Nurturing children’s life skill through swimming

January 20, 2020

Swimming teaches life skills that are not limited to the pool. As a child reveals in their progress and success, they will gain confidence within themselves that continues even when they step out of the water and move into other aspects of their lives. Swimming lessons are also great for promoting teamwork, trust in others and bonding with parents or siblings.

There are many great life-long benefits of childhood swimming, and plenty of wonderful reasons to start early. Research has shown that early swimmers perform better socially and academically, and that swimming from an early age:

  • enhances gross motor skill development and coordination

  • promotes personality development

  • leads to greater happiness, health, and development of the ‘whole’ child. [1]

 

Here are some more details on developing a ‘whole child’ through swimming:


1. Nurtures Attachment

Encouraging positive attachment is one of the reasons why swimming can nurture attachment between parent and child. When your child feels secure, they feel comfortable exploring and learning new skills, like doing a flip turn or floating on their backs.

 

2. Neurological Development

Studies show that children who swim early in life tend to do better in school and have improved problem solving abilities. As a child moves and interacts with their world, the neurons in their brain develop connections or synapses. The more communication there is between neurons, the more capable the child becomes of learning. A child’s brain can be molded by the growth of these new connections. Learning swimming skills early on can impact your child for years to come!

 

 

3. Social Benefits

In swimming,children learn to try new things with their parents as they bond with each other while continuing to develop water safety and swimming skills. Teaching little swimmers how to overcome frustration with perseverance and a positive attitude is such an important life lesson.

 

4. Spatial Awareness

Children gain spatial awareness by exploring their surroundings and discovering their relationship to them. Good spatial awareness is often linked to artistic creativity and success in Math. Some of the activities in swimming can helpdevelop spatial awareness including letting your child move hand-to-hand around the pool walls, climbing in and out of the pool, allowing them to swim to and from the wall at various distances, and floating on their back.

 

5. Self-Discipline & Perseverance

Mastering a new skill takes time and practice. Little swimmers learn that working toward a goal takes determination and patience. Parents can offer positive encouragement and help swimmers work through their lessons to listen, absorb, and think about how they will tackle the next task and how they’ll overcome the obstacles. This helps develop great learning skills, and the discipline needed to persevere in the face of adversity.

 

6. Language Development

Research has shown that swimming helps with intellectual skills, like counting and following instructions. Little swimmers can make a connection between language and action sometimes even before they are able to verbally communicate. When little swimmers hear instructions such as “kick, kick, kick” they link the instruction to language and it furthers their comprehension.

 

7. Injuries and Pain

Exercise can be frustrating for those who suffer from injuries or illnesses. But swimming is a great activity for individuals with asthma, arthritis, and certain types of aches and pains. Swimming uses all of the major muscles and reduces joint pain without putting weight on the joints.

 

 

8. Builds Trust

Having fun and games helps little swimmersto build trust and develop a connection with their parents. The ability to trust can help your child in the future by allowing them to engage in more fulfilling and rewarding relationships.

 

9. Physical and Emotional Health

Simply being in the water can be soothing for your children. They experience a physical and emotional freedom from this. Being able to move your body in water, in ways it can’t otherwise, is liberating. Imagine being able to move your limbs freely in a way you never could before. Teaching children healthy exercise habits now impacts them as an adult. For adults and children, participating in regular physical activity prevents or delays the development of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity and promotes overall health.

 

10. The only sport that can be potentially lifesaving

Should your child ever find themselves in a tricky situation in the water— whether it’s at the beach or a friend’s pool party—they will have the confidence to swim towards the edge of the pool, or tread water until you reach them. [2]

 

References:

  1. Retrieved from https://www.hamptonswimschool.com.au

  2. Retrieved from https://www.seaotterswim.com

     

     

 

 

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