Teach Your Kid to be Confident in Water

By Mommy Donna and Kib - January 06, 2020

I do believe that everyone should learn how to swim.

Swimming is not just a sport nor a way to keep your body in good shape, but it is also a survival skill.  

Sadly, in the Philippines, not everyone has an opportunity to learn how to swim.  Not all schools have swimming facility.  Swimming lessons can also be costly for some people.

I learned how to swim in my younger years but I wasn't able to fully overcome my fear of water.  I am not confident to swim in deep parts of the pool.  Thanks to Bert Lozada Swim School, I was given a chance to learn how to swim again.  You can follow my swimming journey at Best of Manila Facebook page.  

Kib, on the other hand, learned how to swim when he was 8 years old.  I made it to a point that he will learn how to swim at a young age because I do want him to enjoy water activities and our travels together.  Before he went to formal swimming lessons, I made sure that Kib has built confidence in the water first.  

Now....how can a parent who does not know how to swim build his/her child's confidence in the water?  This is how I did it:

  • Buy an arm floater.  Arm floaters are not restricting compared with the inflatable life vest or swim ring.  Arm floaters can give the child freedom to wade in the deep water without fear of drowning.  Make sure that the arm floaters that you will buy are not ill-fitting.  Of course, adult supervision is still needed while letting the child wade in the water while wearing arm floaters.
  • Bring your child to the water level that he can be comfortable first.  Take note: Do not ever attempt to make a joke to your child about drowning in water.  This is a bad joke and will make your child fear the water more.  When I was young, someone pushed me in the pool, good thing I was immediately seen and rescued.  Since then, I am afraid to go to the deep part of the pool and if someone brings me to that part, I really hold tightly for the fear of drowning.  
  • Let your child feel that you can be trusted when you're in the water.  Make sure that when you try to release your child in the deep water, your distance should be in his arm's reach, not yours.  Always give reassuring words like, "Don't worry, mommy's here," or "You can reach me with your hands easily, I won't go anywhere."  
  • Cheer your child on his/her milestones.  Celebrating milestones no matter how small it is, boosts a child's confidence.  It helps the child prepare for more difficult lessons.  It keeps the child's interest in swimming high.  Give praises, hugs, and kisses when your child did something amazing on the water.
  • Do not show to your child that you have fear of water.  Fear is learned, so if you show that you also fear the water, your child will also have that same fear.  I have learned the art of showing coolness on the things that I have fear of.  Your reaction tells it all, so just act naturally when you are with your child and never give your child a hint of fear.
  • Let your child to be taught by a professional swimming coach.  It's still different when you let your child learn how to swim from a professional swimming coach.  They know better, they know the proper techniques and position, and they can even give valuable tips on how to become an effective swimmer.

I do hope that the tips that I gave you will help you and your child build confidence in the water.  It all starts with you!  Let's learn swimming!

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