Swimming: Mistakes parents usually make in swimming
Swimming is a lifelong skill that can be made “a present" to your child. Every child should learn to swim, but above all, to enjoy it, play, feel safe and relaxed in and around the water. Parenting mistakes made with all good intentions can often make it difficult for children to swim. So, try to avoid them. Let's turn a mistake into support.
Four mistakes that parents make when teaching their child to swim on their own!
1. Don’t use inflatable rings or armbands!
I know it makes it easier for you, but it is only you then who enjoys the water. By putting on this plastic thing on your child you restrict the child's movements in the water. And I'm sure that the ring is chafing them. If you want your child to really enjoy the water, relax and get the real feeling of being "free" in the water, try with Miss "Noodle".
My children have been in the swimming pool since the age of 4 months, and “Miss Noodle" was a true friend in the water.
2. Don't force your children to swim just because your best friend’s son is already swimming!
Children should play in the water, and learn to swim through play. For the start, they should learn how to stay afloat. It is up to you, parents, to create a safe environment for them in the water. The most important thing, of course, is that you feel relaxed and patient with your child who may not feel that comfortable in the water at the moment. Therefore, everything you do, do it slowly and step by step.
3. Always be there, within arm’s reach, because beginners can get a false sense of safety in the water!
Apart from getting relaxed in the water more easily, younger children can also easily get a false sense of safety in the water. It is totally irrelevant whether they are under four years of age or older.
Although my Little Shark and Little Fish used to go to baby swimming at the very young age, and then started with a swimming school at the age of three, I would never leave them in the swimming pool alone. The water is deceptive, the children get relaxed quickly, carried away by playing and the water can easily bring back the fear of swimming.
Children are likely to get relaxed more easily while swimming and diving, and are not yet able to assess their own abilities in the water, even though they know how to stay afloat and swim. That is why beginners, especially at the very start, but also later, should be closely observed, so that they are within our reach. That is why there are experienced coaches, but also parents who "control" the child in the water… Of course, this does not mean they should make them fear the water, but stay always wary.
4. Be a parent, not a swimming coach
Every parent, myself included, wants the best for their child. Trust me, swimming is your best partner in raising and growing your children. This is why it is up to you, parents, to motivate the child to swim. And it is up to us, professionals, to teach them from scratch how to stay safe in the water - to swim and enjoy it. Trust me, a single wrong move in the water can be fatal for everyone. So, be a paren, not a swimming coach. Once you decide, enrol your child in a swimming school.
How can parents help their child learn to swim and relax in the easiest possible way?
Tell the child about the benefits of water and swimming from an early age. If you want to be a part of his or her growing up in the water, then play with them as they are getting to know the charms of the aquatic environment. Be their support, motivators, and a person of trust. Be their best friend and explore it together. Talk and sing while you are with the children in the water, especially with the youngest ones. Play with your children because water is the biggest and most beautiful playground in the world!
Dear parents, swimming requires commitment and patience.
If you want your child to be ready for the life that awaits him or her, wait no more, go face it, and enrol the child in one of the swimming schools in your neighbourhood. It is totally irrelevant whether he will learn to swim in three months, like his friend, or he will take a year. What is relevant is that he eventually learns to swim and becomes safe in the water.
Life is more beautiful when you’re swimming!