7 Mistakes Parents Make with Children and Swimming
Every parent wants the best for their child, and that should include preparing them for any situation life might throw at them. Swimming, in this aspect, is not just an activity or hobby but an essential skill that can save your child’s life. Enrolling your child in swimming classes or teaching them yourself helps them enjoy swimming as an activity and can prevent them from drowning in the future.
But even well-intentioned parents can make mistakes, and it’s no different when it comes to swimming. If you’re planning on teaching your little one how to swim, it’s important to know what you should be avoiding. Set your child up for swimming success and easy sailing when you avoid these mistakes:
Not Investing In Swimming Gear
Investing in proper swimwear that your child will feel comfortable in is crucial to helping them enjoy being in the water. From flotation devices to swimsuits, you have to make sure that your child has everything they possibly need to have fun in the water.
Flotation devices like life vests and water wings can be ideal when your child is learning how to swim, but they also need to be weaned off it in due time. Understand that no matter what your child is learning, whether it’s football, basketball, or swimming, they will need the right attire and equipment to help them succeed.
Lack of Consistency
You have to emphasize the importance of consistent swimming to your child early on to make sure they prioritize it as well. If your child is skipping swimming lessons or not practicing diligently, they will lose their confidence in the water. It can also slow their progress to the point that they start forgetting how to swim at all.
Using Fear as A Tool
You might want your child to excel in swimming from the get-go, but it hardly ever works that way. Pushing your child too hard or using fear tactics as a way of making them swim can actually end up backfiring on you. Disciplining your child too much will not motivate your child to swim better, but it can lead to a lifelong fear of water.
To prevent your child from getting negative associations around water and swimming, be careful about the way you’re teaching your child. Instead of using harsh words to reprimand them, be gentle and use affirmations. Make them understand that this will take time, and that’s okay. Every child will have their own pace, and finding the right groove is essential to being comfortable in the water.
Neglecting Proper Instruction
While you might think that you are a capable instructor for your child, that might not always hold to be true. If you’re not confident about your swimming skills, it might be best to look for professional guidance so your child can learn to swim properly. Even if you are a capable swimmer, it never hurts to get professional advice so your child doesn’t learn poor techniques or put their safety at risk.
Contact a professional instructor who can give you tips, mock drills, and exercises that you can do with your child if you’re planning on teaching them yourself. It might be helpful to create a comprehensive plan that goes week-by-week so you can actually track your child’s progress and have a set timeline for the classes.
Ignoring Pool Hygiene
There is unspoken etiquette everywhere, and that includes the swimming pool, too. Not being aware of basic pool hygiene and neglecting it can cause a host of health issues to occur to your child. Children are especially prone to getting infections, and you have to be cautious of their health when they’re in or coming out of the pool. Basic pool hygiene includes:
- Showering before getting into the pool
- Using the restroom before going to the pool
- Avoid swallowing pool water
- Showering after getting out of the pool
- Wash swimming gear after use
- Clean flotation devices regularly
Disregarding the Importance of CPR
As a parent, your child takes first priority over anything else, and you need to be able to help in case anything goes wrong. Equipping yourself with basic water rescue skills and knowing how to do CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Knowing how to handle any emergency in water won’t just give you peace of mind, but it’ll keep your child and anyone else who’s in the pool safe, too.
Failure In Establishing Clear Rules
You need to dictate a list of what your child can and can’t do in the pool before they even enter the swimming pool. Their behavior in the water impacts their safety and others, and they should know the consequences. It should include simple rules like no diving in the shallow end, no running in the pool, and not holding competitions without adult supervision.
When you know what to avoid while your child is in the pool, you can encourage their progress and confidence in the water. Let your child enjoy the fun swimming can bring and enable them to learn this skill by avoiding these mistakes.
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