Once you've enrolled your young child in swimming lessons, you don't have to simply sit back and watch. Instead, you can help your child develop his or her skills and comfort with the water by visiting the local pool or a friend's backyard pool between lessons. At a young age, children who take swimming lessons get the chance to get comfortable in the water, rather than learn how to perform certain strokes. This means that even if you're not an accomplished swimmer, you can still help the child in the pool's shallow end. Here are some specific things that you can practice.
When kids take swimming lessons for the first time, one of the things that they're often expected to do by the end of the lessons is jump into the water on their own. Doing so may involve a fair degree of trepidation at first, but you can help by standing in the shallow end and holding onto your child's hands as he or she stands on the edge of the pool. The child can then jump — make sure that you allow the child to jump, rather than pull him or her — and you can prevent the child from going all the way under the water. Over time, you can help the child work up to jumping in all the way.
Younger kids who take swimming lessons will get evaluated on their ability to kick in the water. There are a couple different ways that you can help your child do so. One is to sit the child on the edge of the pool and have him or her kick the water furiously; many children will enjoy this activity, given the splashing. Another option is to hold your child's body horizontally in the water and have him or her kick. There won't be a concern about sinking, given that you're holding the child, but he or she will truly feel as though he or she is swimming.
Novice swimmers who take lessons will often be asked to blow bubbles in the water; this demonstrates a comfort with lowering the face into the water. Your child might be a little nervous about doing so, but you can make it fun having competitions. Show the child how to do the activity, and then allow him or her to try it out, too. This may take some time, but eventually your child should be able to submerge his or her mouth and blow bubbles.
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