Swim lessons, like many things worth pursuing in life, are all about the relationship. The positive relationship that your child develops with aquatics is of utmost importance in the NJAC curriculum. Another very important connection is the one that your swimmer has with their instructor. During their swim lesson, your child’s instructor can act as a cheerleader, comforter, and negotiator! But, an important relationship that isn’t always discussed (well, in the context of swim lessons anyway…) is the relationship between the swimmer and their parents/guardians.
As a parent, you are your child’s greatest cheerleader! Keeping a positive environment before, during and after lessons can have a great impact on your child’s swim success.
Here are some ways that you can create a positive swim environment
- Before your child’s lesson begins, let them know how excited you are to watch them! Express confidence in your child’s ability to learn. Send them off with words of encouragement: “I know it’s going to be a great lesson today!”, “I wonder how big your jumps will be today!”, “You’re going to kick your feet just like a dolphin, I know it!”.
- Put down your phone! We know how busy life is and and that it’s sometimes tempting to catch up on emails during a swim lesson. But, when your child looks up from the water after mastering a new swim skill, or if they are struggling and looking for encouragement- making eye contact with you and getting a big smile will go a long way!
- Give them words of encouragement throughout their lesson if you think they need it. A quick thumbs up sign or a “great job” will help many students push harder.
- Give your child a big hug & kiss after their lesson! Chat about new skills on the car ride home, and ask what their favorite part of their lesson was. If it was a difficult lesson, point out at least one positive aspect of the lesson.
- Practice swim skills at home and make them fun! Bath time is a great time to practice blowing bubbles or floating.
There is a reason why we say that everyone is part of the NJAC Family- we are a team, and we all have the same goal in mind..to help your swimmer become a safe swimmer and develop a lifelong love of the water!