(Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/Girl_with_styrofoam_swimming_board.jpg)
Swimming is a popular sport among children and most kids cannot wait to jump into the pool when they see it. However, doing so can be dangerous if they can’t swim. One of the best ways of ensuring that your child stays safe in the swimming pool is by teaching him how to swim.
However, do not assume that every child takes to the swimming pool like fish take to water. Several shudder at the thought of entering it and learning to swim seems boring to them.
In order to help your kids become confident enough to swim, ensure that they have fun when learning and try not to be too strict. Focus on what they do right, instead of nagging them about what they’re doing wrong. Tell them that what they’re doing is fine, but they should also try doing it your way. This way you will reinforce them positively without destroying their self confidence.
As a parent, you need to take every possible measure to ensure your child’s safety in the pool. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced drowning accident attorney should your children’s safety be compromised and/or in case they end up suffering unnecessarily due to the negligence of the authorities responsible for maintaining the swimming pool properly.
Here are a few things parents can consider to make things easier for their children in the pool:
Certain teacher-approved swimming devices can make it easier for your children to feel comfortable in the water. Depending on their age, you can give them a try when teaching them to swim.
Babies will find floatation devices to be helpful as they will be able to sit in them and move their legs freely. For older kids, using water wings or discs may be a good call. Although they do restrict arm movement, they do provide sufficient support.
For children aged 5 years and upwards, buoyancy aids may work well. These aids encourage the right body posture and allow free movement of arms and legs.
Starting the Process
Children learn to swim by kicking the water with their legs. Most children do so intuitively or will do it if they are shown how. They enjoy trying to see how much of a splash they can make with their feet. Soon they realize that kicking their legs fast enough leads to them moving through the water.
You can also teach them to blow bubbles in the water by helping them practice doing so at home in the bath tub. Teach them to use the strength in their arms to pull themselves through the water. Before you know it, they will learn to use their arms and legs in synchronization.
How Long Will It Take?
This is one question that is bound to cross every parent’s mind at some point. The answer is simple: it varies from child to child. Every child is different and will take his/her own time to learn. There is no point in hurrying them as they will only end up losing interest in the activity. You need to make it a point to take them swimming as often as possible. The more they practice, the quicker they will learn.
(Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Lucas_in_the_pool.jpg)
Mentioned here are a few tips on how parents can encourage and teach their children to learn the ropes of this enjoyable sport.
- Start Early
The sooner your child gets acclimatized to being in water, the more comfortable he/she will be with it and the sooner he/she will learn to swim.
Every parent wants to keep their child safe. But, it is crucial to expose him/her to water earlier on as they may develop an irrational fear of water later. This could make it difficult for you to get him/her even near a pool, let alone inside it.
Start by playing water games, readying your child for the pool, and practicing safety in and around it. Encourage him/her to blow bubbles in the water so that he/she learns to get the face wet without swallowing any of the water.
- Prepare Them In Advance
If you’re using water wings and inflatable toys in the teaching process, do so only as a temporary remedy. Focus more on getting your child accustomed to swimming in the basic swimsuit and cap. If you must use swim aids, go for reliable ones that are teacher-approved as they’re not overly-buoyant, thereby enabling children to learn to float independently. Once your child learns to float without the help of aids, he/she will feel more comfortable in the water.
- Have Fun While You’re At It
Children can take quite a while to learn swimming and even find it tiresome. This is only natural. Any kid would prefer to play with their friends than learn about swimming strokes and safety. It is, therefore, important to make the experience fun for your kids so that they associate it with enjoyment.
Consider playing swimming pool games and turn the entire learning event into an exciting activity and you’re sure to find your child learning quickly.
- Build Their Confidence
Most parents worry about teaching their child about the various swimming strokes as soon as their training begins. However, the focus should be more on building their confidence first. That’s because a lot of children shy away from swimming due to the fear of drowning. If your kid has developed this fear, you will need to begin by helping him get over it.
Encourage your children to swim and don’t worry about teaching them swimming techniques. Criticizing your child too much will only lead to him/her losing the will to learn this sport.
- Your Child Needs to Follow Your Instructions
It is extremely crucial that your child listens to and follows your instructions when you tell them what to do in the pool. If you see that he/she isn’t obeying you, you and he/she need to get out of the pool immediately as things can become unsafe.
You need to explain to them that if they want to swim, they will have to listen to you irrespective of what they think.
- Always Keep a Watchful Eye
As a principle, you should never be too far away from your children when in the pool. Make it a point to be no more than a couple of feet away from them. Doing so is important in case they start to struggle in the water.
When they swim in the pool, you need to swim right next to or behind them. Make sure to keep your eyes and ears open for warning signs that suggest that they’re in trouble. With a little vigilance, you can ensure that your child is always safe in the pool.
Teaching kids how to swim is not child’s play. It takes tremendous levels of patience and diligence on the part of the parents. It is important to allow children to take their time in the beginning so that the rest of the process goes smoothly. Remember, if your children feel uncomfortable with something, set that activity aside for a while and revisit it later when they feel more confident in the water. Give them sufficient time and they will learn to swim, and you will feel much better about the idea of them being in a pool by themselves.
Author Bio: Rachel Oliver is a thought leader in the field of Law. She is keen on gathering information and sharing her opinion on personal injury law, employment law and likes. Feel free to catch up with her on Google+.