Some of the earliest skills taught in swim lessons are designed to help children feel comfortable and confident in the water. That’s because a child who feels comfortable in the water is less likely to panic.  Water confidence is important, but what if your child still feels nervous around the water? Here are some tips for helping your child’s confidence grow in the the water.

Don’t worry, there are many things you can do to help your child become more confident in the water.  Swim lessons are essential, of course, but you can also work on building up your child’s confidence outside of lessons. Here are some tips to try with your child.

Model Confidence

Children look to parents and older siblings to be role models. Showing your children that you are confident in the water helps them feel more confident, too.

Does your child have a sibling or friend who loves to swim?  Why not invite them to come with you to the pool or beach? Seeing how much their siblings and friends enjoy the water may tempt your child to join in.

Bring On The Fun

Drowning is a leading cause of death for children, and it makes sense for parents to want their children to learn to swim for their own safety.  However, if a child lacks confidence in the water, he or she may not want to learn to swim at all. Bringing fun into the equation can help.

If you have a baby or toddler, include playtime in the bath.  Splash and play with toys. Laugh and blow bubbles. Help your child to associate the water with having fun.  Wading pools are also a great place to play.

Older children can play in similar ways, splashing or wading at the shallow end of a pool or along the beach.  If your child is reluctant to enter the water at all, start out by simply being near the water. Try having a picnic on the beach, for example.

If your child has already started swimming but still lacks confidence, try playing games. Often, children are fearful of being submerged.  Try dive sticks or other toys they can retrieve from the bottom of the pool. They’ll have fun going on a treasure hunt while also feeling more confident in their ability to go under the water and surface again.

Other games, such as Sharks and Minnows and Marco Polo, allow them to play with their friends.  They’ll have an opportunity to practice skills and strengthen their muscles, but they probably won’t realize that’s what they’re doing because they’re having so much fun.

Make Swimming Part Of Your Family’s Routine

Making swimming part of your family’s routine helps your child get used to being in the water on a regular basis and look forward to it as family time. Plus, the more time your child spends in the water, the more comfortable he or she will feel.

Encourage your child to practice what he or she has learned in lessons, and be sure to praise even the smallest achievements.  Consider having a family meal after your swim time, and talk to your child about how proud you are of the progress he or she made.

Bear Paddle Swim School offers Family Swim, and we encourage our students and their families to take advantage of it.  In fact, if you stay for the full two hours, the time is equivalent to a month of lessons.  That’s a lot of extra practice for your child.

When children feel confident and comfortable in the water, they are less likely to panic if they find themselves unexpectedly falling into water.  You can help your child’s confidence grow by making time in the water fun, modeling water confidence yourself, and spending time in the water as a family.

If you’d like to learn more about our program or want to enroll your child in swim lessons, click here to fill out our easy online form.

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