Teaching your child how to swim is one of the most important skills you can give them; and the first step is to ensure they gain water confidence so that they enjoy the experience, have fun and stay motivated.
Learning to swim is a key life skill, but not only that. For a child who is able to swim, it also opens up a wide range of new life experiences, from snorkelling, playing water polo, scuba diving, sailing or simply being able to have watery fun with friends and family while on holiday – even career opportunities!
For parents / carers, it’s therefore important to support a child’s swimming development outside of lessons, whether it’s in the home, local pool or while on holiday. Here are our top tips:
1. Be positive about swimming – talking to your children about how fun the water is, will help them develop a love of water and feel more confident.
2. Show confidence at home – bath and shower time are the perfect place to start developing water confidence.
3. Get wet – children look up to adults and family members and will copy their behaviour. Be confident in the water; get wet, blow bubbles and show them it’s ok to get their face wet – and that the water is fun.
4. Play – children learn through play without pressure to achieve an objective.
5. Talk to your swimming teacher – ask what teaching points they use so you can use the same terminology to support your child when taking them swimming.
6. Family swimming – go swimming as a family and play together.
7. Games – play simple games together to develop stamina, strength and technique
8. Consistency – with any activity practice is important and overtime as strength and confidence develops, the techniques being taught will become more natural. Attend regular lessons and if possible, regularly attend a public swim to help and improve skills and techniques.
9. Use swimming aids to help build a child’s (and parents) confidence – our Swim Jackets that have built-in adjustable buoyancy, work brilliantly. They allow children to safely practice what they have learned with mum and dad and explore their ability. The Swim Jackets give the wearer confidence and freedom in the water, whilst crucially allowing their arms to remain free and unencumbered, helping them to learn and practice swimming strokes.
10. Enjoy – the most important thing is to have fun.