Father Gives Son Swimming Lesson

Delivery Method: 

A child’s introduction to a swimming pool can create memories, while also establishing attitudes that may last for many years. Thus, the process necessitates forethought and sensitivity. Think of the perceived immensity of even a small pool to a young child who is anxious about sinking. Watch this video clip of a two-year old child whose father is giving him a lesson on how to extend his legs behind him and kick. To make meaning of this clip, think about 1) possible reasons underlying what the father did and 2) possible reasons for what he did not do. To help you study this video, we have written a bulleted description of the experience. Think about the father’s combination of fun and challenge, the timing and pace of the lesson, the general objective and how it matched the child’s current level of skill and tolerance for risk. Consider what do you think the boy learned about 1) kicking and 2) the swimming pool. Also, think about the dynamic between the mother (off camera) and the father. What do you think would be generally helpful to those who might be helping a child experience the joy of the pool?

  • Time Code 1
    (Son expresses fear) Dad: I got you.
    Mom: I see him kicking.
    Dad: I want you to kick, ready? Kick, kick. Ohhh, are you kicking?
  • Time Code 2
    Dad: There you go, again, real hard, splash it. (Mom laughs as son kicks)
    Dad: Ahh, big splashing. You are splashing.
    (Son expresses discomfort, perhaps because Dad is holding him out a bit more)
  • Time Code 3
    Dad: Ah, you can’t splash. Can you splash?
  • Time Code 4
    Dad: Can you splash? Big, big splash.
    Dad: Big splash, feet out of the water. (Dad sprays water from his mouth)
  • Time Code 5
    Son: Do that again. (Dad sprays water from his mouth again)
    Dad: Okay, ready, kick, big kick.
    Dad: Ready, kick.
    Son: Nooo.
  • Time Code 6
    (Dad sprays water from his mouth - off camera. Dad and Son laugh at this)
    Dad: Wanna kick?
    Son: Nooo.
  • Time Code 7
    Dad: Wanna try something new? Put your arm out like this. Now paddle.
    (Son expresses discomfort)
    Dad: Make splashes, make splashes.
  • Time Code 8
    (Son expresses discomfort) Mom: That’s scary.
    Dad: Ah, you can make splashes. (Son splashes the surface of the water with his hand)
  • Time Code 9
    Dad: Make splashes. Hold me up. (Son splashes. Dad laughs)
    Dad: Ready, big splash. (Holds son out for more leg kicking. Son expresses discomfort)
  • Time Code 10
    Mom: I think we are done.
    Dad: Oh I got you. (Dad holding son close bobs up and down in the water)

Keywords: Twos, Parent-Child, Teaching, Cause/Effect, Directions

Length of stand alone master video clip: 2 minutes 20 seconds