"Do as I say, not as I do."
It seems kind of obvious that this isn't the best idiom for us to live by as parents. It feels hypocritical to expect our children to follow our instructions rather than our example - why shouldn't a child want to copy his parents. If we continue to do the things we advise our children not to, we give the impression that those things are worth doing!
But looking at it from a swimming teacher's perspective, it's about even more than providing our children with an example. Children are hugely perceptive - they can tell when their parent is genuine, and when they're putting on a front. If we want a child to love the water, the easiest way to encourage them is to genuinely learn to love time in the water with your baby.
Your swimming lesson is such a special time - you can't be distracted by jobs around the house, emails and texts or even your other children. Your child and the water around you are your only focus. If your child sees you relaxed and enjoying the water, they will do the same. If you go under the water, or swim with your child on your back, they will feel at home in the water with you.
If you are scared of the water yourself, you'll find it much harder to relax. Perhaps a few one to one lessons for you would be a good start to get you feeling more confident?
During a swimming lesson we don't want a child to do as we say, or as we do - we want them to be who we are.