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Swimming lessions.

Question

My son is now 4.5 years old. It is a priority to me that he learns how to swim for safety reasons. We had him in lessons for about 6 months when he was 2, and most of the time he liked it. There was an occasional refusal to participate.
For a couple different reasons we decided to stop lessons for a while. So, here we are and we have signed him up again (with the same company) It is 1 swim instructor to 4 kids. We have been 5 times. The first time he went into the water with her for a couple minutes, then it was another childs turn. By the time she rotated thru the other 3 kids and got back to him, he was turning around looking at me quietly crying saying "No mama, no." We tried to talk him into it for a bit but mainly just let him sit there.

When we went the 2nd time, he wouldn't get in. For the last 3 sessions, he put up a fuss at home (sometimes cries) and tells me how he doesn't want to go.....I tell him that it is very important that he learn to do this. He tells me he will do it when he is a big boy. The last 3 times we have gone....and just watched. Last week I didn't even pack his suit/towel. I told him we would just go watch. Well, here we are again today and he doesn't want to go again.
So, do I stay the course even if it means going and only watching every time? Or, do I let it go for now and try again next year?

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