Swimming

Interview with Parents: Tips by Parents about loving water

Remember our article “Tips for Parents – Loving Water”? We shared tips on how you can support your children in being comfortable with the water and loving swimming. Check it out if you have not.

This time, we invited 5 parents from our Inspire Mum & Baby community to share about why and how they nurtured their children’s love for the water and swimming. The parents opened up to us about the process of transformation for their children – from not wanting to submerge and go underwater, to swimming independently and being more water safe than before.

We are honoured and pleased to have been part of this journey with them.

interview with parents_ tip by parents about loving water (Sophie Jugnet)
Sharilyn Choo / Sophie Jugnet

How was your child’s relationship to the water and swimming, before the swimming classes here?

Sophie has always taken to the water and would spend hours in the pool. We felt she was her happiest when swimming, but she was very afraid of going underwater and she would refuse to kick her legs.
What were your goals for your child?
We wanted to follow Sophie’s love for the water & swimming and chose to do classes here at Inspire Mum & Baby after doing some research. I based my cho ice on feedback (online mostly) and proximity to where we live.
What is it like now?
Sophie has developed her confidence in her swimming and personally, I see her growth – she swims underwater now and covers the length of the Inspire Mum & Baby pool. The growth was very evident to me, ever since I took over the role of sending her to classes (due to the change of lesson day). Her swimming and relationship to the water are very positive. As her parent, I hope she will continue to develop further.
What helped to nurture your child’s love for the water and swimming?

We reckoned she needed structure, like all children. We signed her up for lessons so she could get the professional teaching and the discipline from attending class. Also, we felt it would be good that she learned together with her peers.

I think the instructor has played a very important role in Sophie’s swim journey so far. The approach she has adopted for Sophie – her patience, kind words of encouragement and can-do attitude – works very well with Sophie’s nature. This has been very effective in engaging Sophie. Finding the right teacher really helps.

I have always believed that for Sophie’s learning process, she would need practice as well. While she takes her weekly lessons, we do try to take her swimming on weekends to practice what she has learnt and to improve further. As cliche as it sounds, we encourage her to not give up…I tell her she is her own competitor.

Su / Sophie

How was your child’s relationship to the water and swimming, before the swimming classes here?

She always loved water play and getting into a baby pool where she could stand or sit in. She enjoyed games and pool time when we were able to bring her.
What were your goals for your child?
To us, swimming is a life skill, which we wanted her to have. Thus, we signed her up and chose Inspire Mum & Baby due to the convenient location, small class size and personalised swimming sessions. The trial class was successful in convincing Sophie to attend.
interview with parents_ tip by parents about loving water (Sophie Ann)
What is it like now?

She is certainly more confident. She panics less, is more relaxed, and in turn, that makes us, her parents, more relaxed and relieved. She is enjoying the water a lot more than before, and has less qualms going into the deeper pools.

Through her classes, she has developed her self-confidence and the “I can do it” attitude. She is able to float if any accidents were to occur and she will hopefully swim to safety.

What helped to nurture your child’s love for the water and swimming?
What helped was a great pace and the interweaving of games and play to achieve certain goals (set by the teacher). It also helped that Sophie did not feel like class was mundane or like a drill.

The instructor incorporated lots of interaction and interesting ways to get the kids to comply and perform, using language and stories that are appealing and attractive to their young minds. The patience shown by the instructors is astounding. We are usually quite amazed by that alone!

In addition, when time and weather permit, we would practice at home and offer plenty of encouragement and affirmations.

The progress may seem slow at first or the parent might find the class repetitive and mundane, but the kids do thrive from repetition. The confidence comes from being able to achieve a skill or movement. The reward itself should be intrinsic and that’s the best kind of affirmation a child can get.

interview with parents_ tip by parents about loving water (EMILYHOWARD)
Emily Howard / Henry, Oliver, Eleanor (oldest to youngest)

How was your children’s relationship to the water and swimming?

My oldest really enjoyed the pool but was lacking in the confidence or ability to swim on his own. My two younger children were hesitant and a bit reluctant to try swimming.
What were your goals for your child?

Safety was the biggest reason as there is so much access to pools and water living in Singapore. Secondly, I really wanted the joy of swimming and playing in the water to be a part of their childhood and life.

When we first registered, two of my three children were in adult accompanied classes so my own comfort level was part of the decision. The indoor pool provided conditions that were comfortable and consistent for my children and allowed them to just focus on the swimming. They weren’t distracted by the water being too cold or it being too sunny, or canceled due to rain.

