Dispelling the myths…….
A recent report showed that many Australian children are leaving swimming lessons before they are competent in the water – so let’s examine each of the perceived barriers to swimming participation – and dispel the myths!
Time: I get it, life is so busy! However swimming lessons are offered morning and afternoons, 7 days a week, on weekends, via intensive school holiday blocks, etc. Half an hour once a week is all it takes to progress your child’s swimming journey, and it’s just too important not to prioritise. There are also creative solutions to this problem – we are currently working with local preschools to bring children to learn to swim lessons during their time in the preschools care, as we absolutely understand how time poor parents can be.
Competing after school activities: In our household, we have a soccer player, an actress and a gymnast. However these activities will not save my children’s lives, so they are secondary to swimming, which is the non-negotiable activity until they reach the competency benchmarks.
Cost: Again, I get it, families are expensive! Which is why we have sibling discounts, discounted 2nd weekly lessons, and discounted school holiday intensive blocks. School aged children are all eligible for two $100 Active Kids Vouchers every year! Can you afford for your child not to be able to swim?
Swimming is a summer sport: Consistency is one of the most important factors when teaching a child to swim, and time away from our (heated) water during winter will result in loss of skills, and a waste of the time and money already spent on swimming lessons. Unfortunately, drownings occur all year round, drowning remains the number one cause of accidental death in children under 5, and it can happen to anyone.
Resistance from children: Every parent has a different approach – bribery, threats etc. I want my children to be as safe as possible, so as malleable I can be on other topics, this is not one of them and they know it, and they know the reasons why – water safety education helps combat resistance.
Misinformation from untrustworthy sources: Some of things I read are not only misinformed, they are irresponsible, judgemental, and devastatingly hurtful to parents who may have lost children to drowning.
The truth is, our children are never 100% safe around the water. Swimming lessons are one of the most important ways to ensure they are Safer.