The Jakarta Post
Swimming is considered an important step in a child’s physical development. (Shutterstock/sakhorn)
Swimming is a very important survival skill for children. Cathy Bennett, Michael Phelp’s former swimming instructor and director of the Michael Phelps Foundation, shares these four tips on how to help your child become a good swimmer:
Practice during baths
Baths are the perfect time for children to expose themselves to water. By submerging their ears, they will familiarize themselves with the sensations of being under water.
It is also good to let your child pretend to be a turtle or fish, or any other marine creature, to help them practice floating on their backs.
According to Bennet, as quoted by Parents magazine, floating on your back is a crucial water skill that kids should learn.
“If your child is ever tired or in distress in the water, this position can help them breathe and relax,” she added.
Teach your kid to breathe in through their nose before going underwater. Make sure the air flows to their lungs rather than their cheeks.
You can get them to blow out air as they emerge by closing their lips or asking them to hum to blow bubbles out of their nose.
Know your waters
Bodies of water differ from one type to another. Educating your child about these differences will give them knowledge that will also help them be a better swimmer.
For instance, explain why ponds are different from pools, starting with how the floors are different to the level of transparency. You can also talk about how oceans have currents and that swimming against it would be more of a struggle than swimming in a pool.
Give space once in a while
Letting your child take swimming lessons can be a good thing. However, too much pressure and expectations on a child may not be good for their own health and wellbeing. You shouldn’t force your child to get into swimming if he or she isn’t confident enough.
Furthermore, adding a little fun to their water experience would help. (vit/kes)