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Not every child takes to water like a fish to…well, water. For many young children, submerging themselves is an unnatural and frightening experience, even if they’ve never had an unpleasant encounter with the water. It makes swimming lessons fraught and slows down their progress. Here are a few tips if you’re struggling to help your child conquer their fear of the water:

  • Start off by getting them used to shallow water. Let them play in and explore shallow water independently. This will help to give them a sense of control when in the water and helps teach them the difference between deep and shallow water. Try adding a mix of toys that float and sink to demonstrate how objects react in water, or add some cups and encourage your child to pour it over themselves. You don’t even need a pool – encourage your child to play, sing, splash and blow bubbles in the bath!
  • Once your child is confident in shallow water, start to encourage them in deeper water. Let them explore at their own pace to help them develop confidence. Don’t try and force them in as they can easily become intimidated or frightened, which will make the process harder.
  • It can be hard to convince kids to put their heads in the water. Finding goggles that fit well can help to convince them to get their face wet. You can also encourage them to blow bubbles in the water to turn it into a fun game. 
  • It’s more fun with a friend! Adding friends or siblings to the equation will make swimming much more fun! Get them playing games to help them enjoy it even more.
  • Swimming lessons! Starting lessons for your child will help them develop confidence and build skills they will use for their entire lives. A good teacher can help your child develop at their own pace, while still challenging them. 

Getting a nervous swimmer confident in the water can be a long process and requires plenty of patience, but with a little bit of help, most can become confident swimmers!

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