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Moving on from Buoyancy Aids: How to Encourage Your Child to Swim on Their Own

Moving on from Buoyancy Aids: How to Encourage Your Child to Swim on Their Own
23 June 2015 1532 Views No comments

If your child has been learning to swim with a buoyancy aid, there will come a time when they won't need one anymore. Many children will be happy to simply head to the pool without it after a certain point, whereas others might find the prospect a bit daunting.

You don't need to worry if your little one seems a bit nervous about going for a dip without their buoyancy aid, as this is perfectly normal. Even if they are fully capable of swimming unaided, the familiar aid offers them a level of security that they are just reluctant to give up.

So, how do you get them to move on from their buoyancy aid when the time comes?

Have a lot of patience

Just as with getting them in the water in the first place, you need to be patient. If you want your child to happily move past needing their buoyancy aid, you have to allow them to move at their own pace.

Getting angry or impatient with them can actually make them hang on tighter to the level of security it offers them, which means that you're effectively taking several backwards steps.

Ask them when they're going to the pool if they want to use their jacket and be happy with their response. If they decide that they don't want it, avoid taking it into the pool area or even the changing room with you, as this could mean that they suddenly decide that they want it even when they don't need it.

Take things gradually

You should aim to allow them to gradually realise that they don't need their buoyancy aid any more, as this will increase their confidence and ensure that they are happy without it. This is why the Original Konfidence Jacket is such a great aid to start with in the first place.

Not only does it allow totally natural movements and a comfortable level of buoyancy from the start, but it also features eight removable floats. These are easy to pop in and take out, so you can customise the level of support provided for your child based on their needs and abilities.

As they develop their swimming skills and become more confident in the water they will need fewer of the floats, so you can remove them. In the end, they could just be left with the jacket without any floats, if they are determined that they still need it.

This means that the jacket is totally responsive to the needs of your child, which will help them when the times comes to trying to swim without any help.

Provide an alternative

If the only reason your child doesn't want to give up their buoyancy aid is due to a lack of confidence, or at least that is how it seems, it could be a good idea to offer them an alternative.

This will help to increase their confidence and allow them to carry on without their usual aid. Swapping their now unneeded buoyancy jacket for something like the Vorgee Junior Kickboard or a Quikfinz Dolphin Float means they still have something to help their buoyancy without being totally attached to it.

While they may start swimming thinking that they definitely need the float or kickboard, as they start to play in the water and have fun they will soon lose interest in it. You can also encourage them to swim without it with games, or by setting challenges that require them to put the float on the side of the pool. This way, they can still see it and can go and get it if they need it, but aren't always swimming with the float.

Ultimately, this is a great way to wean them off of using the security of an unneeded buoyancy aid.

Keep encouraging them

Your child may be quick to leave their buoyancy aid behind, or it might take them a while. But no matter how long the process is, you need to keep encouraging them. Telling them that they are doing well and rewarding them for any achievement in the water will help to boost their confidence and ensure that they feel happy when swimming.

You should aim to tell them that they did well after each session in the pool, as well as when you are playing games and setting challenges. This will help them to enjoy their time in the water and mean that they want to carry on progressing.

It is also important when it comes to reinforcing that they are allowed to develop at their own pace, as they will not feel pressured into doing better, which can often have a detrimental effect.