Preparing Your Child for Swimming Lessons
As pool lovers, most of us look back on the days of swimming as a child with fondness. Cannonballs, relay races, and a good game of STAR were all it took to make the days of summer even more delightful. As parents, it can be hard to let our kids begin swimming lessons. Concerns for safety and health are completely valid. Preparing your child for lessons is the first step. The safety your child gains by becoming a proficient swimmer is worth every extra effort. Get ready for a happy water baby with these simple tips.
It’s best to help little ones get comfortable with water as soon as possible. Once your child is old enough to use the bathtub, begin playing and splashing with water. Chances are your little one will love slapping the water and getting everyone wet. Be sure to use tepid water.
Gently pouring water over your child’s head will help him get used to the sensation. Allow him to do the same to you and be sure to react happily. These little interactions help your child to relate water with having fun. Adding toys is a great way to encourage a more cautious child to enjoy himself. You can even try playing sing-a-longs like “Splish Splash.”
Be a Good Example
You probably see so many habits that your child has copied from you or your loved ones. Be sure to set the best example when it comes to swimming and water safety. Always behave calmly when swimming or near the water with your children. Talk about what to do and what not to do when near the water. These little steps help build foundation to a happy, safe swimmer. Bring a long other safe swimmers on your pool or beach outings so your child sees as many good examples as possible.
Seek Out the Experts
Hiring an experienced, qualified swimming instructor is key. You may find it easiest to ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. The swimming teacher should be certified in CPR and First Aid. Feel free to ask to see qualifications like membership with the U.S. Swim Schools Association and certification in Water Safety Instruction. Instructors should be willing to allow you to preview plans and sit in on lessons.
Don’t forget about personality and demeanor. You want an individual your child is comfortable with and who enjoys working with kids. The teacher should be friendly, patient and understanding. Make sure classes have a low student to teacher ratio and another adult is always on site watching.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take things slowly. It make take a few tries before your child lets go of his worries and is fully prepared to learn. With a little patience and understanding, he’ll be a water baby in no time!