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Water Wisdom: 3 Tips For Helping Your Kids Be Confident Swimmers

Swimming is a great life skill. It’s not only a great way to stay in shape, but it’s also incredibly fun. Unfortunately, not all children take to the water with ease. If you are having trouble helping your child to become more comfortable while swimming, there is still hope. If you are willing to take these three tips to heart, your child will become more comfortable and confident when he or she is in the water.

Start Small (and Young)

One of the great things about swimming is that you don’t have to start on a large scale. If you want your children to be great swimmers, it’s best to start off small. There’s a reason that kiddie pools are so common—they allow your child to interact with the water without becoming overwhelmed. While this might not build swimming skills, it definitely helps to acclimate your child to the water.

Starting small also means starting young. Start getting your child used to the water when they are very small. The longer you wait, the more alien the pool will seem to them. If they start off around water when they are infants, they’ll rarely have problems acclimating the water when they are young. The more familiar you make the water in a safe way, the better the experience will be for your children.

Encourage, Don’t Judge

Every child adapts to the water at his or her own pace. While you might be frustrated at the progress your child makes, there’s never a good reason to take it out on him or her. Imagine how difficult it might be to gain this scary new skill as a child and then try to imagine learning while someone else is expressing displeasure. It would be impossible for an adult, so why would you expect it from a child?

Instead of getting upset, try to encourage your child when there are small victories. If your child won’t normally go near a pool, praise him or her for sticking a foot in the water. If he or she is willing to go in with safety equipment, make sure that he or she knows that this is a step along the path to swimming. Make sure that this process is as pleasant as possible.

Find The Right Teacher

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you find the right swim school teacher for your child. Swimming is often a skill that takes a little bit of professional help to learn, but different teachers have different strengths. You definitely want to do all you can to make sure your child’s swim teacher is a good match for your personality.

Take some time to do a little research when looking for a teacher. Try to find someone who has experience dealing with not only your child’s skill level but also his or her developmental level. The teacher should be able to encourage your child, provide valuable information, and give your child a reason to come back again for the next lesson. With luck, that teacher will help inspire a love of swimming in your child.

Every child can learn how to swim—it just takes time and effort to get that child where he or she needs to be. Make sure to start your children early, to encourage your child’s progress, and to find the kind of teacher who will make swimming more fun for your children. With a little luck, you should be able to combine these elements in a way that makes swimming a more pleasant experience for your child.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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