Some children take to water easily. Others tend to be rightfully wary of it. Remember that fears are harder to fix with grown children so you’ll want to handle this while they’re younger. Essentially a great expanse of water can be intimidating so what you need to do is find ways to relax them so that you and your family can finally enjoy some quality time by the pool. Not to mention, being able to swim is a basic quality all children should have- you never know when it’ll come in handy. So here are some ways you can get your child more comfortable with water:
Space It Out
Remember that learning to swim isn’t a one-day thing. Your child has plenty of swim sessions ahead so don’t put too much on him on his first day. This will make him hate it even more and the lessons will be quite counter-productive.
It’s all about baby steps. Your child will show you what he’s comfortable with and you need to work with whatever he gives you. For example, he may only be comfortable in the shallow end. That’s fine! Play with him in the shallow end so when he’s fully comfortable with it, he’ll eventually be open to the option of going deeper. Get your baby’s suit at nest 2 me and make sure to be right next to him, even if he’s using floaters so that he’ll feel more secure.
Bring along some buckets and water toys that they can use to play around with. Show them the water can be a fun space that’s not to be frightened of. Encourage silly behavior you normally wouldn’t. For example, parents normally find splashing around to be loud and brash and immediately stop their kids from doing it. But if your child is wary around water and is finally easing up enough to splash around, this is a great sign so don’t stop him. It also allows him to find out how the water works and how his limbs move around within it. You can also teach them other tricks like blowing bubbles underwater to keep water from entering the nose. Make these lessons a game that will allow them to loosen up! Acting silly together goes a long way.
You can literally take baby steps. Sometimes, your child won’t be ready for any of the above because his fear runs a little too deep. In this case, you can just sit with him on the steps in the shallow end until he feels ready to take the next step. You can also just sit on the edge together and dip your toes in the water so he learns how calming water can be.
Your child might not want to stay in the water for as long as you do and that’s completely fine. Keep in mind that they need breaks in between, like snacks, naps or games out of the water so learn when it’s time to towel off.
These are the best ways you can get your child more comfortable with water. Remember to take it slow and at their own pace so you don’t push them too far and too hard.