Simple Ways to Encourage Small Kids to Learn to Swim
It seems that small children fall into one of two categories when it comes to being in the water. There are those toddlers and children that seem to immediately take to swimming and those that dread lessons and seem to fear going anywhere near the water.
As a parent you want your children to be able to swim for many different reasons. First and foremost is for their safety and your peace of mind, but there are many other reasons as well. Swimming is a great exercise option, helps to build confidence and coordination and also provides children with a real sense of personal achievement.
To get those kids that seem to be hesitant about being in the water excited about learning to swim there are a few things that you can do as parents. These include:
- Mom and Dad can talk about swimming, learning to swim and how much they enjoy swimming. Modeling the behavior by going swimming is also a key factor in making it appealing for the child.
- Take your child to a pool that has a wading area and a shallow end. Go into the wading area with them and just splash and have fun. Gradually move into deeper water but always stay close to the child and progress at his or her own pace.
- Invite a small group of parents and children and have a pool party. If a child sees other children in the water he or she will be less uncertain about the activity.
- Consider taking the child to a lake or beach where the child feels more in a comfortable element rather than in a pool. Allow the child to walk into the water, sit down and splash around.
The most important thing is to make each experience positive. Never force the child or trick the child into getting into deeper water as this can create more anxiety and a real lack of trust.