Before we are born the world is very small, there’s the sound of our mothers heartbeat, a glow of light and shadow, it’s warm, wet and comfortable, we never experience hunger and thirst, all our needs are met.

Then suddenly, the quiet, cozy, wet world is gone and now everything is big, bright, loud and cold. Our eyes opening there’s so much to take in, so much to see, hear and experience, it is overwhelming, so we start to cry this begins our experience on earth and we begin to experience life with our senses.

As a result of those experiences we learn to crawl, walk, talk, play nice with others. We ask our parents endless questions with a never-ending desire to know and learn. “but why mummy?” The endless questions of why?

We are driven by curiosity, we soak up knowledge like a sponge then the world gets very small again. We are put in the classroom at a desk, told to sit quietly, listen, stand in line, raise our hands and fill out worksheets and take tests. We know that this isn’t the best way to learn. We need to see, hear, do to really learn. Even as adults we learn through experiences, it’s hard wired into our DNA if you can tap into experience daily to satisfy the universal craving for experiences, we can really help our children succeed.

Repetition is the other way the brain learns, repeating patterns over and over. We have mirror neurons in our brain and we are wired to copy what we see, mimic it, repeat the pattern over and over until you master the skill.

Think about a toddler learning to walk, the toddler will fall down, stand up and fall down. Have you ever seen a Toddler say “Oh I just keep falling, I don’t think I’m ever going to walk. I will just give up and sit here.”

No! they are determined, and they keep practicing until they master walking. When does that change? When do we say “Ok I am no good at this or I can’t do this?”

Children start school and try because they have not yet been introduced to the idea of failure or I can’t in their thought process. Research says it generally happens about year one they are learning so many new skills like Sight words, spellings, times tables, lining up and going to the toilet in a specified time. A child raises their hand “Can I please go to the toilet” answer “No you can’t! You need to learn to go in break times”

Research says the average will now only attempt something new three times before they say  “I can’t do that” We just went from Infinity amount of attempts to three attempts in a matter of a few years but follow that little one on to high school and by the time the average kid reaches a year seven they will attempt something only one time before they say “I can’t do it”

I just want you to think about what does to our chances of being successful. Successful mastery requires repeated attempts.

We must repeat pattern for twenty one days to create a new neural pathway in the brain. That neural pathway helps you say “I can do this” and you’re beginning to create the habit but you have to repeat that for about 6 months for it to become strong. You need to repeat that pattern for a year before it becomes solid. But you don’t have a new skill mastered until you repeat that pattern 10,000 times, that’s about seven years.

How long do I need to practice these skills for? The short answer is for the rest of your life because every day we are creating patterns. We either create patterns of success or patterns of failure.

Let’s think about learn to swim for a moment, we need to repeat the skills over and over. When your child comes and says “all we do is kick” your answer needs to be “yes, that’s how you will master the skill”

One 30-minute lesson per week for a 10 week term, times by four terms is twenty hours of swimming. Not even one day! Do you think this is enough time for a child to learn and master the skill so as not to forget and be able to save themselves. The biggest gift we can give our children is the gift of life, swim skills saves lives and so does building your child’s confidence and self-esteem.

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