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Tips to get your child to wear a life jacket

As parents and guardians, it is a very challenging job to deal with tantrums of your kids and also make them listen to you. A similar situation arises when you take your kid outdoors for any water activity. In most water activities, you and your child will be required to wear a life jacket. While you fully understand the importance of a life jacket and cooperate by wearing it, your child may not do the same. It is very common for your child to retaliate while making them wear a life jacket. A child will look at a life jacket as an irritating outfit more than safety wear. He may keep trying to get rid of it throughout. 

How do you get him to wear a life jacket and make him stay like that till the end? Without scolding him and making him sad during the fun activity, you can do this job very easily. Here are some steps for the same:

1. Make a colorful, attractive jacket
The jacket you choose for your child should be of good quality so that it prevents any itching or irritation. Along with that, try to give the jacket a very attractive look, full of colors, letters, and patterns.  Have some games drawn in a visible part of the jacket for your child to engage in it easily. You can also have his favorite cartoon or superhero drawn on it.  This way, your child will easily wear the jacket as this will probably be his favorite thing to wear. 

2. Educate them about safety
Make him curious and educate him about the significance of wearing the life jacket. While he may not understand the technicalities of it, you should try different approaches while instructing him. You are not teaching a marine cadet but your little kid so keeps it simple and interesting. Show him pictures of people in life jackets in water and tell them the reasons. You can also show him some videos of the particular water activity where the participants are wearing a life jacket. He will be convinced well that he has got to wear the life jacket.

3. Attach a hidden gift
All kids love gifts and surprises. So every time, you have to make him wear a life jacket, spoil him by attaching a hidden surprise gift inside the jacket and ask him to hunt for it at the end of the day. This will be his last task for the day. He will be with the jacket on throughout the day only to complete his task of searching for the gift. Invest in simple, inexpensive gifts, properly sealed and packed so that they don’t get damaged or wet in water. 

4. Wear along with them for a cool photoshoot
Inform your kid that everyone will have to get ready for a fun photo shoot. And for the purpose, the outfit is the life jacket. Most kids are ever ready for a photo shoot. After you both have worn the life jacket, click some pictures with your child with different, crazy poses. This fancy photoshoot with wake surfing gear will make him prepared for the water activity coming up. 

5. Have a competition or a race with him
Organise a small race with him where you have two or more teams. The task is to complete wearing the life jacket fast, and whoever does it first will be the winner. The winner will also be pampered with a fancy gift at the end of the day. Kids, being enthusiastic, will be very willing to participate in the race and finish it. Obviously, for you, it is a lame race. Hence the plan should be to make him win the race so that he remains motivated till the end of the day. He will, not for once, think of taking off the jacket. 

6. Same colored bandana
Use a piece of cloth or a bandana and tie it in each of your life jackets. While you are tying it, tell your child that you all belong to the same team. Next, you will say that you all are going for this competition where the entire team will have to remain in the life jacket and the bandana. Make them realize that this is for identification that you are in the same team; otherwise, they will be defeated by the opposite team. 

7. Make him the photographer of the day
Give him the responsibility by handing him over a simple ‘camera for kids’ where he will be engaged in clicking the photos for the entire day. This will make him feel important in the group. The event starts with the entire team wearing the life jacket and clicking a picture together. 

There are so many innovative ways to make your little ones fall prey and wear the life jacket. Dealing with some kids is a very tedious and hectic job as sometimes they really get onto their parents/elder’s nerves. In a family activity like this, you would neither want to spoil your mood, nor see your child sad.  Therefore, you must come up with something fun and creative to make your kids obey your instructions. After all, they are kids who can be easily manipulated by these ideas. 

How do you encourage your kids to stay safe in the water?

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