It's never too early to teach your child to love water!
Summer means swimming and diving! A magical, super-fun time for kids of all ages. But if your child is afraid of water he will miss out on the fun of swimming in the sea or pool. How can you teach your child to enjoy swimming? The most important thing is to start early!
Water is a natural environment for kids, and in a pool kids play, learn and have fun, but also relax and develop their movement skills. Right from when they are in the amniotic liquid of their mother's womb, which protects and helps them grow, children are in contact with this element. How can we help them keep this relationship with this precious substance?
As we were saying, the important thing is to start early: that way it becomes a natural experience where there is nothing new to be afraid of. You can start when you child is still a baby: you will need patience, starting from the basics; remember never to force a child to get into the water for the first time.
Start in the bathtub: cuddle your child in the water, letting him splash and play.
The second step is to sign up for parent-child swimming lessons or simply go to the pool together. The first time your child gets into the pool get in with him keeping close to the edge of the pool: your presence will reassure your child making him feel protected and holding on to the edge will make him feel safer. This is not the time to get your child to wear swimming caps, rubber shoes and goggles because they might make him feel awkward and anxious.
For babies the experience in water is even easier and more natural, because babies have not yet developed a fear of water or anything else for that matter. In any case, until the age of 4-5 years, it would be better to make swimming nothing but fun without forcing your child to learn swimming techniques or how to stay afloat: once your child feels confident, he will want to learn all these things on his own.
To keep your child afloat, place your arms under your child’s back to keep him afloat and then move your arms away for just a few seconds so that he learns how to keep afloat on his own. Use the same method to teach him how to move his legs; slowly at a precise rhythm to make him familiar with the movement that he will be learning later.
Make the experience in the pool fun, avoiding anything that might stress or upset your child:
- Don't force your child to do anything he doesn't want to;
- Don’t correct him all the time;
- Don’t transfer your own anxiety or fears to him;
When your child is good enough to be in the pool alone, let him develop his skills without your help.