Pool Safety and Helping Your Child Develop into a Happy Swimmer

Teaching a young child how to swim can be challenging and if your child has misgivings, it might be best to hand them off to a professional teacher, someone who doesn’t have as high stakes as you do.

Swimming is a critical skill for kids because it’s a safety issue, whether you own a pool or not. The sooner they learn confidence in the water, the safer our children will be. Here are some fantastic tips recommended by swim teachers and life guards.

 

  1. Keep swim sessions short. Swimming lessons for more than a half hour at a time, especially when we are talking about young kids. A distracted or bored child won’t be able to learn quickly or easily.

 

  1. Make up a schedule and keep it consistent. Don’t cram a bunch of other activities into swim day and keep it consistent. The idea is short bursts of fun activities in the pool to normalize swimming.

 

  1. Look for a teacher that switches it up. Drills and kicking can get repetitive, so ask prospective teachers if they have activities or games. You can also do this with your child yourself, where you switch from kicking, to swimming with the noodle, to diving for sticks.

 

  1. Kicking is key. Kids need to be able to balance out their bodies in the water, and propel themselves, so practice this one in the water a lot. A kickboard is great for practice and helps your child stay afloat and he or she gets stronger.

 

  1. Lighten up. As parents, we can get really uptight about swimming because we know how important it is, but this sends the wrong message you your child. We don’t want them to get the impression that being in the water is an anxious activity for us, because they will pick up on that. The goal is to keep them safe and familiar with the water so that they can learn.

 

  1. Words are important. Back up your child’s progress with language. Choose words wisely and realize that some terms might need to be modified for kids. It can also be helpful to them to label certain strokes like “arm-over-arm”, or “mermaid tail”.

 

Get into the water in other places too, where your kids aren’t contending with deep water or crowds, and then let them experiment with goggles for under water exploration – and try out fins or floaties. Ask other parents for recommendations when you find a swim teacher keeping your child’s temperament in mind. Before you know it, your little pollywog will be a full-blown frog!

About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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