What is it like now?

My two older children have become confident little swimmers and really love being in the pool. They can hold their breath underwater and have gained safety skills, such as being able to turn back and get to the edge if they needed to. I am feeling more confident regarding safety, especially with my older children. They still need to work on their swimming technique to be strong independent swimmers, but I know that if they were to fall in the pool right now, they could get themselves to safety and that’s a huge relief!

My youngest is going through a bit of a transition from baby who follows along with whatever Mom is doing, to a toddler who has her own strong opinions about putting her face in the water. Because classes are consistent and teachers are so great at making things fun, she is slowly getting more comfortable.

What helped to nurture your child’s love for the water and swimming?

It was a slow but steady process for my children. They needed fun activities (games, songs, jumping) in their lessons or they would have just gotten bored and given up. It was a mix of teaching technical swimming and making it fun for the children. It helped that the instructor was patient and friendly and created a safe, welcoming environment.

CT / BT

What was your child’s relationship to the water and swimming?

BT has been exposed to the water since she was about 2 years old. She enjoys playing in the water as I would bring her to the pool frequently. She was in a water confidence class (elsewhere) so she could be accustomed to water play. The natural progression for that course was to join their swimming classes next.

The class size was a little too big and BT received less attention. As she is more reserved, she would need some prompting and nudges before she is willing to try. The instructors always gravitated towards the more active children. Although it was a parent and child session, she would be less inclined to join in as her confidence level was not there.

interview with parents_ tip by parents about loving water (CT_BT)
What were your goals for your child?
My goal was for her to learn swimming as a life skill. I come from a competitive background, so if she has interest, in the future, she can continue her progression into competitive swimming. But the first step has to be done correctly, by first helping her be comfortable in the water. Her mother then decided to register her at Inspire Mum & Baby.
What is it like now?
BT has grown in confidence with each class and would now initiate weekly sessions to public pools to practice with me. She is also more confident about approaching water-based activities. She has also learnt to float and to tread water.
What helped to nurture your child’s love for the water and swimming?

The nurturing started from her playing in kids’ pools with lots of toys to going into a pool that is 0.3m deep and walking in it. BT then just started to get used to water and would visit water play parks, such as at Punggol Safra. These helped as well as she is not afraid of water splashing on her face and having to hold her breath for a short period of time. She then started to do formal lessons.

The Inspire Mum & Baby classes are in smaller groups so that helped. The instructors would also ensure that each child demonstrates the required activity at least once, so they get the experience of it, eg. diving and picking toys or trying out new strokes. I also take her out to other pools to practice.

BT had a friend in class, which also helped as both of them would play and “compete” with each other, while entertaining themselves. The instructor also had very close interaction with them, which was very helpful as BT is passive. She takes instructions well but would not verbalize her response.

To nurture your child’s love for water and swimming, just enjoy the process. Your child could start with playing in a small pool with small toys (purchased from Daiso, etc) and then progress to a bigger pool. Watch them and also stay close to them to let them know that their adults are always nearby to hold on to them. The public pool can be a very daunting place with many people – they might need help getting used to it.

interview with parents_ tip by parents about loving water (SW_T_J)
SW / T&J

What was your child’s relationship to the water and swimming?

T was apprehensive and at one point, my husband and I did not think that she would ever swim. J, on the other hand, was always enthusiastic about the water. Both of them were not comfortable putting their heads in the water, but J’s character is such that she is always keen to try a new sport.
What were your goals for your child?
My husband and I recognise the importance of the children being water safe, so we signed T&J up at Inspire Mum & Baby, which came highly recommended by a friend.
What is it like now?

J loves swimming and can’t wait to get into the pool. As for T, we feel that she has come a long way. From totally not wanting to get into the pool, she is now happy to be in the pool beyond her weekly lessons.

They have basic survival skills in the pool. They are not afraid of water but at the same time, know that it can be dangerous in some situations.

What helped to nurture your child’s love for the water and swimming?

T took sometime to warm up and it helps greatly that she likes her past and current Inspire Mum & Baby instructors. T has since made improvement – thanks to her instructor’s immeasurable patience. We always commend her when she does something well in the pool and also encourage her along.

For J, she had fun right from the start and doesn’t need a lot of encouragement. I can see J’s improvement and she has great synergy with her instructor.

I recommend Inspire Mum & Baby highly! 😊

RELATED BLOGS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *