As parents, we all want to give our children the best start when it comes to swimming. But with so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to ensure that we’re teaching them correctly. Here are some of the most common mistakes parents make when teaching their children to swim:
Waiting Too Long
It’s best to introduce your child to the water as soon as possible. Infants and toddlers can begin learning how to swim through fun, low-pressure activities that help them become familiar with being in the pool. With high-quality facilities around the country, you can find a program that is designed specifically for your child’s age range – swimming for toddlers is different from swimming for teens, for example.
Not Teaching Confidence in the Water
Swimming is a skill like any other and it can take some time for a child to become confident in the water. Being patient and understanding with your child is important in helping them feel comfortable and secure while learning to swim. It can also help to ensure that the swimming lessons are focused on fun and relaxation, rather than pressuring your child to perform.
Forcing the Issue
Like walking, talking, and potty training, sometimes children learn at their own pace. Pushing too hard can be counterproductive and cause your child to become anxious or even afraid of the water. Allowing your child to build confidence at their own rate can be much more beneficial in the long run and help them develop a healthy relationship with swimming.
Unfortunately, some children are inherently afraid of the water and may be reluctant to learn. If this is the case, try to remain patient and encouraging while maintaining a level of safety within the pool. Suggest fun, light activities such as floating on their back or playing with pool toys to help them become more comfortable in the water. Also, take them to teachers who understand how to break through these sorts of barriers.
Panicking as a Parent
Seeing your child in distress can be incredibly difficult, but screaming and panicking will only worsen the situation. Instead, stay calm and focused when teaching your child to swim. Speak gently and clearly, giving instructions one step at a time. By doing this, your child will stay calm and focus on mastering the task.
Not Using Helpful Equipment
Safety should always be your priority, so make sure to provide any necessary equipment that will help keep your child safe while they’re in the pool. Floatation devices, armbands, and pool noodles are all beneficial tools that can assist your child in learning to swim. Gradually, you can remove these aids as your child’s swimming skills improve.
Not Doing Enough Research
It’s important to educate yourself before beginning the swim lessons process. Research different swimming techniques and age-appropriate expectations for your child’s ability in the pool, especially if you’re doing it yourself rather than taking them to trained professionals. Also, look into any local resources or swimming schools that may be available. Knowing as much as possible will help you set realistic goals and expectations for your child’s swimming journey.
Remember, local facilities will tailor their approach to your child and give them the best chance at success in the pool. Qualified teachers know the correct method for teaching a child to swim and can give them the confidence and skills necessary for the pool.