Teaching Your Children to Swim

by Pool Builders on 07-26-2008 in Articles

When I was a teenager, I got a part time summer job teaching local children how to swim. I was a bit nervous since I had never taught anyone how to swim before. The task seemed daunting, especially since I had 10 three-year-old students sitting stone-faced on the swimming pool edge, their feet nervously dangling in the water. I panicked, wondering if I should've read an "Idiots Guide to Swimming" or something. While I was a certified lifeguard, I still felt like I was masquerading as an expert somehow. The truth is, if you know how to swim, then you have what it takes to teach your children how to swim. Most of us teach our children how to walk, how to talk, and how to ride a bike. But when it comes to swimming, we gladly hand them over to teenagers, much like myself, and hope for the best. Here are some basics to get you started teaching your children how to swim.

Swimming is mainly about confidence. Children need to learn how to feel comfortable in the water and you need to start that at an early age. When they are babies, hold them in the water and allow them to kick and move their arms playfully. Never let their faces get in the water or force them to do anything that will make them uncomfortable. The key is to make them trust you and not build a fear of water. Once they are comfortable you can start to encourage splashing. Most babies will splash in the bathtub. They get their faces wet and learn that water on the face is not harmful. Many babies even learn to hold their breath while they are splashing. Always remember never to leave your baby unattended in water of any depth. Babies have been known to drown in just a few inches of water.

Once they are older (2-3 year olds) teach your children to swim with floatation devices. Floaties allow them the independence to practice swimming strokes and builds their self-confidence at the same time. Even though floaties will help your child gain independence in the water, never trust them to keep your children from drowning. Always watch your children carefully anytime they are in the pool. Blowing bubbles in the water will help them learn how to hold their breath underwater. But always let your child go at his own pace. Never push your child to do anything in the pool that makes him uncomfortable. If he is afraid of the water, pushing him will only make it more difficult for your child to become comfortable in the water, which will delay swimming. Use a variety of fun swimming toys to encourage swimming.

Swimming Toys that help you teach your Child to Swim:

· Diving Sticks

· Swimming Rings

· Swimming Floaties

· Swimming Goggles

· Swimming Kick Boards

Teach your child swimming safety rules:

· No Running around the Pool

· Never Swim Alone

· Never Swim right after a large meal

· Never Cry Wolf and pretend you are drowning.

· Never hold someone underwater or push someone in the pool

· Always use the ladders or stairs when getting out of the pool

· NEVER DIVE IN THE SHALLOW END

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