It's commonly known that children learn to swim as much from their parents at the weekend, as in their weekly lessons. Although the benefits are evident it can sometimes seem like an uphill struggle at times to take the kids swimming at the weekend, you get them to the pool and get them changed but what next? Our Learn to Swim teacher tackles the most common questions asked by parents about how to develop their child’s swim development:
What do with my child in the water?
There are key areas that can be worked on if you go to the pool with your child. While you may not know the technical aspects of swimming, all strokes have the basic elements that stay consistent:
- Breathing: Developing a relaxed and confident in and out breathing technique in the pool is essential. Start by blowing bubbles on the surface of the water. No matter the age games can be played by blowing toys across the pool such as Seal Flips and many more.
- Confidence: Through encouragement and appreciation, children and parents can continuously build their confidence in the water. While the focus is often on the children’s water confidence, this can only be improved by seeing the security and assurance of their parents in the water.
- Underwater: All underwater games are supportive when learning to swim. From collecting Dive Sticks to trying to touch the floor, all games can build enjoyment of the water. This can sometimes not be recognised as swimming, but it definitely is!
These three simple activities are the pillars of being able to swim regardless of age.
How do I get them to learn to swim?
The greatest piece of advice that can be offered here is that going swimming doesn’t have to be about going from point A to point B and it doesn’t have to be a copycat of everyday swimming lessons. There are many small stepping stones along the way to slowly develop and build confidence in both the child’s and parents learn to swim process.
They don’t seem to listen and just want to mess about how do I get them to improve?
Learning to swim can’t be approached as a tick box exercise. Creating an atmosphere of searching for a result, putting pressure to achieve from fear of safety or not wanting to drown can be detrimental to the development of your child, as well as the connection and fun you can experience together in the water.
There are various games and teaching aids that can be used to support you and your child in feeling a greater sense of confidence and relaxation in the water. The key is to remember that every moment in the water is about spending quality time together, and having FUN!
Children always learn through fun, and what a better way than having fun with family and friends!