My children are a bit scared of swimming. They don’t love the water and they’re extremely cautious around the pool. They hate getting their heads wet.
And, you know what? So do I.
So, with me as a role model, it is no wonder they lack confidence. I lack confidence too. I also feel like I lack the skills and knowledge to help them become more comfortable in water and learn to enjoy going to the pool.
So I jumped at the chance to trial the new online swim course developed by Aussie Olympic swim coach Laurie Lawrence. It is called the World Wide Swim School and it contains 13 modules for parents to help make their child’s learn-to-swim experience a happy and effective one.
I was particularly interested in the module aimed at parents of timid children aged 2-3 years but there are modules designed for a range of levels and ages starting from birth through to advanced modules for learning and teaching the specific swim strokes.
My kids are a long way off learning to do freestyle or butterfly so I was very keen to learn the basics, those first steps (or strokes?) in the learn-to-swim process. I wanted to know how I could help them become more confident in the water. I wanted to know some tips for getting them to put their heads under water. And I wanted to know the first steps in teaching them how to swim.
The course taught me these things and more.
These are a few of the things I learned about teaching my children to swim:
- Stay in the shallow water until they’re completely confident
- Make it fun
- Let them experience the sensation of floating
- Don’t push them into doing something they’re scared of
We haven’t gotten much further than this. It is a slow process with my two and I’ve learned we’ll be more successful if we let them progress within their own comfort levels.
However, we spent the weekend away and I could already see an improvement.
My 3YO played in the shallows happily, where previously she’d cling to the sides or sit on the top step afraid of slipping over. She even stood under the mushroom-shaped fountains and let the water run over her face!
My 5YO asked to be taken down into the deeper part of the pool where I took the opportunity to practice Laurie’s ‘cuddle kicks’. He was so happy to feel himself float and was proud of himself for finally ‘swimming’!
All this while my partner slid down the slippery slide with our 1YO – a few times at her request. I don’t think we will have to watch the Timid Module for her!
It was definitely good progress and even though neither will put their head under the water yet I’ve got some tips on encouraging them and I can start during their bath time! Plus once they feel comfortable getting their heads wet, I’ll be back online to review the part of the course that deals with breathe control, submersion and free floating – the first steps of the learning to swim process.
Hopefully they’ll soon overtake me in confidence!
This post is sponsored by the World Wide Swim School.
Laurie Lawrence has designed 13 modules to give parents the tools to ensure their child’s learn to swim experience is fun and effective. These online lessons bring Laurie into your home. With the ability for you to go over the information again and again, Laurie will be your personal expert. Visit www.worldwideswimschool.com. Don’t forget to enter this BUBHUB2015 coupon when checking out and you will see something Laurie hasn’t shared before – teaching his daughter to swim more than 30 years ago!