Summer is around the corner, and it means that lazy pool days and beachside vacations are not too far away. If you have children who don’t know how to swim yet, then swimming lessons have probably been on your mind. Since drowning is an unfortunate reality, knowing how to swim is a life-saving skill that will benefit your family for years to come.
Before swimming season starts, give your children the ability to get to shore or to the poolside on their own. So what do you need to be prepared for this exciting season? From which girls’ swimsuits to buy to what teaching methods to use, here are a few things you should know before starting swim lessons.
If you have the time and a place to practice swimming, it’s possible for parents to have one-on-one swimming lessons with their kids. The logistics of needing an open space without distractions should also be taken into the equation. Professional swim schools will have dedicated pool areas to give each student enough space. Teachers also follow a tried-and-true methodology that is appropriate for different skill levels and ages. If you have any doubts about providing a place to practice or having the know-how to teach, then a swimming school may be a better option. This choice can also take a lot of stress off your plate. All you’ll need to provide is payment for the lessons and gear for the class.
While it’s natural for birds to essentially catapult their grown chicks out of the nest to fly, the same concept doesn’t work for swimming. Though you may have heard tales of kids just taking to the water, you should never introduce your child to the deep end too early. Instead, gently lead your student into the water by the shallow side and remain close as you teach them the basics, such as learning to hold their breath and float. Take breaks between lessons and hang out with a snack and cozy swim cover-up to recharge your child. Praise them for the hard work they are doing at their pace, and before you know it, your child will be swimming safely without floaties.
Speaking of floatation devices, while these can offer peace of mind for younger children at a busy pool, they don’t help kids learn how to swim. Overall, floaties don’t teach kids how to find their own sense of balance in the water. Instead, they keep their bodies vertical in the water, which can be counterproductive to learning how to float and swim on their own. To truly teach kids to swim, stay by their side 100% of the time and show them how to hold their breath, float, and perform strokes without the assistance of any floatation devices.
Swim lessons require comfortable and functional swimwear. For kids, well-fitting, simple pieces like tugless tanks, girls’ one-piece swimsuits, and drawstring-secured boys’ swim trunks are a must. If you are training outside, rash guards and hats are essential for staying safe from the sun.
If you plan on teaching your kids in an outdoor swimming pool, be mindful of the concrete and how hot it can be. Get a pair of swim shoes to give them extra traction so that they won’t slip. Gear like goggles and sunblock are also musts. You can also make the onset of swim lessons more anticipated by allowing your kids to pick out swimsuits of their choice. Let them choose a style in their favorite color or pattern and help them look forward to swimming.
For some kids, learning how to swim can be a tricky process, but when you make it a game they can have less anxiety. For instance, when they learn to hold their breath underwater, you can make incentives for reaching a goal. A long-awaited toy or in-app purchase can be a reward for holding one’s breath underwater for 10 seconds. Gamifying underwater diving can help make the lesson more fun too. Pool toys are easy to find in many stores during the summer. Grab some pool rings, splash balls, and other fun items you can use for diving and retrieval lessons. Keep these on hand in a canvas tote to make the fun possible anytime!
Teaching your kid to swim is a unique process each time, but having the right swimsuits and strategy can make this time fun and safe for everyone.