Teaching a child to swim is one of the best lifetime gifts you can offer them. If you want to find out all the secrets and best methods to teach children to swim, click on my swimming course . But it is also important to know what to avoid.
Here are 5 Mistakes to avoid when teaching children to swim
1. Assume that one method works for all children.
It is already known that academically children learn in different ways. The same goes for such a complex skill as swimming is, that involves trust in the teacher, the child’s physical abilities, emotional development, if the child is afraid of water, if they have any sensory issues etc. Be creative and find out what keeps your child motivated to learn, what their likes and dislikes are in the water, what are the best ways to engage and connect with them, to develop trust, especially when teaching with children afraid of water.
2. Compare your child’s progress with the progress of other children of similar ages.
Some Children are fearless and take to the water like fishes, other are scared of water for no apparent reason. Some are water babies, some prefer not to get wet much. Expecting your 4 year old to be just a good of a swimmer as the 4 year old you saw swimming laps on your last vacation may not be realistic. Each child is different and each learns at their own pace. Pushing your child to learn fast, to the point of having them become scared of the water, or not wanting to learn to swim anymore can be counterproductive.
3. Assume that all floatation devices are bad for teaching children to swim.
There is a misconception that the best way to teach kids to swim is with no floats. It is true that bulky swim vests and water wings are not ideal for teaching children to swim, as they provide too much buoyancy or restrict the arm movements. Therefore children will not learn how to use their arms, legs, core, to efficiently move through the water. But certain floatation aids are very helpful to teach children to swim.
Here’s what we recommend:
4. Adopt the “no goggles” or “only goggles” method.
It is true that we don’t want children to become dependent on swimming with goggles. Instead, we want them to be strong and confident in the water, when swimming both with or without goggles. At the same time, Goggles protect eyes from chlorine, therefore inspire children to want to practice underwater skills, helps swimmers focus on correct head and body position and correct swimming technique. Some kids are not bothered by chlorinated or salty water in their eyes. But some are. Pushing your child to learn to swim when their eyes are burning may cause them to take a step back from learning to swim. Find a balance and be creative to find fun ways of practicing with and without goggles.
5. Forget how important having fun when learning to swim is.
Using water toys and fun water games doesn’t mean that your child is only playing in the water and not actually learning to swim. Water toys, fun and challenging games can be great tools when teaching kids to swim.
Watch FREE ONLINE SWIM LESSONS, to find out the best methods, tips and tools to teach children to swim in a fun, efficient and effective way.