Family Magazine

5 Tips for Teaching Your Child to Swim

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

When your child doesn’t know how to swim very well, it can be dangerous to be anywhere there is water. Even going to a friend’s house where there is a pool can end in tragedy. So getting your child swimming is a fun activity that might save his or her life some day. The following are some great ways to teach your child how to swim effectively without traumatizing them.

A young girl taking a break in a swimming pool...

A young girl taking a break in a swimming pool, grabbing on to a rainbow-coloured styrofoam flotation device. Français : Jeune fille s'offrant une pause dans une piscine, s'accrochant à une planche de polystirène expansé aux couleurs de l'arc en ciel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Hire a Pro

A professional swimming tutor is a potentially good investment. Some kids are embarrassed to take classes with a bunch of other kids because there is always a discrepancy in relative skill levels. It’s okay when a pro works with your child alone, as it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. A professional instructor knows techniques that you most likely don’t know, which will make the process go, well, swimmingly.


Start Swimming Yourself

Sometimes the best way to lead is by example. If your child sees you swimming, he or she might understand that it’s not so hard after all. Children do take most of their cues from their parents, you know. So give your child some positive, useful cues to follow.


Show How Fun Swimming Is

Swimming is a great way to get fitter and have a great time without it feeling like “exercise.” If you can show your child how much fun it is to go for a swim, they will be far more likely to jump in and learn more by doing. Sometimes practice is all it takes to get from no skill to plenty of skill. It’s pretty amazing what a child can easily pick up on when they get the feeling there’s some fun to be had out of the deal.


Get Help From a Child Who Swims Well

In some cases, a child can learn best of all from another child who already has the desired skill. So if you happen to see a child who is a great swimmer, you might consider asking that child to help your child learn how to swim more effectively. Peers can have a huge impact on kids, and that little bit of positive peer pressure can be a great incentive to learn more quickly. Besides, it’s easier for a child to associate him or herself with another kid than with an adult.


Reward Your Child

Sometimes bribery is in order. If you know your child wants something, offer it in exchange for learning how to swim. If they can demonstrate a few skills, make it a very attractive offer.

Learning how to swim isn’t that hard. But sometimes a child needs a little help. So try the above ideas, and there’s a good chance your child will be a great little swimmer in no time.


About the Author: Rivka Piersol teaches swim classes in San Francisco, at a local youth club. She enjoys teaching everyone, from young children through older adults, how to exist in harmony with the water!

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