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The simplest advice for getting your child to love the water is, “start young!” That includes aquatic survival lessons for infants as young as 6 months old (we’ve discussed in-depth the benefits of early swim in the past).
Love for the water starts at home and there are several ways you can build your child’s comfort in the water. Here are a few suggestions:
Stay Positive. Your children will respond to your cues and will hesitate if you show unreasonable concern. They will also respond negatively if you demonstrate frustration. Keep a positive attitude, be encouraging despite slow pace or temporary setbacks, and provide extra rewards for milestones in the water, to keep spirits high.
Bath Time is Playtime. The bath is the best place to begin nurturing a love of being in the water. Work slowly to build comfort and confidence. Have a lot of toys close at hand and practice getting faces wet and blowing bubbles underwater. To help your baby grow more comfortable with getting her face wet, gently squeeze a sponge or washcloth over her head, letting water trickle down her face.
Provide Room to Explore. As your child gains confidence, allow them to explore independently up until early swim lessons if they are comfortable. When your child is ready to join group lessons, he or she will learn to swim socially. Until then, it’s perfectly fine to allow him or her to swim near you while you remain in the water. Fun Fridays allow Texas Swim Academy students and parents to not only spend time together, but allow students to explore and review what they’ve learned with repetition and consistency – two important factors that successfully build water safety and confidence.
Start Lessons Early. Starting out early with swimming lessons allows your child to start building trust and confidence in the water right away. When searching for swimming classes, look for a program that provides a patient environment, skilled instructors, and quick and effective results. Every child develops differently. Just like learning how to walk, some get it a little sooner, others get it later. Just remember to enjoy the process and the achievements along the way.
Texas Swim Academy offers several swimming programs that provide results in weeks, not years. Learn more about our programs, including our Infant Survival Swim program and our Fun Friday events on our website.