How To Encourage Your Child While They Learn To Swim

2023-12-13 - swimming


Learning to swim is a crucial life skill that not only ensures safety but also opens up a world of recreational possibilities. As a parent, your role in encouraging your child during this journey is pivotal. In this article, we will explore effective ways to support and motivate your child as they take their first strokes into the world of swimming.

Choosing the Right Swim Program

Before your child dives into the pool, it's essential to research and choose the right swim program. Safety measures, instructor qualifications, and the overall environment should be considered to provide the best learning experience.

Preparing Your Child Mentally

Building excitement and addressing fears are key components of preparing your child mentally for swimming lessons. Create positive associations with water and assure them that learning to swim is a fun and exciting adventure.

Investing in Quality Swim Gear

Quality swim gear ensures your child is comfortable and safe in the water. From goggles to swim caps, investing in the right equipment is a small but significant step in their swimming journey.

Finding the Right Instructor

A skilled and supportive instructor can make all the difference. Look for someone with experience, patience, and the ability to build a rapport with your child, fostering a positive learning environment.

Building Confidence in the Water

Gradual introduction to water and positive reinforcement are essential in building your child's confidence. Celebrate small victories, and let them know that progress is a journey, not a destination.

Making Learning Fun

Incorporating games and play into swimming lessons not only makes learning enjoyable but also helps your child develop essential water skills without feeling pressured.

Consistency is Key

Regular practice is crucial for skill development. Set realistic goals, and be consistent in attending lessons. Consistency helps your child build muscle memory and confidence in the water.

Handling Setbacks Positively

Swimming, like any skill, comes with its challenges. Encourage resilience in your child, and work together to identify and address any setbacks positively.

Parental Involvement

While it's important not to overwhelm your child, showing support from the sidelines and celebrating achievements together strengthens the bond between parent and child.

Transitioning to Advanced Skills

As your child progresses, introduce advanced skills gradually. Encourage a love for swimming by exploring different strokes and techniques at their own pace.

Creating a Supportive Environment

Encourage friendships with fellow swimmers, fostering a positive atmosphere. A supportive environment outside the pool contributes significantly to your child's overall swimming experience.

Recognizing and Rewarding Effort

Building self-esteem is a vital aspect of learning to swim. Recognize and reward your child's effort, emphasizing the importance of the learning process rather than just the end result.

Overcoming Common Concerns

Address common concerns such as fear of water and accidents with empathy and understanding. Provide the reassurance your child needs to overcome obstacles.


In conclusion, supporting your child in learning to swim goes beyond the pool. It involves creating a positive mindset, offering consistent encouragement, and celebrating every milestone. By investing time, patience, and positivity, you can help your child not only become a confident swimmer but also develop a lifelong love for the water.

 Swimming can also feel scary or difficult to children, though. As your child learns to swim, you will be his or her most important source of support. Here’s how to encourage your children while they learn to swim.

Make Swimming Positive and Fun

If swim lessons make your child nervous, try to find out what the underlying problem is. Does your child have a fear of sinking? Maybe they don’t like the way water feels on their face? There are lots of reasons children may be reluctant to swim. When you get to the root of the problem, then you can address it.

If your child has a fear of water or can’t tolerate the way water feels, focus on creating positive experiences. Be understanding, and move slowly. Try having your child blow bubbles in the bathtub. If you’re near a natural body of water, have a picnic and just let your child get used to being near the water. When he or she is ready, try wading in and looking for shells or rocks along the edge.

Games are also a great way to increase comfort in the water. For young children, this could mean simply playing with toys in the bathtub. For older children, who are becoming more competent at swimming, try games like Marco Polo or have them grab toys from either the surface or the bottom of the pool, depending on their level.

If your children are uncomfortable starting classes because of a fear of fitting in, remind them that there will be other children around the same age and level in their class. If it’s possible for them to take lessons with a friend, that can also go a long way toward easing their anxiety.

Be A Good Role Model

Our children are always watching us. Be mindful of the attitude you are modeling for your child. Are you fearful of water yourself? You may need to take steps to increase your own comfort around the water so you don’t pass it on to your children.

Always try to model good water safety, but also, show your children that you have fun in and around the water. If children see that you are having fun while swimming, they’re more likely to want to join in. This also applies to siblings.

If you have other children who are comfortable in the water, encourage them to help your reluctant swimmer. Have them play games together in the water or invite friends along. Your child won’t want to sit on the sidelines while the other kids have all the fun.

Get Involved

We always encourage family involvement in lessons. In fact, we require parents to participate in lessons for our youngest children. You’ll be in the water, physically touching, and always within arm’s reach. Your instructor will teach you skills that you can practice outside of lessons, too.

Next time your swimmer is feeling discouraged, try some of these tips. And remember, you can always speak to your child’s instructor about any difficulties they are having.