Jumping into the Deep End of Life: Swim lessons as a way to maximize childhood development
Mommy blogs, dad blogs, parent blogs, parent boards on Pinterest, books, seminars, workshops – everywhere you turn, resources for being the best parent you can possibly be are vying for your attention. They offer help and encouragement to create a super kid who will handle every challenge with grace and ease. But, asks that little voice in your head, what if you take the wrong advice? What if you don’t follow enough advice? What if you don’t participate in enough activities or the right activities?
Or, what if you just relaxed, tuned out that paranoid voice and went with your gut instinct about what was best for your child instead? Maybe things would proceed swimmingly.
All sly puns aside, there is a way to easily support each of your child’s emotional developmental stages and – no surprise since you’re visiting the Swimtastic website – it really is swim lessons.
Swim lessons - like child restraint seats, bike helmets and sunblock – are vital to a child’s physical safety. What isn’t as apparent is how they also help children float through (sorry, but how could we resist?) the transitional stages that mark childhood development.
- I can do it! Children need embedded praise to naturally develop confidence and healthy self-esteem. While “everybody gets a trophy for participating” events are nice, an emotionally healthy child (and adult) has developed the ability to self-acknowledge stepping stone accomplishments. Swim lessons give kids exactly that – improvement and mastery of steps happen quickly.
- The laser-like focus that your child does have is unearthed - The relaxing buoyancy of the water and the security of a nearby instructor help children focus on the lesson of the moment, which accelerates learning and mastery. And the learned skill of tuning out other distractions to tune in a lesson carries over to everyday life. After their child begins swim lessons, many parents report easier bedtimes (and not just on lesson day) and improved homework focus.
- You don’t have to love 100% of swimming to enjoy some of it - Because initial mastery of swim strokes is an individual process, children are competing only with themselves. But accomplishments are real and improvement is ongoing and quantifiable. And if there’s a stroke your child doesn’t enjoy, that doesn’t mean swimming is crossed off the list forever.
- Space and time have real meaning – Children who participate in swim lessons understand the connection between space and time, which is an important skill when it comes to math and science classes. The length or width of the pool as they relate to crossing it in a certain amount of time are secret story problems, but you can be guaranteed that if your child wants to improve his or her ability in order to shave off seconds, it will be easily solved.
- Fit for life – Swimming burns off the excess energy of children, easily offering the recommended one hour a day of physical activity, but it’s also the dream exercise that offers a lifetime of fitness. Swimming tones muscles and increases heart rate for cardio benefits, all while being easy on the joints and perfect for any age and various ability levels.
- Little athletes in the making – Your child doesn’t have to join a swim team to benefit from swimming,
but the option is there for those kids who do want to transition to the challenge of competing. There are no benchwarmers on swim teams, so everyone participates and even though each athlete competes individually, swimming is a team sport that develops strong social skills.
- The family that swims together – if you start swim lessons for your child early, you may be in the pool
with him or her during lessons, which naturally enhances the parent-child bond and accelerates mastery (“Mom or dad is here with me, so I’m safe.”). Swimming is a relaxing, affordable and fun family activity that reduces everybody’s stress level on a hot (or not-so-hot) day.
No parenting manual tells you everything you need to know about raising children. Every day is an adventure for both parents and children. Moving the adventure into the pool, where the water is fine and swim lessons offer a variety of fantastic benefits, can make it more enjoyable for everyone.
Join Swimtastic Today!