Forceful Practices in Swim Lessons and Associated Risks

This session will explore the following concepts within the context of swim and self rescue lessons – force, toxic stress, child abuse and neglect, trauma, betrayal bonds, traumatic versus adaptive dissociation; impact on brain development, capacity to trust, attachment, other developmental factors.

Drawing upon the latest neuroscientific evidence, we will explore the relevance of these concepts and definitions to our activities with infants and young children in the water.

This session will challenge you to reflect upon your own practices and beliefs and invite the opportunity for positive reinforcement, growth, and change.

We will also discuss ways in which you can address parent questions and concerns about the practices used in your swim school.

You will gain:

  • A greater understanding of the stress response system in young children and how this relates to the use of force
  • An increased awareness of how a child’s development may be adversely impacted by the use of various practices during lessons
  • An increased awareness of child rights, protection, and consent within the context of lessons
  • Ideas on how to address parent questions and concerns about your swim school’s philosophy and practices


Duration of session (Online or Onsite)

The duration of this session can be flexible to suit your needs, from a minimum time of a 60 min presentation including question/discussion time to a half-day interactive workshop comprising 2 x 90 min sessions.