Why Is Building Trust During Baby & Toddler Swimming Lessons Crucial?
Building trust is an integral part of the “learn to swim” process.
As instructors, we need to be aware of the importance of building a trusting relationship with the babies, toddlers, and children under our guidance in a swimming lesson. In addition to building a great relationship with the swimmers themselves, it is essential to build the same relationship with their parents or caregivers. Parents are the ones who put their faith in you to provide their children with lifesaving swimming skills and water safety, and a love of the water.
Parents and their babies have already created a trusting bond through their everyday activities.
Use this bond to your advantage in your baby and toddler swimming lessons – especially with swimmers who are new to your class and may be unfamiliar with your face, voice, or the swimming environment. Communicate with parents and guide them through activities, swimming skills and drills with their children in the water. This can help alleviate any stress the baby may feel in a new environment. It also gives you the opportunity to start working on building the trust of the parents.
You can build a great relationship with parents by focusing on communication.
Talk to them about their goals and expectations for their child in the swimming lesson. Answer any questions and ease any concerns they may have and make it relatable and specific to their child. Ask them questions about their child to find out what motivates them and figure out the best way to help them achieve their swimming goals in a way that best suits their personality and individual needs. This will allow the parents to see you are dedicated to helping their child. It will provide you with the information you will need to create appropriate lesson plans for the swimmers in your class, and a bit of background knowledge on the individual swimmer to help when building their trust.
Building a trusting relationship with the swimmers in your lessons will make teaching a breeze.
By creating an environment where students feel safe and happy, you provide an atmosphere where swimmers will be eager to learn and please. Once they see their parents are comfortable with you they will be open getting to know you, following instructions and participating in the swimming lessons you conduct. Ensure you have fun with the students in your class, allow them to get used to your voice and tone, and make each individual feel special. Remember that trust is easier to break than it is to earn. Make sure you follow through with promises you make within your class. For example, if a frightened toddler wants you to hold them for the duration of an activity and you agree, make sure you do it!
How do you build trusting relationships with the swimmers and parents in your swimming lessons? Comment below.