Swimming is one of the basic life skills that every child should learn right from an early age, but the introduction needs to be proper so that they can learn fast and without incidents. If you think that your child is ready for his/her first swimming lesson, here are five tips that every parent should go through before they send their child for their first swimming lesson.
Top tips for preparing your children for swimming lessons
Understand their Fear
It is instinctive for parents to encourage their children by stating how safe swimming is, or even scolding them for their irrational fears, but it’s not the right approach in most situations. A fear of swimming in most cases stems from the fact that the children do not know what to expect. To get rid of their fear of the unknown, elaborately describe each step of the upcoming experience to them. This will give them the psychological assurance of knowing what to expect and lessen their anxiety significantly. The next step to countering their fear would be introducing them to their instructor because when a child can associate a known face to swimming, rather than the face of a stranger, their fear will go down significantly.
Start with Lessons in the Bathtub
If the child is young enough, begin introducing him/her to the basic concepts of swimming in the bathtub before it’s time to get into a pool. Not only is this a great way to make them less afraid of water, but it may actually help them learn to swim faster. Teach them a few basics of breath control such as how to submerge their head and hold their breath for a few seconds before coming up again.
Get the Right Clothing
The right protective clothing is an essential item that you need to buy even before the first lesson begins at home or the local pool. Protect your kids with rash guards like these from Folpetto because the sun and the chlorine can together be very harsh on your young child’s skin. The UPF 50+ protection and the chlorine resistance make these breathable and recyclable rash guards ideal for protecting kids up to ten years of age in the pool. They will also come in quite handy on your beach vacations in the future.
Swim with Your Child
If you have access to a pool nearby, take your son/daughter to swim with you even before they have learned how to. It’s an opportunity to teach the basics before the child goes in for a lesson at a public pool, but just the very fact that he/she is swimming around with a parent and having fun will create positive associations in the mind of the child.
As children mostly reflect the attitude, behaviour and emotions which they see in their elders, it is important for a parent to stay happy, confident and jovial about swimming or any other lesson for that matter. It is not uncommon for parents to find themselves a bit nervous when their children go in for their first swimming lesson, but it is important to not let that anxiety become apparent. The more anxious you get, the more nervous your child will feel about swimming.
Millions of children learn to swim every day and a huge majority of them do so quite quickly and without any incident whatsoever. Therefore, as long as you have taken the necessary precautions and have prepared your child adequately for their swimming lessons, rest assured that neither you nor your child has anything to worry about at all.