Boosting kids’ confidence while teaching them how to swim can be challenging. However, a swimming instructor has a mantra that encourages his students to be brave and not be scared of the water.
“I’m big. I’m brave. I’m beautiful.” This is the mantra that swim instructor Tyler Reed is teaching his students. He calls it the “mermaid mantra” and has been applying it to little children who need more guidance and encouragement.
“I think a lot of people look at 2-year-olds and babies as children that are incapable of being able to swim or save themselves and I’m trying to kind of erase that psyche from them, that they can really can do this,” said Reed.
Reed asks the kids to repeat the mantra after him and tells them they can do it. Recently, he posted a video on social media where a 2-year-old student repeats the mermaid mantra while on a swim lesson.
“I really am wanting those children to believe those words that they are saying. I want them to feel empowered by what they’re saying and to understand that, yes, they may be two years old, this might be scary to them,” Reed said.
Reed uses a specific term for the arm movement. He calls it “reach and pull” so the little kids will easily understand it.
It takes a lot of repetition and word association for the kids to fully absorb what he is teaching but it helps program their brain and do those actions and later go back to safety.
After three weeks of uploading the video, it went viral and now has 40 million views with over 24,000 comments.
The response to his video was overwhelming but Reed is glad to spread awareness on water safety and share his strategy in building kids’ confidence.
“It’s just a very rewarding experience for me to just kind of take what I do every day and have people see the importance of this and have it be a conversation starter,” said Reed.”
With the influx of global drowning incidents, Reed emphasized the importance of learning how to swim at an early age. “The reality is, the longer that you keep a child in floaties, from ages 2 to 5 or even older, they’re developing a false sense of their ability to swim,” Reed explained.
If their child is not in swim lessons, Reed encouraged parents to keep them from using floatation devices and hold them in the water instead.
According to him, this approach helps the child feel and understand weightlessness. “You’re not giving them that false sense of security, because that’s where these drownings come into play.”
Reed’s mermaid mantra seemed to have worked in boosting kids’ confidence and helping them overcome their fears in the water.
For one, the toddler in the viral video learned how to swim after a few lessons, according to Reed. He posted her progress video with the captions that says, “I’m one proud swim instructor.
A lot of Reed’s students have embraced the mermaid mantra and are now confident swimmers. Alexandra Antorini, a parent of Reed’s two students can attest to the swim instructor’s patience and dedication.
“Just the safety of knowing that they can be safe until we can get to them, just it’s everything,” she said.
She also shared that when her 2-year-old son hurt his chin after falling in the pool, Reed calmly asked the child to turn over and swim to him. The child managed to swim on his own; thanks to the mermaid mantra he has been teaching the kids.
Reed has one final piece of advice for parents regarding swim lessons. “Treat this as a school, like you would for their education. It’s even more important in a life-saving aspect.” If you want to learn more about Reed’s swimming lessons be sure to visit their Instagram page.
Watch this video on how Reed’s mermaid mantra helped in boosting kids’ confidence: