For many of us, starting something new can be scary or intimidating. And for our little ones, fear and angst is normal when they don’t know what to expect with an experience.
We know your little one will eventually love our swim lessons and enjoy coming each week, but when they first start out, it’s normal for them to be a little uneasy. We want them (and you) to feel as comfortable as possible when entering our facility, so here are six ways you can help them calm those nerves.
1. Talk about it
Like most things in life, the more we talk about it, the better we usually feel. Tell your child what they might expect when coming to swim lessons. The water will be warm, their teacher will be with them to keep them safe, and they might even sing songs.
2. Get them involved
Let them go shopping with you and pick out a new towel, swimsuit, or post-swim snack. Making them part of the process gives them ownership and might amp them up for the event.
3. Show them their swim teacher
We keep our staff page updated so you can see all of our swim instructors. Find your child’s instructor and show them their picture. It might help them to know that a friendly face will be in the water with them.
4. Plan something fun for afterward
We don’t like the idea of bribing children to go to lessons, but we fully support the idea of planning a fun activity after lessons, no matter what. Celebrate with an ice cream cone, have a playdate with a friend, or visit a park. Make the whole experience of swim lessons end on a positive note.
5. Read books about swim lessons
There are many books that discuss kids and creatures having fear and anxiety about starting swim lessons. Find a book where the character learns that swimming lessons aren’t so bad after all and read it together a few days before their lesson.
6. Root for them!
Sometimes just getting in the water is scary. Putting your head under is even worse! Show your child how proud you are of them for their swim lesson. Don’t show disappointment if they didn’t meet your expectations. No one wants to get back in the pool if they feel discouraged.
A little due diligence to help your child prepare for lessons can go a long way. And don’t worry if your child is still nervous or fearful before the big day. That’s perfectly normal. Our instructors are trained and ready to work through it with your child and help them learn valuable safety skills and a love for the water!