Swimming For Two: What's the Best Way to Get My Child Excited About the Pool?

Moms always ask me what should I do with my two year old in the pool? The more you can get your child in the pool, the better the outcome will be and the more comfortable you will feel when your child is in the water. I taught at a rec center for many years. There were some kids who hated the pool, but many of the youngsters enjoyed the pool. If you even have a chance to enjoy the pool on a few Saturday or Sunday’s of each month during the summer that is a great start to exposing them to the pool. The main thing is you want to ensure that they know the rules of the pool. Primarily things like: they must have a parent in the pool to be allowed in and is it safe to go in this particular pool. Creating these conditions ensures that the both the child and parent feel more confident and that the child knows his own boundaries.

    Also make sure the kids are having fun. If nothing else, at least if the kids are having a good time, they will want to keep going to the pool. Also having a parent in the pool with them makes them feel safer. If a kid pares fear with the water he's gonna have a much harder time learning how to swim. I honestly encourage parents to get into the water with their kids because that's the way a young child is going to feel the most safe. Also if they can see you swim it's a skill they will want to eventually gain for themselves.

Ok, I brought my kid to the pool so now what am I supposed to do? I’m going to give you folks some fun stuff to do at the pool. Getting in and out of the pool is one very important skill to practice. We use the saying “hand-hand,” meaning that children should hold the edge with both hands. Next “elbow elbow,” both elbows go on the wall. Final step is “belly up:” having their arms on the wall helps them pull themselves up; the parent or guardian may need to help them the first couple times but eventually with practice they should learn the skill and be able to do it by themselves. Other things to help the kids are entering the pool, meaning you can let them jump into the pool or sit and fall into your arms by the count of three. Other skills to work on are floating and kicking.

The most requested skill I get asked about is should I dunk my kids underwater. I always say that practice is the best way to get them used to going under. If they’re not used to it, prep them by blowing bubbles out under water. When you put them under water it will be quick. Don't let your imagination get the best of you and think you’re hurting them by having them go under. If they really don't like it then just put them under once and that's all you need to do.