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AgapeDoc
AgapeDoc, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Hello, My husband is very upset that my son does not swim that

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Hello, My husband is very upset that my son does not swim that well. My son was ahead of all of his peers this year but has not progressed much this year. We also have not taken much time with him. He loved the pool. His dad took him to the pool yesterday and it did not go very well. My son was scared to get off the wall. He said in front of my son, complete failure. My son had camp today and part of the camp was swimming and he was crying and did not want to go. He wants a fish and his dad said he could get one when he swam across the pool. I thought I would take him to the pet store tonight and show him the fish and tell him I know he is going to do this and I will get him some private lessons. Any other suggestions?

AgapeDoc :

Thanks for contacting Just Answer - Let me see if I can help here...

AgapeDoc :

Yes, it seems that you are headed for an "all or nothing" situation if your not careful. It's good to have high expectations, but if something has happened that has made your son hesitant to even jump in.... well.... telling him he has to swim all the way across the pool may get you the opposite results of those you want.

Customer: Hi can we do this on the computer and not my phone?
AgapeDoc :

I would love to do this by phone, but Just Answer's agreement that we agreed won't allow us to.

Customer: Well I was going to get him lessons and feel confident he could do it. I am fine with chat bit just wanted on the computer not my phone
AgapeDoc :

Anyway, I think that taking him to the pet store is a great idea. I would just frame his expectations such that he sees taking smaller steps to achieve his goal.

Customer: Yes like bobbing etc. And can I tell my husband to butt out?!!
AgapeDoc :

In other words, let him know that jumping in is step one, taking his first stroke is step two and so on.. In my experience, using visuals to "explain" is great.

AgapeDoc :

Is your husband to boys natural father? If not, then by all means tell him to butt out!

AgapeDoc :

If he is the natural father, telling him to butt out is not OK. However, telling him you have a plan for helping your son achieve dads expectations might get dad to "go along with the plan" if you will....

Customer: Yes he is a visual person so he can do it. Yes he is boy's father I think he has room for improvement. But that is another matter i guess. I think he will be very frightened to go to lessons but I must press the issue Any suggestions there ? Just be positive about it?
AgapeDoc :

Yes be positive and this is KEY....

AgapeDoc :

...... get you son to tell you what HIS expectations are. Get HIM to articulate what would be a reasonable and good "trophy" for jumping in.....swimming one lap, two laps and etc.

AgapeDoc :

He will take ownership of his day and you will see how this is a big part of the "battle" Remember this for other things that are challenging for him as he grows older as well :)

Customer: Wow. What a concept. Can we do that in steps? The big goal for the fish is across the pool. Doing x gets you y? He is very reward oriented.
AgapeDoc :

Get dad to read some literature on how the (positively) spoken word can build up and the (negatively) spoken word can break the spirit. This could be challenging.... if dad feels he is being chastised, he will not take it well. The trick is to make him think it's his idea.

AgapeDoc :

I have dealt with many parents in my years, so I am imagining dad is like many I know :)

AgapeDoc :

How am I doing so far? It sounds like you are on your way.

Customer: He is. He walked in while I was doing this and I told him and he said let me handle it. Anyway enough on that we (my son and I). Will get through this. I will take ur advice. Thank you
AgapeDoc :

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