Do you approve of teaching a child to swim by throwing him/her into a pool?

A couple of weeks ago, there was a local News story about a “swimming teacher”, who uses this method.
She charges $200 per child. Basicly what she does, is sit on her ass barking orders, while her young assistants hurl screaming and wailing children into the pool. The children were mostly preschool age, but there were a few older and one baby less than a year old. One little boy, was in the pool with floaties, but he was the only one, (maybe you have to pay extra for it). The teacher said they have to learn that it’s up to them to keep from drowning.

The parents are permitted to sit and watch, but not allowed to comfort. A couple of moms interviewed that they thought it was the best thing ever. But some of the parents looked as traumatized as the kids, just not as vocal.

What kind of idiot would pay some sadist $200 to throw their kid in the pool?

My husband’s uncle (Uncle Fucker) would tread water in the lake and tell my husband that he was standing on solid ground. Hubby jumped in and…well… you can just imagine. It’s very cruel to fuck with a kid like that.

Some people take Bill Cosby’s standup routines way to seriously…

Sadistic idiots.
(I don’t know if that was in response to the OP or post #2 (or both))

Anyway- no, I do not. I feel it’s right up there with hitting them just to “tuffen ‘em up, don’t yo start cryin’ now ya sissy”

When I was 6 and my sister was 3 my parents enrolled us in a survival swimming course. They were having a pool put in and wanted us to know how to react if we fell in.

The swim instructor would throw you into the middle of the pool if you refused to come off the edge and try to swim to him.
A few major differences come to mind. He never was more than his arms length from you and you had the option of trying to swim yourself and were only tossed in if you refused.

He didn’t teach any form or proper swim technique but he did teach you how to float, swim on your back and get to the edge. Those three things are very important in survival swimming.

I said all that for two reasons. First I am a strong advocate of teaching survival swimming. You never know when your child my fall in somewhere. Second, what the hell was she thinking berating a child and throwing them in the middle. Now I was not there so I don’t know if the assistants were in the pool next to the children while only the lead instructor was out of the pool but either way she should have been in the pool and involved.

Sure, provided it’s okay to teach this “teacher” how to cross the street by throwing him into traffic.

That’s about the most disgusting thing I’ve heard lately. Preschool is what…3-4 year olds?

I wonder how that teacher would like being thrown in a bear or tiger cage and told that ‘it was up to her to figure out how to survive.’

Sure, you think it only costs $200.00. That’s because you’re forgetting to factor in the cost of the years of therapy… :rolleyes:

My dad did something like this when I was about three, only it was in the Atlantic Ocean. I was floating on a rubber raft and he tipped it over.

I don’t know how close to shore we were, or if he stayed close by. I just remember thinking that my dad wanted to drown me.

Tossing kids in the pool sounds like a good way to make some kids hate the water, and that’s a shame.

When I taught beginner swimming lessons many years ago, I had been taught to spend a fair amount of time getting the children to feel comfortable in the water. I would have the kids stand in shallow water, bend over and dip their faces in the water. Then they would practice blowing air from their nostrils with their faces immersed. Then they would do knee bends, ducking their heads below the surface. All of this was designed to avoid or overcome the fear that some kids feel about water. My first lessons at age four were similar. I can’t imagine tossing a child into the water, or how I would have responded if that had happened to me. I probably would not have gone on to lifeguard and teach swimming.

Can we get a link to the story of a swimming teacher who sits on her ass barking orders while her assistants HURL screaming and wailing kids into the pool with the philosophy that it’s up to the kids to learn to keep from drowning?

Who on Earth going to answer “yes, I approve of that” when you phrase it that way?

Come on.

Yes, I approve of that, largely to be contrary.

Why would my choice of phrasing keep people from voicing their opinion?

Damn, that just isn’t realistic enough. They need to throw the children into a freezing cold pool in the dark whilst wearing a full set of clothes and just after eating a three course meal. That’ll learn them how to swim.

There are plenty of people who approve of this method (probably not too many here) or who were taught via this method. It’s not at all rare from my middle-aged experience. An emotional choice of words doesn’t change the fact that it happens.

Plenty of people my dad’s age were taught that way. They swim okay. I mean, I don’t know that I’d do it to my kids, but I don’t have any kids. I myself loved to swim as a tiny baby, then one day when I was two or three I had a bad experience or something and wouldn’t go back in until I was at least 12 or so. Do you have any idea how much it sucks to be a Flamingo in Girl Scout Camp? Oh well. Maybe if they’d thrown me in I’d have gotten over it, maybe not.

At any rate, why isn’t anybody all up in arms about two hundred freaking dollars?!? I’ll toss your kid in a pool for five bucks and a towel, man.

Two semi-related, second-hand anecdotes:

  1. A junior-high science teacher told us that a very young child (under a year old) will instinctively swim if placed in water. She asserted that a child that young hasn’t learned to fear water yet, and that she had seen it done. What she described wasn’t like the kid was tossed into the middle of a pool either – an adult was right nearby, with their arms in the water under the child.

  2. My mother told me that her cousin’s family did this with all their children when they were two years old, with the same precautions described above.

That’s how I was taught to swim. Except the only thing I learned was not to trust adults.


The only advantage to the sink-or-swim method is that you learn the indelible lesson that you and only you are responsible for your safety in the water, which by itself is a pretty good lesson. My dad and his brother learned via sink-or-swim and both wound up fine and strong swimmers as a result.

However, when the time came for dad to pass along his knowledge to me, I sank instead of swam and nearly drowned (or at least it felt like it at the time). More than twenty-five years later, I still have a crippling fear of water. I’ve tried and tried and tried to get over it, and I honestly don’t think I ever will. If I ever needed to swim or even tread water to save my own life, I would almost certainly just drown instead. That being of course the opposite of what the original goal was.