Learning to sail in a sailing dinghy is a great way to get into the sport. It is no wonder that most parents love to pass on their passion to their children. However, some children will grasp the idea with as much enthusiasm as others. While there will be those who feel at home on the water instantly, some will be timid or even scared. Parents should be discerning when to push and when to hold back a little. If you are a first time parent who wants to introduce a sailing dinghy to your child, here are some tips you might find helpful.
Tips for getting your kids into a sailing dinghy
- Start early. If you are a sailing dinghy enthusiast and would like to raise your child loving your passion, introduce him or her to the sport as early as possible. One of the easiest ways to introduce any concept to small children is through books. Let your bedtime stories be about children and sailing.
Teach your child to swim. Swimming is not only an enjoyable hobby in itself but is also a vital survival skill. Most small children love the feel of the water so it is not difficult to make swimming an enjoyable activity. However, be considerate with those who have fears. Pushing them too much might make them avoid water altogether.
- Teach them safety rules. Learning simple household safety rules is a great way of teaching your child the importance of safety. When your child is conscious of keeping his surroundings safe, introducing him to the safety required for dinghy sailing will be a breeze.
- Look at all the stars in the sky. Let them appreciate star gazing. Take the opportunity to teach your child how sailors used to find their way by simply looking at the stars, before technology made it easy.
- Watch for sparks of interest. When your child shows curiosity, maximize the learning opportunity without being overbearing. Make learning fun because children learn that way.
- Make sure your boat is safe for kids. The goal is to build your child’s confidence in sailing. Any unpleasant experience might have a negative effect on his interest.
- Make room for mistakes. Making mistakes is part of learning. As long as you know that your child is safe, let him or her experience what happens when he goofs up. And remember to resist the urge to say “I told you so!”
- Expose them to sailing clubs. Talking with more seasoned sailors and listening to their experiences might just be the trigger your child needs.
- Take a sailing dinghy out on a family holiday. One attraction of sailing is that whole families can participate in this activity. Involve the entire family in planning and do not forget to listen to your child’s ideas as well.
- For parents who are not sailors themselves but would like their children to learn sailing, the situation can be more challenging. Children need to understand why dad or mom is pushing them into something they themselves are not fond of. Nonetheless, look for a reputable sailing school once your child agrees to give it a go. Most schools will start with more stable boats before teaching your children the principles of the sailing dinghy.
Leaning to sail in a sailing dinghy teaches your kids so much
Teaching kids sports is a way of training them on responsibility and discipline. In the case of sailing, the challenge is intensified because the sport’s demand for mental alertness is high. This is because learning to sail in a dinghy is not only about learning routines, but rather having the capacity to react to different information and stimuli in an appropriate and fast manner. Getting your child interested in sailing may be challenging but the rewards are great. When you see your budding sailor building confidence in their sailing dinghy and truly enjoying what he or she is doing, your sense of fulfillment will be beyond words.