Learning to swim is an essential life skill that you should commit to teaching your child. When most children reach the age of four, they are developmentally ready to begin learning to swim. Most children can coordinate their movements in order to swim strokes and kick their feet by this age, which are essential skills for safe swimming.
We highly recommend swimming lessons for all children aged four and up, to develop water safety skills and avoid drowning accidents. Here are a few stress-free tips on what to keep in mind when teaching your child to swim.
Patience is key
It’s essential not to force swimming on your child. Swimming should be a fun activity that your child enjoys doing and it’s important to remember that every child will learn at their own pace. Taking things really slowly and having a positive and patient attitude is the only way to do it. This will give your child more confidence and a feeling of safety and accomplishment.
Start off by having your child stand on the step in the shallow end and jump into your arms. Begin by being really close and then, as their confidence grows, step a little further away so that they take bigger leaps. Before you know it they’ll be asking to do it over and over again!
It’s also important to teach your child that it’s okay to get their face wet. Teach them how to blow bubbles with their mouth and then hold their breath when they put their face in the water for a second at a time. When children emerge from the water, they frequently want to inhale rather than exhale. Make sure your child understands that he or she should exhale first and then breathe normally.
You can teach them to hold their nose or to blow bubbles out of their nose so they don’t accidentally suck in any water. If they do end up getting a little water up their noses, keep things calm and light and teach them how to blow the water out. Show them how you are able to go underwater and back up again to assure them that it’s safe when done correctly.
Water wings and swimming vests
Start off by putting water wings or a swimming vest on your child. Splashing around and getting used to being in the water will start making them a lot braver, especially when the realisation kicks in that they won’t sink when they let go of you.
When it’s time to remove the flotation devices, hold your child and teach them how to float. It may take a while for them to get the coordination right to kick and doggy paddle on their own, so holding them securely in the swimming position is the first step. As they become more confident, you can begin teaching them to hold on to the edge of the pool and perfect their kicking. It may take a lot of practice and patience but it will eventually click for your child and they will be swimming confidently before you know it.
It’s best to get lessons from a trained professional. Do a search for swimming schools in your area to find one that works best for you and your family.
When it comes to swimming and other water activities, always remember to keep safety in mind. Whether they know how to swim or not, children should always be supervised in the water. Even if they are wearing floaties or a life vest, children should always have a caregiver within arm’s reach.
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