How to Inspire Your Child To Swim

Most children are born loving the water. The earlier you can get them in the water doing playful ‘parent-tot’ classes the better off you are. I’m not a fan of the classes that put a baby in the water without a parent, or that force a baby or small child into the water in any way. I think they introduce the concept of trauma around water and can instill fear instead of respect for the water. Fortunately, most park districts and YMCA’s have fantastic programs to introduce young children to the water.

But what about when children get older? When they are old enough to resist getting in the water or have even developed some fears about water? What if they would rather be playing soccer, doing hip-hop, don’t want to get their hair wet, don’t like their bathing suit, or they just seem determined to sabotage your idea of a ‘good, healthy activity’?

Sometimes bringing in some inspirational peer pressure is the best thing you can do. Try showing your kids some of these amazing videos and see if they decide being a swimmer is about the coolest thing they can do. And yes, it worked for me with my youngest!

My all time favorite, from Capitola Jr. Lifeguards. It shows kids around 12-18, all junior lifeguards, singing to Call Me Maybe.

These aren’t only peers, they are an inspiration. Being a lifeguard is probably the only job available to someone so young that literally puts the life of others in their hands – that asks them to save lives every time they go to work. It is an incredibly responsible job requiring regular ongoing training, dedication, maturity, and courage. As a parent, aren’t those qualities you would like your child to develop?

And if that doesn’t work, how about the great role models of the 2012 USA Olympic Swim Team?

For boys in particular, try some rap to an original song, Lifeguard, done by some very cool lifeguards at Raging Waves water park.

And parents, if you are ever struggling with tweenies/teens and just want want a reminder of how amazing this age group can be, watch the videos yourself, it will bring a smile to your face! 🙂

About the Author

Global water safety for children is my passion and I can't wait to get up every day to work at it! I blog about water safety regularly at, or you can follow me on Twitter at RebeccaSaveKids. Rebecca is a former member of the PedSafe Expert team


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