How To Best Support Your Child’s Swimming Lessons: 3 Tips
As parents, we all have expertise and tons of past life experience. We want to impart that knowledge and skills to our children. If you are a swimmer, it’s natural to share your love of the water with your child. What is the best way to share these experiences? Will your input be helpful or harmful to your child’s swimming lessons? Perhaps you are not a swimmer, but you recognize the vital importance of providing your child with swimming lessons. How can you support your child’s swimming if you are nervous or frightened of the water?
There are many ways to support your child’s learning and a few things that might be best to avoid. Consider our expert instructor’s as your guide, and feel free to ask them any questions about what your child is being taught and how you can help them toward their best swimming. At Steve Wallen Swim School, we are on your side; our goal is to have your child reach their full potential as swimmers!
1) Avoid becoming their swim instructor:
This is tough; as parents, we love to help. Sometimes though, our help may be a hindrance. Unless you are a swim instructor yourself, it’s best to be your child’s guide, champion, and cheerleader rather than their secondary swim instructor. Teaching a child how to swim is challenging, and doing it well requires a sound curriculum and well-trained instructors, and that is precisely what we offer.
When well-intentioned parents try to teach, it may confuse the child. As loving parents, we can sometimes become overzealous in wanting our child to succeed. Your child may be better served by allowing our expert swim instructors to take the wheel while you offer praise and encouragement.
2) Pool Practice Makes Perfect!
As already mentioned, it’s vital that you remain a parent and not become an instructor. However, it’s essential that you stay involved, and it’s terrific to encourage, remind, and provide opportunities to practice and demonstrate everything they are learning.
Water safety skills practice is imperative, and as a parent, this is an excellent opportunity to enhance their learning and apply their new skills. For example, when you arrive at a new location to swim, have your child use their age-appropriate water safety skills. For a toddler, this might mean asking them who goes in the water first. (tip, it’s always the adult!), or reminding them to enter feet first. An older child can perform a safety inspection. Is there a lifeguard on duty? How deep is the water? Are there currents or tides?
There are many ways to allow your child to practice what they have learned during their lessons. For example, essential swimming skills such as breath control, submersion, and putting their faces in the water can be practiced at home in your bathtub or wading pool! Allow for play, but use playtime to challenge endurance through fun races and activities. Or, have them perform their new skills as part of a talent show! Positive reinforcement through applause!
3) Playtime in the Water!
When recreating in the water, it’s important to provide simple reminders to guide your child toward their best swimming. However, playtime is a time for joy, fun, and healthy supervised water exploration. Use this time to explore new aquatic activities and sports. Now that your child’s lessons have provided them with interest in the water, they can begin to enjoy the water fully!
Playtime can occur anywhere the water is safe for swimming, but be sure to stay within your own aquatic limitations. Come join us for a swimming lesson, or find a lifeguard-supervised beach or pool. If you are not a swimmer, playtime is also a chance for you to demonstrate your own willingness to become comfortable in the water.
For many adults, exposing their infants and toddlers to swimming is their first opportunity to become swimmers too! Imagine learning the joys of swimming alongside your little one! We offer adult swimming lessons too in group, semi-private, and private classes, so consider this the perfect time to become a swimmer at Steve Wallen Swim School, located in Roseville and El Dorado!