September 1, 2017
Think Your Kids Aren’t Ready For Swim Lessons? Here are 5 Reasons You May be Wrong.
Are you hesitating about letting your kid(s) take the jump into swim lessons? You may be worrying unnecessarily. Check out the following five common concerns that parents often have before starting classes, and why you don’t have to let them stand between your kids and swim lesson fun!
1. Is My Child Too Young?
Children can be ready to start swim lessons as early as 6 months old. That may seem young, but by this age most infants have both a healthy immune system and are able to support and independently move their own head. Both of these are needed to safely participate in lessons. Which means, they’re ready to get into the water – with you (or an adult guardian) too of course! The classes at this level are all about early exposure to and developing comfort in the water. Starting at this level can help with the more advanced swim lessons down the road, so it’s a great idea not to skip them.
2. But My Child is Afraid of the Pool/Water…
The thought of sending your water-shy child to swim lessons may seem like a silly idea. Won’t they just spend the whole lesson on the sidelines? Actually, swim instructors are more than up to this particular challenge. A good instructor is a master in the art of pool fun, utilizing games, toys and songs to engage students in learning swim skills. These same tactics can work like a charm on timid young swimmers, encouraging them to brave the water.
If you have a few days or weeks before lessons start, it’s also a great idea to begin introducing your child to the pool or water at home. Even using bath time can help create a positive, fun experience around water. It may take a few tries come lessons day, but before you know it, your child can go from barely getting their feet wet to excitedly jumping into the water.
3. My Child has too much energy to listen to the instructors…
Swim lessons are a fun time for kids! There’s lots of action, splashing, and toys – especially at the youngest levels. What there isn’t a lot of, is lecturing. So it’s ok if your child won’t stay still for too long, or listen for more than a few minutes strung together. Swim instructors expect this level of attention, and are great at maximizing on it. As long your child is able to take simple instruction, and is (even hesitantly) willing to try out some new skills, they’re ready to start lessons.
4. What if the water is too cold?
Ok, we can’t speak for every pool on this one, but at MIT Recreation, our teaching pool is (generally) kept warmer than the lap pools. This is great for lessons with young children (or for anyone who prefers it a little warmer). Lesson times are not very long, only about 30 minutes, so there isn’t much time for little ones to get chilled. Class times are filled with lots of action too – not much standing still. All this helps keep swimmers toasty, but if you find your child still wants a little extra warmth, that’s where swimming gear can help. A rash guard or swim shirt can go a long way towards making sure your learning swimmer stays extra comfortable in lessons.
5. My child is too old for the beginner lessons…
At each swim lesson level, there is generally a range of ages represented in the students. Sill, your non-simmer may already be well beyond the general age range of group lessons. This is where private lessons are an excellent alternative. With one-on-one attention, your child can not only get age-appropriate attention, they have the opportunity to learn at a faster pace. At MIT Recreation, we also offer ‘buddy’ lessons, so your child can partner up with a friend (or two), and you can enjoy a discount.
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