Some children have a great fear of water and it takes from positive reinforcement to bribery and corruption (from the parents side) just to get them into a costume! If you are the parent that has a child with the bravery badge count your lucky starts! For the parent that has a fearful child then there is no short cut… It takes patience, more patience and more patience.
Some people would suggest that you don’t teach your child to swim until they are much older… Hence the reason why we offer adult lessons! But on a more serious note. If your child is not water safe and you have access to open water areas then I would suggest that you stick out the touch love lessons! Otherwise you will need to implement whatever it takes to keep your child safe from possible water hazards which become more difficult once your child goes to pool parties and school.
Remember swimming is a life saving skill and a skill for life.
Children from 3-4 years:
Depending on the character of the child and whether your child has access to a pool, it makes it difficult to say when your child will be able to swim. Usually if a child that has not done baby swimming, or has not got a pool to practice in, then they would only learn to swim at 4-5 years of age.
Children that are cautious and timid or don’t like water on their face, or don’t like showering or lying in a bath will not probably enjoy going to the pool for the first time. It is important to give your child the time to adjust to this new environment and to be able to get to know the teacher and other kids in the class. Other children just can’t wait to get in and they have no fear for the water, great for the teacher not for the parent as they could be daring in other peoples pools, so keep a close watch on your kids! Either way they need to learn all about water and the do and don’ts in and around the pool!
5 years +
Usually by this age your child has been around their peers and want to learn to swim! They usually learn quicker because they get the drive and desire by their friends around them. We usually have to access this age to find them a slot to see what class will be best suited for them. Fortunately their motor skills have caught up to them and they are able to grasp the skill rather quickly unless they have a great fear through a bad experience. In this case lat us know what happened so that we can be more understanding of your child’s fear and work it through with them!
Although this age may be very sensitive to a new environment they learn to adjust fairly quickly and tent to be very interested in what their peers are able to do and the interactivity they are able to have in the aquatic environment. Using positive Teaching methods helps build their self-esteem as they look for positive acknowledgement from the instructor and parents for skills that they are able to achieve.
1 2 Swim kids enjoy being together in little groups and they learn and compete with their peers by observing and mimicking one another. Friendships are established and formed as they learn to work together as a team and interact with one another.
Fitness benefits include increase in strength, muscle tone, endurance and lung capacity. Children of this level have very high energy levels. We can focus on swimming techniques and they can exert themselves using swimming as part of their health fitness programme. Swimming also uses both lobes of the brain improving coordination, motor development, balance and helps to extend their length of concentration when applying their skills!
At the appropriate developmental capability and enough practice children can acquire the necessary swimming safety skills to aid them in the event of a water emergency.
A child that is well adjusted to the aquatic environment will proactively implement the techniques she/he has learnt rather than panicking in a emergency situation. However no child should ever be considered ‘drownproof’ and you should always be vigilant when your child is in the water.
Positive Teaching Methods
At 1 2 Swim we use the child centered approach which is guided to develop their individual skills approach at their own rate and not to attempt to create a super kid. Each child progressed at their own pace, some learn to kick and others prefer diving under the water which means they have individual needs and wants.
Some 1 2 Swim Kids have been swimming from babe levels and others have only just been introduced to the Aquatic environment and have more fears and this has to be considered in order to make a child feel secure, comfortable and happy in the pool.
YOUR Role in the Pool
Ensuring that you are on time and relaxed sets a calming effect on your child. Ensuring that the correct attire has been packed in order for the swimming lesson to take place including costumes, swimming caps and towels are packed. Children are able to express and inform parents how they are feeling and it is important that the parent keeps the chains of communication open with the child, parent and the instructor in order to fulfill the needs of the child.