Creating a set of family rules about water safety will help make sure everyone in the house knows the expectations about water safety. It teaches your children that you value the importance of water safety.
Tip 1: Keep the rules short, but important!
Keeping the rules short meaning small phrases and just a few, helps children remember them. When you are first starting to come up with family water safety rules, consider starting with 3-5 rules Once you've begun to see your swimmers have mastered them. Once you recognize that these rules have become their new habit, you can start teaching them new water safety rules they should know.
Tip 2: State each rule/expectation in the positive!
For years parents and educators have been telling children what "not" to do. Studies have proven that by framing rules in the positive, people are not only more receptive to the instruction, but also know exactly what is expected of them. Therefore they are more likely to adhere to that rule.
Tip 3: Practice them over and over again before going to the water!
Growing up you were probably told that practice makes perfect. Well, recently I've heard a new phrase... Practice makes progress! Learning about water safety is not something we want to learn once and forget. Revisit safe water practices will help them become habits. Safe water habits are what we want to instill in our children. Remember that if we don't use it, we lose it. It's essential to always keep the topic of water safety open to continuously develop water safety habits and stay true to your values.
Tip 4: Make sure everyone in the family knows and follows the rules!
Most children learn best by watching their adult role models do things. If water safety is something you value, modeling safe water habits for your children will help make these new rules the new habit.
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