We’re quickly moving toward summer so it’s definitely time to get swim lesson plans in order for your kids!
Is your child the fearless one when it comes to water, or do you have a cautious child?
Here are 6 tips that may help you persuade or prepare your cautious child.
Play with water at home. Feeling water’s sensation when it isn’t expected is unsettling – even for adults – so it’s understandable how children can be a little frightened by it. Splashing in the bath , squirting each other with a garden hose or playing under sprinklers is great for helping your child to “practice” with what the sensation of water will be like.
Play with water in the community. If there’s a pool in your community, with a children’s pool, you have are shallow areas for non-swimmers. Maybe you’re taking a vacation before summer arrives that has water areas that will provide an opportunity for giving your child a pre-lesson water experience.
Wet the face. Parents can be great examples of getting a wet face for their child in preparation for the first swim lesson. Show the child how you wet your face a few times so it helps them to build their confidence and then help them to try it. The bath is a great place for this but you can also use a deep pan if you prefer.
Wet the eyes. Go old-school when it comes to getting your children used to opening their eyes in the water. Bobbing for apples is still one of the best ways to teach this. Put a few apples in a big bowl of water and have your kids try and fish them out with their teeth. They will get their eyes wet without even noticing it!
Talk about the fun of it. Children love fun so make sure to continuously talk about how much fun it is to swim, and how easy it is once it’s mastered. Children are eager to learn new skills, and (believe it or not) they want to please their parents. Your pep talks will count!
Celebrate completion. A way to make learning to swim super-appealing is to make it into a celebration. Plan a trip to a water park or somewhere else that is swim-friendly once your child has completed swim lessons. Your child may be more excited about completion if they know there’s a special treat waiting at the end.
Swim lessons are an investment in your child’s safety. A positive swim lesson experience can influence the way they approach swimming for the rest of their lives. A little investment in preparing for the first lessons is a great way to get your child started on a positive path. As a swimmer, your child will enjoy lots of activities more completely, like camp, vacations – even friends’ birthday parties. A positive swim lesson experience can also be the start of their love of swimming – which can lead to a lifetime of swimming – recreationally – or even competitively. Remember that Michael Phelps started off with a “first lesson” too – and admits that his experience in that first lesson and those that soon followed was what gave him the foundational love of the sport where he is now an icon.