Swimming benefits children greatly as they begin to develop. These developmental benefits are mental and social. Not only is swimming therapeutic, it builds a sense of self and confidence. It teaches children persistence, perseverance and social values. Additionally important is the development of a healthy attitude towards health and fitness.
What are the swimming benefits?
Most team sports are social, while swimming isn’t exactly a team sport, it can be (ie. water polo) it’s a very social activity. In the summer time a lot of children love to go to the beach or the pool to cool off, not to mention all the pool birthday parties! Often, kids who don’t know how to swim feel or are excluded from such invitations. This not only has a negative impact on the child’s confidence but it also makes them feel socially isolated. Not to say that if your child can’t swim he or she will never have friends, of course not! Children have opportunities to socialize all the time however, it does help and it’s a very fun to swim with friends!
Healthy socialization is important for the development of children. Social development involves learning the values, knowledge and skills that enable children to relate to others effectively and to contribute in positive ways to family, school and the community. This kind of learning is passed on to children directly by those who care for and teach them, as well as indirectly through social relationships within the family or with friends, and through children’s participation in the culture around them. Through their relationships with others and their growing awareness of social values and expectations, children build a sense of who they are and of the social roles available to them. As children develop socially, they both respond to the inﬂuences around them and play an active part in shaping their relationships.
2. Life Saving Skill
Whether it’s their own life or somebody else’s, swimming is an essential life skill that could save a life. Sadly, drowning remains the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children between one and fourteen years of age. In addition to swimming lessons, in order to prevent drowning you must adopt a multi-layered approach to water safety.
Children with a strong sense of self worth feel competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and feel worthy of success and happiness. As parents, it is our responsibility to allow our children to develop healthy patterns of self-esteem building and experience the concept of success following effort and persistence. Learning to swim is a huge achievement with lots of small milestones along the way. Children feel a sense of accomplishment on their journey to becoming a swimmer. Confidence is an important aspect of life, learning to swim helps foster a confidence that permeates through to all facets of life – for life.
4. Health and Fitness
This one is last on the list because we’ve talked a lot about swimming and fitness. Health and fitness are more of an obvious benefit, but a benefit nonetheless. Starting to swim regularly at a young age is a great way to get your child in shape, stay healthy and to enjoy exercise. Swimming certainly doesn’t feel like exercise, and you don’t even need to swim laps to reap the benefits! It is a full body work out and just splashing around for a few hours does wonders for the body. Swimming is great for circulatory and respiratory health.