7 Ways to Support Your Child in Swimming

June 2, 2017 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

Parents can help their children reach goals with effort, perseverance, and patience.  Here are the 7 ways to help your kiddo do their best:

  1. Support their efforts. Listen to your child’s dreams, goals, and ideas and help them to work out the steps of those that seem attainable by organizing them into do-able parts.  Finding time to practice is an easy way to demonstrate your commitment to their swim goals.
  2. Encourage follow-through. Praise task completion and encourage them to carry on when the initial excitement fades. All swimmers reach plateaus.  Remind your child of other struggles they overcame or relate your own struggle to complete a task and your satisfaction at having persevered and achieved your goal.
  3. Offer reinforcement or reward. Give an incentive for better efforts, not just accomplishments.  Keep a chart with the Love to Swim School ribbons earned and display it prominently.  Younger children need quicker rewards and briefer tasks.  Offer a swim toy or one of our lollipops after each class.
  4. Recognize their success level. When a child reaches a point of frustration, learning specialists advocate you help them return to a level where they feel successful.  After practice, ask if they had fun and learned anything new or did anything they had never done before, and offer your praise.  Then their enthusiasm will return.
  5. Encourage self-reliance. Children trust who/what you trust.  Let your child know you have confidence in their abilities and in the coach.  The ready bench is designed to be a transition point.  Take advantage of it!  Have your child take responsibility for their own goggles.  Your child is ready to focus on the coach and the tasks at hand.
  6. Point out effort in others. Make your child aware of how others work hard at their daily activities, so they know they’re not alone in trying, overcoming discouragement, meeting challenges, and succeeding. Encourage children to interpret comparisons with others solely as a tool for improving.  Comparisons should be constructive and never as simple as “they are better” or “you are not as good”.
  7. Praise them for trying. Point out how much you appreciate your child doing something that may be difficult for them.  Take interest when they are working on a skill they find difficult.  Give praise after class with a specific example.

Applied to schoolwork, swimming, or other pursuits, these devices can help swimmers develop a “can-do” attitude.

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