As parents who know to swim and enjoy doing so; you’d know the importance and the benefits of swimming. From mind relaxation and stress busting to giving your body a well-deserved workout, swimming covers all bases for both adults and children alike. But how do you know if your child is old enough to start swimming? And how can you help them, if they show an interest to swimming? Read ahead to find our experts’ answers for these questions.
Tricks on getting toddlers and very young kids to swim
Do you know that children are natural swimmers? It’s probably because they have a vague recollection of their time in the womb. Unfortunately, as they grow older, and begin to recognize fear and caution, they also begin tend to forget how to swim. If you want to get you toddler swimming, it’s important that you get him familiar with water first. Sprinkle/ trickles water down his face while in the tub, and make sure not to panic or yell if he gets a little water in his eyes or mouth. Don’t wipe off the water from his face either (while bathing); and avoid shielding his eyes from the water when possible. Make bath time an adventure they look forwards to.
Tips on getting younger children swimming and fearless to the water
DO NOT disregard his fear towards water. This will only make him resent swimming and you. Work with him, work around the problem. Rather than jumping into the water, ask him to try dangling his feet in first. There’s no pressing need for him to start swimming immediately; so, take things slow. Get into the pool with him; show him swimming can be fun. Offer to give him rides around the pool, and play a few games in the shallow end. Once his fear of the water reduces, use arm and ankle band floats to help him learn to swim without the fear of drowning.
Swimming and older children
Parents can forget that even older children are still children. Especially when it comes to their fears. DO NOT throw him into the water, no matter what positive tips you might have heard about it. Yes, there are instances when it helps children (and adults) to start swimming; but more often than not, this near drowning experience only increases their fear and puts them off swimming permanently. Encourage them to avoid using support boards, as in the long run, the dependency can get a little hard to break. Swimming without support equipment can be better in the long run as you feel more in control.
Remember, each child’s learning speed differs; even when it comes to swimming. Have fun, be positive and take things lightly!