When parent and child swimming really works

Parents often underestimate the positive impact they can have on their older preschoolers in the water. We're used to the concept of parent and baby swimming, and of parent and toddler swimming. But when it comes to the three and four year olds, most parents feel that their job in the pool is done!

And three and four year olds can really benefit from a well taught class with a good teacher and peers of the same age and standard. But there can be so much to gain from a parent staying in the water just a bit longer, particularly if your child is starting swimming at an older age.

When I teach my parent and preschooler classes, my focus changes. I'm addressing the children more than the parents when I introduce and activity, because the children are that bit older. I'm interacting more directly with the children. But the beauty of having the parent in the water comes from the teaching practices.

If each child has a parent with them, I can share my teaching points with the parents. The parent can then watch their child, offering support, motivation and teaching tips - in a way, each child has their own one to one instructor. Every child gets plenty of swimming practice back and forth across the pool, with tailored, individual instruction from their parent - someone they love and trust. What could be better for developing confident swimmers with excellent technique? Confident parents can demonstrate a new skill while their child sits and watches.

Swimming lessons with your preschooler can be brilliant fun - as I always say, it's one to one time where your child can be your only focus. And the older our children get, the more they can crave that connection with us.

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