Summer is still here, and you know what that means …
Longer days mean warmer waters! Now, it might be easier to grab your board and head out the door on your own, but before you get too far, ask yourself, “Are the kids ready for this adventure?”
If they give you the up-and-down nod, not only do you have the privilege of introducing them to this awesome sport, but you also get to create lifelong memories! To help stem from the sand and into the water, here are three ways to encourage your little surfers:
1. Jump on in
Get in the water and splash around! Use this time to build up those basics, like floating and treading water. By joining in on the fun, you can help ease your surfer’s fears by providing an extra fin or encouraging words. After all, you want them to be strong, confident swimmers before they start catching those waves with you.
If this is their first time in the ocean, remember it can be scary. Be patient and don’t force your new surfer in. Making your little one get in the water when they’re scared, or simply being stubborn, can have them see the water as a punishment and not the treasure we know it to be. Let the ocean be a treat you can enjoy together!
2. Walk the shore
The ocean is a vast expanse of things you can’t always see. I have plenty of friends who, even as adults, are terrified of the sea. So it’s no surprise that kids get scared of the water too. If your little surfers are feeling nervous, why not learn with them and find out what’s in the water? Search online to see what wildlife frequents your favorite beaches or, better yet, get your kiddos into their Reef Kids Escapes and explore the coastline’s remarkable seashells, rocks, tide pools and plant life.
As you and your kids explore, talk about what you see and inform them of the things to be careful around. As they learn about how the plants and animals interact in the environment, it’s also a good time to talk about how humans affect waterways with litter. Not only will your kids be soaking up the sun, but also some essential facts about the ocean.
3. Fail with pride
Whenever you try something new, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble a few times along the way. The same thing happens to kids. They won’t always get it right on the first, fifth or tenth try. Failure isn’t easy, and so many times it’s viewed as negative. But every failure is an opportunity to grow. Whether it’s falling when they hop on the board or forgetting to pack a towel, remember, mistakes are simply reminders of where we have room to grow. When your kids take a spill, and once you’re sure they’re OK, ask questions, like “What worked? What didn’t? What can you learn from this?”
Everybody fails; what matters most is that we teach our kids to learn from failure, to get back up and to try again. Whether you’re an old pro or are still learning the basics, don’t be afraid to try something new, and learn from it, with your kids!
At the end of the day, we know it takes time and patience to encourage little surfers as they embrace this challenging yet exciting sport. Be engaged and have fun with the learning, and don’t be afraid go all out! Clean up your boards, decorate them together, and make sure they’re waxed and ready for their first wave of the season!