It is absolutely no secret that children love being in the water and swimming. Apart from the fun factor, not many people are aware that getting their child comfortable in the water can actually make them smarter. According to a recent study from Griffith Institute in Australia, it reveals that children who start swimming during their early stages tend to reach their developmental milestones earlier too.
Some of these development milestones include basic visual motor skills such as cutting paper and drawing shapes as well as more complex skills like language, math, writing, and understanding directions. The research results show that the earlier and longer a child takes swimming lessons, the more lasting and beneficial the outcome will be. “The toddler years are the perfect time to begin swimming. Researchers observed that before children can even count or express themselves in language, they respond to the cue, ‘One, two, three, go!’ when it comes to jumping into the water on three, or kicking to the count of ten. The physical link of thought, language, and action creates a body-wise understanding of the complex skills young children need to develop for pre-school and school,” explained Princess Ivana Pignatelli Aragona Cortes, who has worked with children for over 20 years and has a master’s in education.
However, the most common problem that parents face is convincing their little one to take the plunge. New experiences are not always the most comfortable, even for adults. It can also be quite a challenge to coax an unhappy, frightened toddler into the water for the very first time. “My son hated swimming at first. It took a number of try-try-agains and bucket loads of patience, but now Alessio is a little dolphin, proudly swimming across the skinny end of the pool like he has just won an Olympic gold medal.” stated Ivana.
Her tips to other parents are as follow. Firstly, take your child through the experience and give him/her a choice instead of forcing. Secondly, show that you are having fun yourself as children tend to incline towards following the fun factor. Thirdly, always reward them for their courage either by praising or other physical means. Lastly, sign them up for a swimming class. When there are other children around, they will not be so shy and will usually want to join in the fun.
At Happy Fish Swim School, we also encourage parents to start their child out when they are young. We will be commencing our baby swimming lessons this approaching weekend. If you are keen in joining in the fun, do hurry and register before slots run out.