In order to learn to swim, your kids have to be receptive to learning. You can create an atmosphere that’s conducive to learning by remembering these 9 Do’s.
Do trust yourself.
You know your kids, and you have it in you to teach them to swim.
Your kids will pick up on how you’re feeling. Practice relaxation techniques if you need to. Set reasonable expectations and don’t rush. Take a break if you feel yourself getting anxious.
Do be patient with yourself.
You’re not going to do this perfectly. The beautiful part is that you don’t have to. You and your kids can and will have fun while you’re teaching them to swim, even if you do (and you will!) make mistakes along the way. Don’t beat yourself up over the mistakes. Just move on.
Do be patient with your child.
Your kids will make mistakes, too. They’ll probably have some bad days when they’re just not in the mood. Even when they are trying, there will be some things that won’t come quickly or easily. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break. The most important thing is that you’re having fun working together to do something that will keep your kids safe.
Do use a nurturing, positive attitude.
If you provide emotional support and make it fun, your kids will want to get into the pool for their next swimming lesson.
Do be calm but enthusiastic.
You set the tone. If you freak out, your kids will, too. Be enthusiastic, but keep calm so that your kids will be confident and ready to learn.
Do be honest.
If you tell your kids you’ll do something, do it. If you tell them you won’t, don’t. Never dunk your kids if you’ve told them you won’t. Never tell them, “just one more time,” if you plan on having them do something three more times. They have to be able to trust you to relax enough to learn, and being honest with them will build that trust.
Do think of the unspoken message your actions send your child.
If you make a big deal about it when your kids make mistakes or get water in their noses, they’ll get the message that those things are a big deal. Respond the way you want your kids to understand.
Do have fun!
Keep your eyes on the prize. You’re helping your kids become water safe, but you’re also spending time with them and building memories. Have fun. Give them hugs and get some back. Learning to swim is critical to your kids’ safety, but the process of teaching them to swim can be fun for everyone.