Whether your toddler has never had any swim class or is transitioning from a Water Babies class to a Pre-Pre School swim class, this is the first level independent of their parents with the teacher. Learn how to prepare your toddler for swim lessons.
New things are hard, especially for many toddlers. Separation anxiety is a normal part of child development. When a child is challenged by a new developmental task, they are likely to temporarily lose ground.
Add water to the mix of leaving mom and dad for 30 minutes (basically forever in their minds) and you have a recipe for anxiety and trepidation.
As aquatic professionals, we see this quite often with our non-swimmers, especially those transitioning from our Water Babies program to our Pre-Pre level classes.
Their reaction is normal and expected. We train our team members to understand their fear and teach with kindness and love.
We understand how hard it is to see your toddler scared or upset. You want to do everything in your power to comfort them and reassure them that everything is going to be okay.
If your toddler is transitioning from the Water Babies program to a Pre-Pre level class, or starting swim class for the very first time, you might develop some anxiety yourself. You may wonder how he or she will deal with this change. You may worry about how your toddler will react to being in the pool without mommy for the first time.
We know that not all of our families will have an easy time transitioning. As hard as it is to watch your child sit and cry out for you on our steps know that our team members are there for them to keep them safe and comfortable.
We call you our families for a reason. We care about your child and want them to succeed. We want them to be comfortable and establish a love for the water.
Here are a few things that may aid in your toddler’s adjustment:
Bring Them In for a Facility Tour
Bring them in for a facility tour or come to an Open Swim if one is offered at your location to help acclimate them to this new environment before their first lesson.
While you are here, ask a team member about scheduling a Pre-pre orientation class if you haven’t already done so.
Talk with Your Child
The night before each swim class, it is a good idea to tell your child that they will have a swim class tomorrow and that mommy will be watching from the “mommy room.”
It’s also helpful to talk about taking turns, sitting nicely on the safety steps at the pool and being a good listener.
Another good idea is to put your swim bag together. Have them help pack their bathing suit, swim diaper, towel and goggles.
Acknowledge their Fear
Empathy can help your child feel safe and understood. We often ask our swimmers why or what they are scared of and talk them through it, always reminding them that we are here to keep them safe.
We understand their fear and know our job is to teach them with love and care.
Create a Special “See You Later” Ritual
Create a special “See you Later” ritual to help ease their anxiety before class. Make up a special wave or high five or give a big hug and kiss.
Practice it at home. It will become the norm for them, and they will begin to know that after our special “See you Later,” mom or dad go watch in our viewing area.
Stick to the routine
Consistency is key, especially for our Pre-Pre level swimmers and they will only benefit in the long run. They will get used to seeing their teacher and lifeguard each week as well as the other friends in their class. They will cry less and less as they learn more and more.
Remain strong and take comfort in knowing that soon your child’s tears will fade to smiles and they will look forward to their swim lesson each week.
Words from Happy Joe:
Don’t Allow your Anxiety to Show to your Child
We all know that is hard to watch your child cry. Children are affected strongly by the energy around them. That is why it is so important to ONLY bring positive, happy & fun loving vibes to the pool!!
Early exposure to the water is the best!
Below are 4 key reasons to introduce your child to the water at an early age!
Babies and toddlers are natural swimmers due to their ability to move more freely in the water than on land. They are introduced to their own buoyancy, which helps develop balance and coordination.
Swimming also strengthens their muscles and improves overall health and sleeping patterns. Subconsciously, babies will remember the feeling of weightlessness they experienced when they were in the womb.
Children who start swimming at an early age tend to always love being in the water and are fearless. This also gives the parent and child a chance to bond.
Children will recognize the positive feelings of nurture and love. Most importantly, understand that fear is learned and taught. Children are not born afraid of water.
Many babies and toddlers have very few interactions with new people and their peers. Not only is the parent-child bond strengthened, but the children will also begin to develop a relationship with each other through songs and playing.
During the lessons, children will develop their listening skills and trust as they experience new activities.
Children learn through movement and play! New activities and experience help the children’s brains develop and establish new connections.
As a parent, you may notice an increase in concentration, alertness and emotional abilities in your children who start swimming at an early age.
Different Levels of Toddler Classes Available at Njswim
Here are Njswim’s levels of toddler swimming classes:
Pre-Pre | Preschool
This is the first level when students are in the water alone with their teachers; parents remain outside the pool.
Focus is on:
- Breath control
- Supported floating
- Safely entering and exiting the pool
Allows the first-time swimmer to develop a solid base of swimming experience.
- Breath control
- Supported paddling and kicking
- Fundaments of proper body positions
Further develops basic swimming skills.
- Breath exchange for unassisted swimming
- Finding float positions
- Introduction of backstroke
Select a Swim School That Makes Safety #1
Your toddler’s swim school must make safety their number one priority.
- Kids must be safe while learning to swim
- Preschool water safety must be taught to kids and parents
A teacher trained in teaching swimming and lifeguarding should always be within arm’s length of each toddler. Additionally, a certified lifeguard, trained in CPR and First Aid, should be on duty, ready to lend help if needed.
Njswim in New Jersey
Njswim is an outstanding swim school for kids of all ages. Our six New Jersey locations are:
At Njswim we:
- Always put your kid’s safety first
- Have trained and dedicated swim teachers
- Have small group classes of no more than three kids
- Have pools with clean, comfortable, warm water
- Offer fun family events
For more information on swimming lessons for kids, contact us today.