How You Can Help To Improve Your Child’s Swimming Skills

Starting your child in swimming lessons is one of the best ways for them to learn swim techniques, about water safety and also water confidence but their new skills can still be improved upon by you, the parent, in some really simple yet effective ways.

Attend The Lessons

One of the best ways to gain swimming and water knowledge yourself is to attend your child’s swimming lessons on a regular basis. Take the time to focus on how the teacher encourages them, how they break the lesson down in order to teach certain techniques and how they get the children to focus on their own pool safety. By taking all of this on board, you can use this information to help your child to practise, to support them and to ensure that they are not picking up bad habits.

Use The Bath

Bath time is a great way of reminding your child of the key skills they learn during lessons. Blowing bubbles, asking them to pop their face into the water, asking them to splash their face and using dive toys to fetch from the bottom of the tub will all help with water confidence. You can also ask them to practise their arm movements and for smaller children, remind them to hold the side to stay safe.

Regular Swims

When you take your child to a public pool on a regular basis you immediately demonstrate to them that swimming is fun, that the water isn’t to be scared of plus you can show them that you can swim and that you enjoy it which is a really important message. When children see their parents taking part in an activity, they often mimic their behaviour which makes learning come more easily for them. During your regular swim, use the same techniques that their swim teacher uses, practise the moves they know, encourage them to jump in and try to use the same language.

Provide Floatation Devices For Reassurance

Even if your child doesn’t always rely on a floatation device during a swimming lesson, they may feel as though they need this outside of the swim school for a little extra reassurance. There’s such a wide range available these days that can help with this including:
  • Float Suit
  • Swim Vest
  • Float Jacket
  • Noodle
  • Float Wings
  • Fins
  • Arm Bands

Encourage Don’t Discourage

Every child’s learning pace is unique to them and it can be very easy to compare other children in the class to your own child but honestly, nothing good can ever come from comparisons. There may be times that it seems your child has reached a plateau or taken a step back but this is completely normal for any learning journey. If they hit a stage where they aren’t quite enjoying swimming, they are tired from school, they are going through a developmental stage then all of these can play a big factor in their swimming progress. Staying positive is key here. If they see you encouraging them, supporting them and working alongside their needs, they will be more inclined to get back on track. When swimming as a family, remind them that swimming is fun, work on areas they are having trouble with and show them that practice takes time and that it doesn’t always fall into place immediately. Your support here will mean far more than you can imagine.

Set A Goal

A really fun way of encouraging swimming is by setting goals that your child (not you) wants to hit. For example, if they know there is going to be a swimming pool on holiday, they could decide that they’d love to be able to swim a length of that pool come the time to go away. Perhaps you will be visiting the coast soon and they’d like to swim in the sea? Maybe they want to be swimming without armbands by their next birthday? Whatever their chosen goal, if you work with them to achieve this you will be helping them to master their swimming skills even quicker.

Swimming is a really valuable life lesson so if you can work through some or all of these steps, you will be helping your child to stay safe and confident each time they enter the water.

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