“How to be a good swim parent” (especially for baby and toddler swimming) may be a very common question for many parents who have just signed their child up for swimming lessons. If you’re wondering if this article is going to recommend all the different types of body wash, shampoo or what’s the better swim diapers. Well, not really. This is something that is quite close to my heart and I hope at the end of this article, you would “bring all these essentials” to the class.
Over the course of my 8 years of professional swim teaching, I have the privilege of working with many different families. With that said, I have encountered different parents with different personalities.
In our conversations, it never fails to bring us back to the topic of:
“Why did you sign your child up for Swimming Lessons?”
What was the reason that you wanted your child to learn swimming of other activities?
1. “Speeding the Process” type – Hoping to the next Michael Phelps?
2. “When will my child be able to swim on their own” type – Can’t wait to get out of water
to have your coffee fix?
3. “How is their progress” type- Chasing Certificates type.
4. “Tick Box” type – Chasing a list of enrichment activities to do.
And many more. I’m sure is very relatable to you who is reading this article. I want like to talk about something this is really close to your “heart”.
How To Be A Good Swim Parent: Heartware not Hardware
Are you dragging your feet to pack for swim lessons? What goes through your mind when
you are getting ready for swim lessons with your little one(s)? Do you think about the hassle
of the logistics that you have to prepare and get annoyed by it? Or it has become so
automatic, you are packing physically, but you are thinking about the work/chores that is
How do you prepare for your child’s swim lessons, emotionally and mentally?
For babies and toddlers, they do not hide or mask their feelings when it comes to their emotions. When they are hungry or upset, they cry. They are sensitive to the way how you interact with them. Their face lights up when they see your smile.
Try doing a simple experiment: Smile at them and see what happens. Try it again without smiling at them and look at them with a straight face and see what happens. You are going to notice a huge difference in their facial expressions.
Why does that happens?
Since birth, you have been that face that assures/protects/feed/make them happy. Our little ones would be very sensitive to how you react and feel in various situations. They might not be able to articulate, but they would definitely be able to sense that difference.
What kind of heart/attitude are you bringing into the class with your child? Or in another angle, what baggage do you bring into the swim class with your child?
As parents, it is understandable to have work and family commitments in order to put food on the table. However, to them right now at this age, you are their entire world. Whatever you do right now with and to them will have a direct impact in their growing up years, which indirectly lead to a bigger impact in their future life. Just pause for a moment and think about this: How many 6 months or 1 year would you child ever have?
In closing, I challenge you to leave your work/chores/worries at the pool deck and be 100%
present for the class with your little one(s), not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.