Parents and carers always want to give their kids the best experiences possible to enrich their lives. Scuba diving is one such experience that has been described as life-changing. The chance to explore a totally new world underwater is not only exciting but also fun and healthy too! Scuba diving is not only a great way to keep your kids fit but also great for building life skills such as patience, resilience, and teamwork. Not many experiences offer all of this. However, there is some prep work to be done before your kid starts scuba diving which is vitally important in making this experience a long-term success.
Get them in water early
Turning up to a scuba lesson with no experience of being in the water is a massive error that is easily avoided. Visits to your local pool are a great introduction to water. These visits could include swimming lessons to get your kids used to an instructor and should involve a snorkel and mask at some point so that your kid gets used to wearing one. Snorkeling is a nice introduction to scuba and is a good indicator of how your kid will take to it.
This needs to be a blend of honest and positive. Children respond to upfront and honest information and the more honest you are about the challenges of scuba diving, the better they will take to lessons. Scuba diving is a brilliant experience, and you could share online videos with your child. They should however be fully aware that is quite demanding physically and that it takes time to perfect.
Meet the expert
Unless you are a scuba pro, you cannot know everything there is to know. Contact your local diving club and arrange for them to meet your kids before they start lessons. This not only gives first-hand knowledge to your child, but also helps them meet an instructor prior to their lessons beginning. This will be invaluable in settling any first lesson nerves. Meeting instructors before lessons begin also allows you to see how they interact with your child. Does their style fit your child? How does your child respond to them? It is better to know this prior to lessons so that any potential clashes are avoided.
Go as a team
Although scuba diving is a solo effort in terms of swimming, it is a team effort. Looking after each other before, during and after diving teaches kids the importance of teamwork. Inviting friends along to scuba lessons further enhances this team mentality. And it is more likely to keep your kids involved. It is a proven fact that kids like being around other kids. Yes, they will love scuba diving, but they will love it more if there are other kids there that they know.
Kit them out
You get what you pay for. This age-old adage is certainly true when it comes to scuba equipment. You don’t need to spend thousands on the latest kit, but it does need to be comfortable to wear. Remember, your kids are wearing it, not you. Masks that are harder on faces are cheaper than the more fitted silicone options. Then there is the wetsuit and fins. Without properly fitting equipment your kids will find it difficult to learn the techniques to be a successful scuba diver. Make sure that they are fully involved in the process of equipment buying. If you are in any doubt, speak to the experts.
Their decision not yours
This is the most important thing to remember. Your child must want to keep attending scuba lessons and not feel forced. Yes, the initial idea may come from you like something a bit different for them to try but the long-term success comes from them. Forcing them to attend will take away the fun and enjoyment of scuba. They might need a break for a couple of weeks and then start again. Speak with your child and do what is right for them.
Scuba is a great sport and is a bit different from the more traditional sports kids usually experience. Physical and mental skills are developed in each session and help prepare your kids for challenges in later life.
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