You know how important it is for your child to learn how to swim. As a matter of fact, your child may be at an age where invitations to pool parties are becoming plentiful in the summer time. You may actually find yourself dreading these invites, play-dates, and backyard pools you spot as you visit friends with your child. The logical answer, of course, is to enroll your child in classes to learn how to swim.
Unfortunately, it is not quite as easy as this. Children need to be developmentally ready to learn swimming in earnest, and while babies as young as six months of age can safely enjoy the pool – with your adult supervision, of course – this does not mean that your three year old toddler is ready for lessons. If you have ever been to a beginners’ swimming lesson, you know that it is not all smiles and giggles. The odds are pretty good that you have encountered screaming and crying toddlers who are hanging on to their instructors in the water for dear life and who do not seem to be able to learn how to swim.
As you can see, it is not enough to have a child who is physically ready to take lessons – this usually happens around ages four or five, when the child is physically coordinated enough to learn how to swim – but you also need to have a child who is emotionally and mentally ready to do so. If your child understands that she or he is in a safe environment with an instructor who will always make sure that the child is safe, then you can go ahead and sign her or him up. If on the other hand she or he is fearful and afraid, it might be best to observe the classes for a little while so that child will gain the understanding that it is safe to participate before signing up.