15 Don’ts When You’re Teaching Your Kids to Swim

If you haven’t already, check out some things you should do–here, here, here, and here–when you’re teaching your kids to swim. Got it? Great! Now keep in mind these 15 “don’ts” and you’ll be ready to start teaching your kids to swim (or reinforcing the lessons their swimming teacher has already taught).

Don’t lose your child’s trust

  • Don’t throw your child into the water to teach him to swim, ever.
  • Don’t force your child into water without preparing him.
  • Don’t deny it if your child has a scary moment.
  • Don’t trick your child or lie.

Don’t send your child subtle messages that he should fear the water

  • Don’t wipe it off if water gets on your face or your child’s face.
  • Don’t prevent him from trying new things in the water.
  • Don’t overreact if he swallows some water.
  • Don’t yell.

Don’t let your expectations interfere with your child’s progress

  • Don’t expect your child’s swimming to be fast, especially in the beginning.
  • Don’t expect very young kids to learn strokes before they’re developmentally ready.
  • Don’t expect your child to pick up right away where you left off at the end of the last lesson.
  • Don’t expect your child to do it perfectly.
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