Learning to swim can be a daunting task for individuals of all ages, especially young children. However, a remarkable swim instructor in Florida has devised a unique approach to boost the confidence of his youngest students. Tyler Reed, the owner of Triton Aquatic Training in Tampa, has introduced what he calls a "mermaid mantra" to empower these aspiring swimmers.
"For my little mermaids, I always say, 'I'm big. I'm brave. I'm beautiful,' and I have them echo those words," Tyler Reed said.
"Many people tend to underestimate the swimming capabilities of 2-year-olds and babies, assuming they are incapable of saving themselves. I aim to dispel this notion and instill in them the belief that they can indeed conquer this skill."
Recently, a video featuring a 2-year-old student from Triton Aquatic Training went viral on social media platforms, amassing over 39 million views on TikTok and garnering more than 24,000 comments. In the footage, the young swimmer, fresh out of a lesson, can be seen unsteadily repeating the empowering phrase, "I'm big. I'm brave. I'm beautiful."
The overwhelming response to the video reflects the widespread recognition of the significance of water safety education for young children. One commentator remarked, "I hate to see them upset, but learning water safety at such a young age is crucial. What a brave, big girl!" Another added, "It's quite intimidating for little ones to learn these skills, but I'm confident she's doing amazing."
Tyler Reed expressed his gratitude for the video's extensive reach, emphasizing the importance of imparting water safety knowledge to young kids. He firmly believes that these little ones are capable of acquiring these essential skills.
"Initiating swim lessons at a young age holds tremendous value," Reed stated. "The reality is, if you keep a child reliant on floaties from ages 2 to 5 or even older, they develop a false sense of swimming ability."
Even if a child is not enrolled in formal swim lessons, Reed advises parents to refrain from relying on flotation devices and instead personally support their child in the water. "Teach them to stay afloat without floaties, holding them under their arms and allowing them to experience buoyancy," he explained. "By avoiding the false sense of security, we can prevent tragic drowning incidents."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is a leading cause of death among children aged 1 to 4 in the United States. Recently, a heartbreaking incident occurred at the residence of NFL star Shaquil Barrett, where his 2-year-old daughter accidentally drowned in a swimming pool. Reed revealed that he received numerous inquiries for swim lessons following this tragic event. He hopes that as the summer season commences, parents will prioritize their children's water safety.
Reed emphasizes the significance of swim lessons, comparing them to a form of education.
"Consider this as important as school for their academic development. When it comes to saving lives, it holds even greater weight," he emphasized.
Providing an update on the young girl who bravely repeated the mermaid mantra, Reed shared a heartwarming video showcasing her progress. In just a few weeks, she is now able to swim the entire length of her backyard pool.
"Look at this big girl swimming and loving it after just a few weeks! It's incredible to think that not long ago, we were filled with tears and fear. But by persistently practicing our motivational mermaid mantra, 'I'm Big, I'm Brave, I'm Beautiful!' look how far we've come! I am immensely proud to be her swim instructor," Reed captioned the video.