Remember your first day as a parent? Chances are, it wasn’t long before you realized your transformation into a jack-of-all-trades. From “Executive Diaper Changer” to chauffeur, anything seemed possible. But we bet you didn’t know that there was one more title to add to your resume: Chief Swimming Instructor.

That’s right. From the day home from the hospital, you play a big role in developing your child’s comfort with the water. From evening bathtime to dips in the pool, parents are responsible for their children’s approach to the water. To ensure your children are comfortable with and respect the water before and after lessons, keep these things in mind:

  • Photo of Happy Student and Teacher at Goldfish NapervilleYour child takes a lot of cues from you. Have you heard of behavior modeling? If you appear visibly nervous when approaching the water, your toddler will pick up on that-and quickly. If you can’t shake the fear, consider asking your partner or a friend to take the lead on supervising water activities.
  • No one enjoys extreme water temperatures, especially children. Were you ever coaxed into sticking your feet into a freezing cold lake, only to run away upon touch? From infancy on, you should always bathe your child in warm water. A terrifying water temperature experience can be the catalyst for fear of the water. At Goldfish, we keep the temperature of our pools at 90 degrees, which is a comfortable and inviting setting for beginners.
  • swim lessons begin right in the bathtub! You don’t need an Olympic-size swimming pool at home. We actually encourage the parents of our younger students to practice at home in the bathtub. If your child is relatively new to the bath time routine, our instructors suggest gently pouring warm cups of water over your child’s head or blowing bubbles in the water. Many Goldfish techniques, such as the Sea Otter Float or Kicking Legs, can also be performed in the bathtub under close supervision.
  • If your child is demonstrating advanced swimming proficiency, a lifejacket is not always necessary. This one can be tough for parents to let go of, and we still suggest wearing a lifejacket in certain situations, like while on a boat. However, if you’re playing with your child in the shallow waters of a lake, allow him some independence in the water under close supervision. Some trust could be just the right boost of confidence for your child to continue improving their strokes and techniques.

Let us be clear. It’s more than just getting your child comfortable in the water and teaching him how to swim; it’s also learning how to stay safe. We’re committed to providing our students and their parents with the very best in safety tips and techniques every single day. If you were around for Safety Week, you got an up-close look into poolside conduct and water safety. If not, don’t worry-we apply those same principles into every minute we spend with your children.

Thinking about registering for classes at Goldfish? If you’re not sure where to start, get all the details on our swim lesson levels here.