Chances are you’ve heard the wives tales of dads who “taught” their children to swim by simply pushing them off a pier or dropping them into a swimming pool. “Sink or swim” was the mantra that went with the wives tales. Well, we know now — and we knew then — that this leads to a child developing a fear of the water and chances are they will never get into a swimming pool after that.
Would you get into the pool if you had the option of “sink or swim” as the way in which you “learned” to swim? We don’t think you would ever go back in!
Teach Your Children To Swim This Summer
If you had a bad experience with swimming and want your children to have a love of the water, there are many ways you can help that to happen. Having fun in the pool is the best way to teach a child to swim and to love being in and around the swimming pool. Fear is not the way to get a child to love swimming.
To a child a swimming pool can be scary. They may love to take a bath, but a swimming pool is much, much larger than a bathtub and your child won’t be able to touch the bottom or hang onto both sides — the size alone can be daunting.
Trust is the biggest aspect of teaching a child to swim. He needs to trust that you will keep him safe and that you love the pool yourself. If you’re afraid, he wlil be, too.
Start out slow.
- Kicking. This is a fun way to have a good time together in the pool. You and your child get in the water ( have your child wear a life vest for his safety and security) hold onto the side of the pool and hlet her kick and kick and kick! The one who splashes the most is deemed the winner! This is a great way to show a child that if water splashes into her face, it’s nothing to be afraid of.
- Keep it short. No matter if you’re kicking or learning to swim laps, keep the “pool training” short. If they get bored or distracted they won’t want to kick or swim. Children want to have fun — plain and simple. Keep swimming lessons even ones that seem like games to you, short. Stop swim lessons before their enthusiasm wanes.
- Positivity matters. If you’re in a bad mood or your child isn’t in a good mood, then don’t get into the pool. Don’t let your child equate the pool with bad moods. If you are getting frustrated because she just won’t listen and doesn’t want to be in the pool, then don’t get into the pool.
- Play music. Does your child love a certain song or movie soundtrack? Play that and make the pool time a sing along time as well. Play something he associates with fun and good times and it may make pool time more fun.
- Buy pool toys. Let your child choose her life vest. Take him shopping for a fun pool toy. Let them choose their bathing suit and anything else they think will be fun in the pool. Make pool time a time to look forward to and one that they have some choice in.
Even if you don’t want to teach your child how to swim and want to hire a professional, do that. It is always best and safest for a child to know how to swim if there is a pool in the backyard. Also, no matter how well your child swims, never never leave them alone in the pool — not even for a second.
Here’s to a fun, family-filled swimming pool summer!