Why swimming lessons should start when the kids are young!
My parents didn’t really encourage me to swim a lot when I was a kid, so as a result I wasn’t a really confident swimmer up until I was probably 14 or 15. In fact, I had to have proper swimming lessons in high school to build my confidence, as well as tennis lessons. It could have been a cultural thing – where my parents are from, there weren’t many swimming pools and beaches weren’t easy to get to.
However, I didn’t want my kids to have the same lack of confidence as I did, so we got Miss 4 started with swimming lessons when she was 6 months old and Mr 2 when he was 12 months old. They love swimming – from that early age they’ve done it in a group setting with a qualified instructor, and when we go to their cousin’s pool or another swimming spot I’m so glad we got them in the water early as they aren’t afraid of the water and with supervision can happily gad about in the pool. There are loads of places that you could go to for swimming lessons though (such as this Coast2Coast in North York, but you just have to find one that’s close to you).
Other reasons for the importance of swimming lessons in childhood are:
It seems these days children spend time, even from a very young age, playing on tablets and other devices. They rarely go out to play with their friends or do anything active. They are more likely to want to sit at home watching videos online than join a sports team or go to their friends’ houses. Even at school, there is a much bigger focus on technology and learning how to use it, while art, music and other creative endeavours get much less attention (much to my chagrin).
One of the main reasons to teach children how to swim is so that they can get regular exercise as well as teaching them a potentially life-saving skill. It’s also a great workout for kids as it works most of their muscle groups, without putting too much pressure on the growing bones of children. In fact, it can make the perfect workout for the whole family.
Mr 2 in the pool. Photo by Puddle Pics.
Swimming not only builds kids’ confidence in the pool, but also their sense of self-confidence too as they achieve different swimming milestones. Not all kids are comfortable in group lessons though, so private swimming lessons are a great way for them to build their confidence and skills in the pool on a one-to-one basis with an instructor. In both types of swimming lessons, kids receive a certificate of achievement and lots of praise for their progress, which does wonders for their confidence.
Mr 2 has a friend in his class that he regularly horses around with while they’re (meant to be) learning how to swim. Swimming lessons give children a chance to interact with and meet new people. They spend time each week with their classmates, giving them a chance to get to know each other and improve their social skills as well as their swimming and survival skills.
A lot of young children may struggle with authority and starting school can come as a bit of a shock. Swimming lessons introduce a different kind of authority to their lives. They must listen to their teacher to remain safe, yet they still get to have fun.
Speaking of fun, perhaps the best reason to take your child to swimming lessons is that it’s fun. Once they can swim and their confidence is soaring, they’ll want to go all of the time to show off their skills. Swimming is the perfect way to remind them that exercise can be fun and that you don’t need a screen to enjoy yourself.
Miss 4 in the pool when she was a bub.
Swimming lessons can do your child a lot of good, so why not have a look at starting today?
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