How to Help Your Child Overcome Their Fear of Swimming
One incident may make your child scared of water or they could just not like the feeling of getting their face, ears or nose in the water. However, swimming is a vital life skill that should be learned by every Australian. Plus, there are so many water-based activities we can do all year round, that it would be a shame for them to miss out! Here are some tips and tricks on how to help start your child overcome their fear of water.
Take your child’s fear seriously
Don’t minimise it or joke about it but also don’t over dramatise the fear either. Tell them it’s okay and normal to be scared of things, but we can get stronger and more confident when we face our fears and learn to overcome them.
Get in with them
You being in the water with your child will make them more confident and secure that they are safe in the water. At Aquastar we offer parent & child classes from 6 months up to 3 years so that you can get in the water with your child and show them that it’s not scary. Our classes help teach breath control, water safety, kicking, and floating in a relaxed and supportive environment. Make sure to praise your child as much as possible and teach them by showing, not just telling. The more confident a parent is, the more relaxed the child is.
Take it slow and be patient
Overcoming fears can take different lengths of time depending on each child. Perhaps start with just dangling your feet in the pool and then slowly walking into the shallow end or in a kiddie pool. Splash around in the water with them, blow bubbles and show them that swimming is fun. Know your child’s body language and take them deeper if you think it will be okay or get them out and dry off if they’ve had enough for the day. Be patient and try again another day, each time they will get further and further!
Use toys and make it fun!
Bring floating toys from home, like beach balls or other toys for them to play with to distract them from the fact they’re in the water. Going to the pool with friends may also help them get over their fear by seeing that all their friends have fun swimming.
Don’t wait too long to start swimming lessons.
The earlier your child starts swimming, the less likely they will be afraid of the water. If you wait until they are 10 and they’ve been scared since they were 1, it’s going to be harder to overcome the fear. The earlier you try to help the situation, the better.
Talk to your child’s swimming teacher and step back
At Aquastar all our teachers are highly skilled at dealing with every possible situation. Sometimes it is best to talk to the teacher and let the teacher speak to your child. Often times children are more willing to do things for a teacher than a parent.