Developing water confidence in children is crucial for their safety and enjoyment in and around water. Children who are confident in the water are less likely to experience fear and panic, making them safer and more likely to enjoy water activities. Though children may have a hard time learning to swim, there are various ways parents and caregivers can help their children build water confidence and ease them into overall better swimmers.
In this article, we’ll discuss six ways to help your child develop water confidence and become a confident and safe swimmer;
1. Start early
There is no doubt that the earlier you start helping your child develop water confidence, the better. Infants and young children can be introduced to the water in a safe and fun environment, gradually building their comfort and confidence levels.
Among the many ways you can do this is by taking them swimming as often as you can – most neighbourhood community centres are equipped with an interactive pool in their swimming complexes, explicitly designed with play features for young children. Alternatively, you may also register them for introductory swimming classes to boost their confidence in the water. At Swimwerks, we offer fun and interactive swimming lessons for toddlers in Singapore!
2. Practice, practice, practice
Regular practice is key to developing water confidence. Encourage your child to practise their swimming and water skills regularly, either in a pool or a natural body of water. This helps your child build their confidence and improve their skills in a fun and relaxed environment.
3. Emphasise safety
Before encouraging your child to step into the pool, it would be best to emphasise the importance of safety around water and educate your child on how to be safe in and around bodies of water. If you have some time on your hands, you may revise with your child what the teacher had taught in the previous week, be it to float, tread water, and swim, as well as water safety rules, such as not swimming alone or without adult supervision.
4. Gradual exposure
Gradually increase your child’s exposure to water by gradually increasing the depth and length of time spent in the water. This gradual exposure helps your child become more comfortable and confident in the water.
When children are gradually exposed to water, they have time to acclimate to the sensations of being in the water, such as the temperature and the sensation of buoyancy. This gradual exposure allows children to become more familiar with the water, reducing their fear and anxiety about water activities. By gradually increasing the depth and length of time spent in the water, children are able to develop their swimming and water skills in a safe and relaxed environment. Moreover, this gradual approach helps children build a foundation of water confidence that they can build upon over time, leading to greater enjoyment and safety.
5. Encourage independence
Motivate your child to be independent in the water by giving them the opportunity to swim and play on their own. Children who can swim and play on their own tend to have a sense of control over their environment and their abilities, which helps build their confidence. This independence also allows children to practise their swimming and water skills in a more relaxed and enjoyable environment without the pressure of being constantly monitored.
As children become more confident and independent in the water, they are better able to enjoy water activities and develop their skills more effectively. Furthermore, this independence can help children develop a sense of responsibility and ownership over their own safety in the water, further enhancing their water confidence.
6. Utilise games
Another way to build water confidence in children is by turning water activities into games, making them enjoyable and fun for your child. Playing games is important in developing water confidence in children because it provides a fun and relaxed environment for them to become more familiar and comfortable with the water. Games involving splashing and playing with toys in the water can help children build their physical and cognitive skills. Children having fun and laughing in the water are more likely to be relaxed and less fearful, which helps build their confidence.
Additionally, games can help children develop their swimming and water skills in a fun and enjoyable environment – reinforcing their love of the water and making them more likely to want to participate in water activities in the future. By playing games and having fun in the water, children can build their water confidence, increase their enjoyment of water activities, and develop the skills they need to be safe in the water!
By following these tips, you can provide your child with a foundation of water confidence that will serve them well! And with this foundation of water confidence, children will be more likely to enjoy water activities while being safe in and around water, making it an investment that will pay off for years to come.
If you’re thinking about registering your child for swimming lessons to further develop their water confidence and skills, choosing the right type of swimming coach in Singapore is crucial for your child’s swimming progress. At Swimwerks, our well-trained professionals have the necessary certifications to guide your children in their swimming journey in a fun and interactive way. Join us today to get started!