Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Never Ever's in Swimming lessons, children's, infant or baby safety



At a mothers play group meeting, as a guest speaker, to talk about swimming and children, I was asked what tips I could give a mother to encourage her children to enjoy the water.

Basically the answer is play. If you as a parent are happy to play in the water with your child you will end up with a child that enjoys the water.

That doesn't mean that when it comes to swimming lessons that your child will not have some difficulty with some skills. Particularly floating (Unless you have taught your child to lay on there back the sensation of floating can be very frightening). But it does mean that your child will be much more comfortable in the water and therefore may find learning water related skills much easier to learn than they would have otherwise.

But the one thing that I do want to drive home to parents. When playing with your child in water Never Ever encourage your child to throw a toy into the water and then jump in after it.

"What you teach your child to do in play, that is what they will do when you are not looking"

I had a child come to me from another swimming school. I had him sitting on the edge of the pool as I was working with another child. He obviously got board, grabbed a toy, threw it in the water and jumped in. The water was too deep for him.

Can I tell you IT IS NOT FUN to have to tuck the child you are working with under your arm and go and help another child out of trouble all whilst you are keeping you eye on your other students.

An what was the mothers response? " Oh that is what his other swimming teacher taught him!"

I can tell you that if I could have tracked down that other instructor I would have ..... Well lets just say it would not have been pleasant.

Never Ever encourage your child to throw a toy into the water and then jump in after it.

It's stupid!

Don't do it!

If you want to use toys to help a child play safely in the water, you should always insist that a child gives you the toy and you alone be the one that throws it. That way not only are you always in control but out of habit when the child wants to play there is a good chance that they will bring the toy to you and ask you to throw it. Hope fully alerting you to any danger.

There is no guarantee of course that they will bring the toy to you. Which is why you must always be alert around water. But at least there is a better chance of children doing this if that is what they have been taught.

Remember :
"What you teach your child to do in play, that is what they will do when you are not looking"

Enjoy
Richard

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