day. She started off a bit rocky with some tears and not listening to instructions, but she pulled herself together and really did her best. She even went underwater twice. I am so glad to see a week of focus like this!

What happened? Well here’s my best guess. Sometimes with children it’s something so small and we don’t even realize it has impacted them in such a way. My best guess, is that the combination of these things has caused this shift:

– Change in instructor

– Change in location

– Change in time (now a super early 8 am class)

– Higher expectations (since she’s very close to being able to float on her own, the instructors are removing one hand at a time, and then both hands to see how long she can go on her own). I know she does not like this as she is very frightened to do it by herself. I think she’s now terrified knowing that the instructors will sometimes let go of her.

It may just be one of the above changes, or perhaps all of them. I don’t know. What I do know, is that swim class has become a struggle. It’s a struggle to get her to try her best. It’s a struggle to get her to listen to her instructor. It’s a struggle to deal with all of the screams and crying. It’s hard.

We’re powering through. I’ve seen our daughter go through phases like this with other things, and she usually snaps out of it pretty quickly. But in the meantime, the wait is hard. We are trying to get her to talk to us about her feelings. We are trying to ease her fears. All while keeping our expectations and staying consistent. Nothing is improving the situation yet, but I know she’ll get there at some point.

It’s so hard to see her go through this. I so want to make it better for her somehow. In addition to that it is so hard to be the mom having to deal with this. It’s hard to be the one with the screaming child all of the sudden at every single class we go to. It is a phase, I know. But it is definitely a hard phase.

Through everything, Caroline’s instructor, Ms. Kimmie has been phenomenal. She tries to motivate her to move through her fears, and she tries to keep her happy in the water by singing songs, and being silly. Caroline doesn’t always respond to it in the way we’d hope, but Ms. Kimmie keeps trying hard with her. We’d started a reward system to focus on positive behavior, and Ms. Kimmie even jumped on board with it and brought her some peanut m&ms to keep her focused on an end prize! The things that the wonderful BSS instructors do, are simply amazing!

Interview with Josh

What positions have you held at
BSS and how long have you been with BSS?

I started with BSS in 2010 as a
Swim Instructor. Over the next 5 years, I wore many hats for BSS such as Site
Manager and Aquatic Manager.

How did you learn how to

Took lessons as a child but learned stroke mechanics when I became a
swim instructor.

Why did you initially choose
to be a swim instructor? 

I love the water and children.

What is the deck ambassador
position and why is it so important? 

Deck Ambassador is the first
visual impression for our families when they join our program. 
A great 1st
impression is a key to a customer continuing with our program. Also, our DA’s
are the communication bridge between the office and our classes and vital to
building relationships with tour families.

In your new position overseeing
the deck ambassadors, what are your goals for the future of BSS?

My goals
are a vast improvement in our customer service and enrollment to reach 5000

What inspired you to return to

My 7-month old daughter, Nora.

What makes BSS special compared
to other swim programs?

The method of safety first. A lot of
programs try to teach swimming right away and do not give the aquatic education
we provide.

What is the best part of your

The families and children.

What is the most rewarding part
of your job

Seeing the joy on a child’s face when they achieve a new

Do you have advice for parents
who are hesitant to put their kids in swim lessons?

Begin as
early as possible. Children are tougher than you think.

Why would you recommend BSS
over another swim program?

Because of the family-oriented vibe and the
special ways we capture child notable memories.

Fun facts: Tell us more about

My wife
and I have a 7-month-old daughter, love to watch football and basketball and
cannot snap my fingers.


Enrollment Special 20% off

If you live in Montgomery County or Frederick County, Maryland, and are interested in signing up with BSS, I am really excited to announce that you can receive 20% off your first 4 lessons when you call to enroll and use the code #MAMAS18The information for our central Maryland British Swim Schools can all be found at this link. And not to worry if you live elsewhere, there are British Swim Schools ALL over the US!

Other Posts of Interest:

British Swim School- Tadpole class (level 1)

British Swim School- Swimboree  (level 2)

British Swim School- Seahorse (level 3)

British Swim School- 
Teaming Up With British Swim School and Comfort Cases- Volunteering with a Toddler

British Swim School- Seahorse Class Update and an Interview with Jared

British Swim School- A Focus on Safety First

Mama Pushed Too Hard (Oops)! – And An Interview with Ms. Kimmie

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