How can I teach my own child to swim?

The most frequently swimming questions asked by parents 

Parents often ask how they can teach their own children to swim. Sometimes teaching swimming looks so easy, even to those who are not good swimmers themselves. Do you really need a swim teacher and pay for swim lessons for your child to learn swimming?

Parent and toddler swimming with in Wimbledon, south west of LondonParents teach their children many things everyday and you may think why swimming should be no different. But teaching swimming can be more complex than most people think.

Knowing how to keep the process of learning to swim progressive and efficient, requires a mixture of science and creativity. 

As a parent if you really like to teach your own child you need the following:

  1. Knowing the science of swimming
  2. Understanding the principles of teaching
  3. Having a good grasp of child psychology
  4. Plenty of patience to provide instructions repeatedly without you or your child running out of energy
  5. Could make sessions fun

If you have all the above, you may both find the ‘learn to swim’ journey rewarding and successful.

a toddler and her mum in swimming pool

But it’s worth bearing in mind that there is a risk of getting it wrong and putting your child off swimming for a very long time or for a lifetime.

My Personal Advice To Parents

Over the years I have taught many nervous children whose parents had tried teaching them to swim first before enrolling them into swim lessons. It’s not unusual to hear that a parent’s pushiness has completely put the child off swimming.

Even with the best of intentions, parents may sometimes get it wrong.

For example, a water confident parent might think forcing their child’s face in the water is a good tactic to teach water-confidence but it rarely is and often results in children refusing to allow water near their faces in future.

Experienced swim teachers know how difficult it is to build trust with a child in water and this process cannot be rushed.

If a parent knows how to swim but, doesn’t have any experience teaching it, the risk of pushing a child too fast at the beginning is very high.  An out-of-pace start could make children feel unhappy and unsure about being in the water and swimming in general.

a child learning to swim with a swim teacher

That’s why most people enrol their kids in swimming lessons because professional swim instructors have the right experience and training to know what to do and when to do different activities.

Enquire about Our Swim Lessons

This article was written by Marjan Moosavi (owner and founder of Blue Wave Swim School).

Marjan has been a qualified swim teacher and coach since 1995 and holds an MSc in Sport Sciences. Marjan has been teaching swimming to all ages including baby swimming since early 1990’s. With  a competitive swimming background, Marjan is an avid sports fan and a health & fitness enthusiast. Marjan also has been practicing Yoga for more than 20 years.

Marjan Moosavi, founder of Blue Wave Swim is with a group of her swimmers.

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8 Replies to “How can I teach my own child to swim?”

  1. *My husband & I have taught my grandchildren to swim a length b4 lock down.. We want to carry on, but it seems no where let’s us have the facility, apart from training pool at sovereign Centre, which is always closed due to No life guard, I helped teach parkland school for 8 yrs. I taught my own boys, Nephews & nieces, Im Frustrated at the lack of places WE can teach our own to swim. I can never promise them the same time each wk. because I have to call on the day, to see if its open or not. Not really exceptible, when we live in a seaside town. *

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