With summer coming up soon, its important to start thinking about your child’s water safety. Pool parties and play dates fill up the calendar, and knowing your child can swim would put your mind at ease. However, many children face challenges when it comes to learning how to swim. From lack of confidence, sensitivity to water, or outright fear – it can be a real mental battle to get into the water.
While it is important to respect how your child is feeling, swim lessons and water safety is not something to put off until the next year. With the proper instruction and encouragement, swim lessons will make your summers safer and teach your kids life lessons they can carry with them through the next year!
While the ultimate goal of swim lessons is to be able to swim well and with ease, its also important to tackle safety. While you should always be supervising your child in the pool, even under supervision things can happen. Your kiddo may not be able to swim the length of the pool, but if they can pull themselves to the surface and get themselves to the edge – that is far safer than panicking.
Now – if you want your child to be able to swim to the edge of the pool and get out – but they won’t put their ears in the water – there is some ground we need to cover. We need to slowly help them conquer their fears, then practice over and over again so they develop confidence in their abilities. Then, if something does happen, your child is prepared because of what we have practiced in swim lessons.
Dealing with fear
“It’s ok to be nervous but you still need to try”. This statement has saved me so much time over the years of teaching! One of the biggest lessons that swim can teach your child is to challenge themselves and try hard things. Swim lessons are sometimes scary. The pool is big, people are splashing, and sometimes its loud. Maybe your kiddo has had water go up their nose. Maybe they have sensitive ears and don’t like being in the water. As adults we see past those things and want them to succeed, have fun, and be able to play. It’s important to remember that they are scared (and thats ok!) but they still need to try scary things.
“Don’t be scared” doesn’t always work because they can’t help how they feel, and that’s not the solution. The solution is teaching them to still try difficult things even if they don’t want to.
“It’s ok if you mess up…
“It’s ok if you are nervous…
“It’s ok if you don’t want to…
…you still need to try”
This basic lesson of trying difficult things will carry with them from the first time they blow bubbles all the way until they are swimming in the deep end.
“Yes GREAT JOB I’m so proud of you!” It’s amazing how much confidence and excitement can overtake a student once they take that first step of trying their best. The trust built with the instructor and little victories every day slowly help a terrified child become confident in themselves.
There is almost nothing better than seeing pride in a child after they overcome one of their fears. It’s a reason to celebrate! Be forewarned, they will tell you about it often. They will want to show you want they can do every chance they get. You may not hear the end of it that that week.
AND they will come back to swim lessons hungry to see what else they can accomplish.