When you register your children for swim lessons, you are introducing them to a fun activity and helping them develop a valuable life skill. You’ve already taken the most important step by signing them up for lessons, and now your job is simply to support them throughout the learning process. The best advice we can give you is to be patient with your kids as they learn.
Tom talks about this approach more in a recent video. He stresses that becoming a proficient swimmer is not a linear, step-by-step process. Some weeks, your kids will look and feel great in the water. Other weeks, they may struggle. This is all normal and part of the learning journey.
Here are a few more Dos and Don’ts to help you be the best cheerleader for your kids as they develop their skills.
DO: Celebrate progress.
Learning proper swimming technique involves a lot of practice and repetition. It’s important to celebrate kids’ small wins as they move through the different stages (Water Comfort, Stroke Development and Stroke Enhancement). Give them credit for all the hard work they’re putting into their lessons, and applaud the gradual improvements they’re making.
DON’T: Push too hard.
While encouragement is good, be careful not to put too much pressure on kids. Give them space to learn at their own pace and set their own goals. Learning to swim is important, but it should also be fun! Make sure they have plenty of opportunities to play and enjoy the water. Attend a Family Swim event, and let them show off what they’ve been learning in class in a relaxed environment.
DO: Ask questions.
The school staff is here to help answer your questions and concerns – about the curriculum, drills, schedules or anything else. If you aren’t sure about something, just ask. Reach out to instructors, managers or front desk staff, and we will be happy to assist.
DON’T: Focus on the wrong markers of success.
Sometimes parents want to know why their children aren’t swimming faster or farther in lessons. But those aren’t the milestones that are important as kids are building their fundamental skills. In class, your children will be swimming short distances and aiming to get as many strokes in a row correct as possible. That’s how they will learn proper technique and eventually swim longer distances at greater speeds. Get to know what progress looks like – for example, performing skills without prompting or repeating drills consistently without errors – and praise these successes.
Learn more about our school and our philosophy on our FAQs page.