How to Encourage Your Child’s Confidence in the Swimming Pool

Early visits to the swimming pool can be pretty daunting for young children.  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.  For your own confidence, and because most pools insist on it, invest in some good quality swim nappies/diapers so you don't have to worry about any accidents or leaks.

Build Up Their Confidence at Home

Summer is the perfect time to get the paddling pool out.  Help to build your little one’s confidence in the water by playing games in the familiar surroundings of the back garden or even the bath.

You don't need expensive water toys for either of these.  Invest in some Tinti bath crystals which change the colour of the water, give them various differently-sized containers to investigate capacity with, or get the bubble machine out.

Any plastic animal, ball or other toy can become a bath toy.  Set up a dog grooming parlour or zoo in your paddling pool or on the bath rack and let them play.  Investigating which toys float and sink is also great fun in or out of the bath and a great early STEM activity.

Let them go at their Own Pace

Always allow your child to progress at their own speed.  Even if they decide to spend an entire session on the side of the pool, persevere with swimming lessons.  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 bit scared of the water and not the most confident at swimming, it may be a good idea to take a few lessons yourself and develop your own skills before taking the kids.  Even if you don't, be sure to fake it!

Children look to their parents constantly for guidance and example, so if you’re standing there with a look of terror on your face, or recoiling when you get splashed, the kids will lose confidence too.  Brush up on your knowledge of water safety too, so you can all have a safe summer.

Make it Fun

Children learn 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.

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