Sun, Surf & Easter Eggs
Writer – Scott Wilson
Although my children have now left home, I still get a buzz witnessing young families enjoying the beach over Easter. I often envy the beach-confident kids catching waves on their bodyboards, managing tricks and spins, as I scramble to stay on top of my surfboard at best.
This summer I was lucky enough to introduce my friend’s 3-year-old Tom to the ocean. They were magical moments for both of us, and Tom is now absolutely in love with the beach. It’s so cool to get swimming updates from his parents and I look forward to teaching him more and watching him grow up an ocean kid.
How do you ensure your child learns to love the ocean?
Don’t rush it.
The first stages should be enjoyable, fun and safe. Remember, it’s just the beginning for them, so don’t spook them through being too ambitious. Also be mindful that children are little, parents forget that waves will be bigger, louder and scarier for them.
Let them explore.
Jumping waves, looking for shells, letting the wash hit their little feet, this all helps build familiarisation with their environment and reduce their anxiety. Try getting on your knees beside them in the shore breaks, be reassuring and securely enter the water together – work at their pace to get them ‘into’ the surf.
In the water always swim within arm’s reach of your child, have a fun and encouraging attitude and when they (and they will) get dumped by a wave, be right there with a huge smile. Laugh with them to reflect how cool it was to watch, give them a high five and words of encouragement.