Early visits to the swimming pool can be pretty daunting for children. Many parents end up on the receiving end of temper tantrums and it can be pretty tempting to just give up and pursue the dry life for the foreseeable future.
However, swimming brings with it a great range of benefits, offering a great workout for body and mind as well as being lots of fun. It’s worth persevering with swimming, so here are a few tips to help you build your child’s confidence in the pool.
Introduce them to Water Early
Baby swimming lessons start as early as four weeks after birth, although it is recommended that new mothers wait at least 6 weeks before taking the plunge. Playing in the pool provides a multi-sensory experience for babies, providing great stimulation for all the senses.
In many cases, a baby introduced to water early will develop a natural confidence in the pool.
Build Up Their Confidence at Home
Summer is the perfect time to get the paddling pool out (All Round Fun have a great range here). Build your little one’s confidence in the water by playing games in the familiar surroundings of the back garden.
Let them go at their Own Pace
Kids are wonderfully bizarre and prideful creatures, who like to keep to their own beat and pace. Indulge their behaviour a little and allow them to progress at their own speed.
Even if they decide to spend an entire session on the side of the pool, persevere with swim classes. Continue to attend the sessions - as more and more kids become comfortable with the water, even the most reluctant of swimmers may soon be encouraged to dive in.
Lead by Example
If you are a little bit scared of the water and not the most confident of swimming, it may be a good idea to take a few lessons and develop your own skills before taking the kids. Children look to their parents constantly for guidance and example - so if you’re thrashing about with a look of terror etched across your face, the kids won’t be exactly encouraged to give this swimming lark a go.
It is also important to lead by example to ensure kids stay safe in the water. This means no running around the edge of the pool and dunking people’s heads under water so your kids don’t learn any bad habits.
Make it Fun
Children learning much quicker if they are having fun, so turn the introduction to water into one big game. Adapt some of your kids’ favourite games to the pool to help them feel at ease and ensure they’re having fun. The more fun a swim is, the more confident they’ll feel and the more they’ll want to come back week after week.