We always tend to go to the extreme, “I’m going to do an open water course with my kids”. I hear so many times, but my following questions to them are: How many times have your kid(s) been in the water, at the sea or lake? Do they feel comfortable in the water where they can’t reach the bottom to stand? Do they swim? and so on… and finally I always endorse snorkeling as a first step.
Swimming in the pool ⒸCarlosLander
I’m telling you this, because the first encounter with the water should be swimming. If you can, take your kids as many times as possible to the beach. Let them feel free in the water, comfortable and swimming lessons will be good for them.
I’m not telling you that your kid should be an excellent swimmer to be a diver, no, but they must know how-to-be-in-the-water, defend themselves.
Following next, snorkeling.
Snorkeling will develop in your child not only motor-skills but also will help in the cognitive process that will serve him in the future. Let’s put it together; cognitive development means how children think, explore and figure things out. Cognitive process is the steps taken by the child to understand the world around them. Snorkeling involved not only swimming, clearing the mask and tube, but also interacting with an environment, feeling, and actively participating in it. Exploring their physical limitations and those imposed by the surroundings.
My son at the beach
This activity could easily go beyond that and transformed into an open classroom, taking photos, identifying fishes, knowing about water ecosystems and much more. The knowledge acquired by these experiences are tangibles, have a purpose.
My recommendation for all parents is that they start with their children snorkeling and progressively scuba diving. The transition between activities will be easy and, children’s knowns when they are ready and confident for the next step.
Note that works has been done in development of motor skills and neuroplasticity doing scuba in the pool as therapy for incapacitated children with remarkable results. As an alternative hyperbaric therapy is used with also excellent results. We have only started discovering all the benefits of these activities.
We should reflect on what is best for our children and for us as parents. Do not consent and cavitate into the proposition that scuba is the first step, snorkeling is an excellent way to introduce your kids to this world.
My son enjoying chasing small crustacean
If you want to know more, read the following study: Should children dive with self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA)?