Are you concerned that your child will resist swimming? You know, freak out like they’re being attacked by Jaws?
Don’t worry! Follow these tips to help get your child and yourself ready to actually enjoy that very first swimming lesson (and the many more that will follow)!
Frame Swimming in a Positive Light
Our children’s perspective is influenced by the signals they receive from us. In the weeks leading up to their first lesson, be positive and supportive of the experience. Try to make any connection they have with water a positive one.
For little ones, make bath time fun and a no-fear zone by introducing bath-time-only toys, like a watering can, goggles or floating animals. It’s a great way to get kids used to water on their head and face!
The First Day of Class
There’s a lot to do before class and time goes by really fast. To make the most of lesson time, here are some ways to minimize distractions and maximize the fun and learning!
- Avoid having your child swim on an empty stomach or one that’s too full. Either could interfere with their comfort level during the lesson which potentially means less time in the water for them. Providing them with a light snack beforehand will keep up their energy level and help their focus during the lesson. Pack a snack for after the lesson, too.
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early. The time it takes to find parking, get through the building and change your child into their swimsuit can add up!
- Adjust goggles. The best time to adjust your child’s goggles is definitely before their lesson. All models of goggles are different. It might take a few minutes to figure them out and get them fitting just right for your child’s face.
- Go pee. Enough said!
- If your child has long hair, tie it up. This is one of the primary reasons that many girls find it difficult to focus on learning skills such as bobs, side breathing, breaststroke arm pull, etc.
- Consider having your child wear their swimsuit under their clothing and bring a change of clothes (and don’t forget underwear!) for after their swim. This makes for a quick change before the lesson.
- Team up with your instructor – communication is key! Speak to the instructor at the start of the first lesson. Establish open, positive communication with them. Let them know what your child is comfortable doing in the water, what they find challenging and what your expectations are for their progress.
While almost all kids love swim lessons eventually, it does take some children a couple of classes to warm up to it. But, with a little pre-planning and by following these tips, you can easily increase the odds that they’ll love it the moment they jump in the pool!