Many young children are scared of swimming – or not being able to swim, and sinking instead. But it is important that you find ways to help them get over their fear. Otherwise, they will never be able to swim and could end up getting in trouble in the water.
To help you get your little ones more comfortable with the idea of water and swimming, we have put together some simple tips to help you. To find out more, keep reading below:
Understand that it will take time
As a parent, the most important thing you need to understand, is that it will take time to increase your child’s water confidence. Overcoming a fear or phobia is a gradual process, and one that can take months or in some cases, years.
It is also important to understand that your child may take very small steps to improving their fear of water, and that is okay. Make sure to reward each small step your child takes and then encourage them to take the next step.
Dip your toes
The first step you need to take is to go to the pool or lake with your little one and sit on the side with your feet dipped in the water. Even if your child only leaves their feet in for a few seconds, make sure to praise them.
As your child becomes more confident with dipping their feet in the pool, encourage them to go a step further. Once your child has got to the stage where they can comfortably stand in the pool, you can then move on to giving them swim lessons. However, it could take some time to get to this stage.
Use floating aids
Your child may feel more comfortable in the water if you put floating aids on them. Anything from water wings, life jackets, water hoops, or woggles are all ideal.
If your child still doesn’t feel safe with a floating aid, let them use you as a safety device. Some children feel much happier when they know that mommy is around to save them.
Get your child’s face wet
The main problem with swimming for most kids is that they dislike the idea of. Luckily, there are plenty of tactics you can try to overcome this problem.
Goggles are fantastic for kids who don’t like getting water in their eyes. You can also encourage them to get their face wet by having bubble blowing competitions in the water, or as their confidence grows, splashing competitions.
Make water fun
Try to change your child’s perception of water by making water and swimming time fun and exciting.
To encourage your little one to have fun in the pool, take them along to an inflatable fun session at your pool. This is where a large bouncy castle is put up in the pool for children to play on – as soon as your child sees the other kids having fun they are sure to want a go.
Another way to make water fun is by setting up a paddling pool in the back garden for your child to play in. Put all their favourite bathtime toys in the paddling pool and encourage them to get in and play with them.
The best way to help your child overcome their fear of the water is by showing them that there is nothing to be afraid of and water is a lot of fun.