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What to Look for in a Swimming Instructor for Your Child with ADHD

What to Look for in a Swimming Instructor

Swimming is an essential skill for all kids. Different kids may require different styles of instruction to effectively learn this important skill! As you are looking for the right swim instructor for your child with ADHD, look for a teacher who demonstrates and promotes patience, encouragement of progress, and positivity.


It requires a good amount of patience to reiterate messages to a child who doesn’t exactly love to listen. According to Sea Otter, you should look for teachers who give clear and concise instruction, who do not frustrate easily, and who maintain their focus on the child throughout the entire lesson. It may be necessary for the teacher to repeat instruction over and over while keeping the same level of encouragement rather than exasperation. This requires an understanding and very patient personality. Plus, if the teacher is solely focused on the child, their ability to communicate with and gain reciprocal attention is much more likely.


According to SwimJim, making comparisons between one child and another in terms of progress or skill isn’t going to be helpful. Children who feel like they don’t measure up to their peers become quickly discouraged and frustrated. ADHD children feel exponentially so and may lash out in that frustration. Their ability to be stubborn is unmatched, so you do not want to risk having a teacher who is insensitive to their self-confidence! Make “lack of judgment” a priority in your teacher search. The ability to praise the child’s successes as an individual rather than highlight their progress in relation to others is a highly beneficial factor in your child’s learning process.

Nothing But Positive

Finally, you will want a teacher who provides only positive reinforcement. According to ADDitude Magazine, teachers who can frame corrections and criticism as an opportunity for genuine improvement towards visible success will likewise transfer that recognition to the child themselves. Swimming can be a very therapeutic and highly rewarding activity for children, especially with ADHD as they develop an important and impressive skill, and are able to channel their energy well. Some teachers are able to foster that attitude better than others, and that centers largely on their own positivity towards the child and their effort.

These qualities will assure that your child is being treated in a way that is encouraging and resonates well with them, even when their attention spans and their endurance are fleeting. Swimming may be an activity your child thrives in, so give them the teacher that will get them there!

Read this next: What to Know Before Getting Your ADHD Child a Service Dog.