Remember last week we talked about key communication with your child’s swim instructor and encouraging your child during lessons?
This week, let’s talk water – and what it feels like when your child experiences it for the first time.
The Sensory Experience
With the rushing to get to class on time, to the loud, echoing sounds at the pool area and listening for the teacher’s next instructions – there’s a lot happening during a swim lesson!
Then there are the physical sensations that your child will experience while they’re in the water – many for the first time. Water temperature, water pressure irritating their ears, head and face, or taking water into the throat or up the nose can all create discomfort for them.
If your child is on the more sensitive side, this might affect them more than others, which can delay them from picking up a skill.
It doesn’t mean they won’t or can’t learn it, it might just take them a bit longer because they need to get used to the physical symptoms they’re experiencing before they can concentrate on the technique of a skill.
The key to this is patience. All children experience this on different levels. So it’s best to treat each child on a case-by-case basis rather than comparing them to the others in the group.
Almost all kids will eventually love the water and swimming even if they initially have a challenging time.
Remain upbeat, stick with it, and tell your child what they’re doing well. Not only will they pick up a potentially life-saving skill, they will have a blast doing it!Almost all kids will eventually love the water and swimming even if they initially have a challenging time. Click To Tweet
With the first lesson over, here are some important tips to keep in mind as you move through your lessons week to week:
- Do not make a conclusion about your child’s individual skills based on their first lesson… or second or third… you get the idea! Everything they learn is on a continuum.
- Similarly, do not compare your child’s ability to perform a particular skill based on how quickly their classmates or their siblings are picking it up. It’s so important to remember that they’re an individual and is has to be based more on where they started and how they’re progressing rather than how quickly another child picks it up. Each child learns at a different pace and there is no right or wrong for what that looks like.
- The best approach to take when it comes to their swim ability is a “work in progress” approach.
What is your best practice for keeping swim lessons as stress-free as possible? Let me know in the comments below!