Some children take to water like a fish, but others are afraid of getting wet in anything other than a bathtub. If you’re concerned about your child being afraid of it, use some of these top tips to get your child over the fear of water. Not only will helping them over this fear empower them, it could save their lives in the future.
Talk to your child to try to understand why they are afraid of water. This may be difficult with very small children who aren’t verbal, but you’ll probably remember if something happened to your child which would have scared them. Don’t dismiss their fears but encourage them to talk about their fears so you can work through them together.
Try to put yourself in your child’s place. If you were afraid of something, you wouldn’t want to be around it. That’s the way many children feel about water. It may be helpful to slowly expose your child to very shallow water such as a puddle.
Unless a child falls into a puddle face first and can’t get up, it is very unlikely they would drown in it. Stomp in and splash the water to let your child see water can be fun. Praise them for any achievement they might have in regard to water.
If your child doesn’t like having water in their eyes, you can combat that problem by purchasing good-quality form-fitting goggles. Once your child is comfortable in the goggles, let them practice putting their face in the water while in a small amount of water in the bathtub. This will likely feel less threatening to them than an entire pool with water much deeper than they are tall.
Take time to teach your child the proper way to float. Once they become comfortable with being in shallow amounts of water, teach them to float on their back. This is often an easy skill to teach children if they can relax.
Purchase a life jacket for your child to use when they are beginning to get comfortable in the water. Having a life jacket will allow your child to relax a little bit and protect them if they fall into the water or become tired while trying to swim.
Once your child has learned to float, is comfortable with being in shallow water, and can put their face into the water it may be a good time to enroll your child in a beginning swimming class. You may find your child reacts differently to someone else teaching them to swim than to you. If you think they need extra help, check into hiring someone to teach them on an individual level.
These top tips to get your child over the fear of water can help you help your child. You may also want to ask other parents how they helped their own children overcome the fear of water. Between your own instincts, these tips and help from others, your child can learn to rise above their fear and learn to enjoy swimming.