If you’re passionate about scuba diving and you’ve got kids, there’s a good chance that you can’t wait to share the underwater world with them. Young divers can complete their first underwater experiences from the age of 8 years on the PADI Bubblemaker course, while older kids and teens can embark on Junior Open Water Diver courses and beyond. Here’s why diving together as a family is a great idea:
Enjoy shared interests
The underwater world is a breathtaking sight to behold, and it’s a privilege to share it with loved ones. By discovering the wonders of the ocean with your child, you’ll build experiences and memories that you can treasure and laugh over time and time again. Through the beauty of scuba diving, you’ll connect with your kids through a genuine, common interest that lasts a lifetime.
Become a better buddy
If you’re diving with your child, then it’s safe to assume that you’ll want to do everything you can to protect them while making sure they’re having a great time. This means extending your role as a parent into being a great dive buddy, too. You’ll feel inspired to further develop your skills as a diver (for example, becoming a PADI Rescue Diver) and you’ll be more aware of what to do and what not to do as a dive buddy. As a role model to your family, you’ll want to promote the best behaviour possible, like following Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers.
Develop life skills
Kids are like sponges, learning and absorbing everything around them which inevitably shapes their development. By introducing your child to scuba diving, you’ll not only feel proud of their achievements, but you’ll also be giving them an enjoyable opportunity to pick up essential life skills, like building trust, communication and teamwork with buddies, care and appreciation for the natural world, and the ability to know when to challenge themselves and when to just go with the flow.
Enjoy the outdoors
Since the explosion of the digital age, many parents are finding it tough to peel their children away from their mobile devices to enjoy the world around them. By learning to scuba dive, your kids will have an enticing reason to put their tablets away and experience the beauty of the great outdoors. And, to help make their gadget addiction a little more purposeful, sign them up for a PADI Touch course, download the free PADI App, and get them to connect with you on ScubaEarth.
Rekindle your enthusiasm
If you’re a seasoned diver then it’s possible you’ve forgotten what it was like to first learn to scuba dive, or the first time you saw corals, tropical fish or shipwrecks. Accompany your child as they embark on new adventures and it will be hard to ignore their contagious excitement; through your child’s eyes, you’ll feel like you’re discovering everything for the first time all over again.
Easy vacation planning
Family trips can be a cause for debate and feuds when everyone’s interests are split in different directions. But when you scuba dive, and your significant other scuba dives, and your kids scuba dive, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to agree on what activities to book for your annual vacation. Now, the only question to ask will be which dive destination do you want to travel to?
So, if you’re unsure of the benefits of involving your kids in your scuba diving addiction, the above reasons should reassure you that it can be a great idea. Just make sure you’ve asked yourself these questions first to make sure you and your child are both ready – then jump straight in by booking a Youth program with your local PADI Dive Center or Resort.
The article was originally published by PADI.com