The dad was far more nervous than our little baby boy, when we first enrolled him for swimming classes. Even when it was a toddler-mom class, where I would have accompanied our child, my husband was hell bent on somehow canceling the plan. That is when I sat down to have a serious conversation with him to know what was the matter. So, it turned out that my husband had never learnt swimming because of the fear that caught him when he was just a year and a half and was enrolled in a swimming class. He blurted out: “I took a dip in the water and I felt like I would drown,” “My instructor took me with his hand, and I felt I will be forcefully pushed into the water,” “Two days down the class, when it was time to go underwater, the water seemed so chill, my face froze,” “Every day before the class I felt like, I am being punished and one day will lose out on my breath in the pool.”
Oh boy! His fears actually made me re-think about our new adventure. However, I came back into senses within 2 minutes.It was only because his fears were not tackled well that this happened, and I would not want our child to feel the same. So I looked up, how one can ease the child’s fear of swimming. The following tips worked really well for us, hope they do for you too:
Find the most comforting swimsuit
When children are initiated into swimming, one must pay extra care and attention towards kids swimming costume because most of the times children are not much at ease in their swim gear which leads to an added fear of stumbling and fumbling in the swimming pool. A swimsuit that makes feel at ease will give them a sense of control over their bodies and help in boosting their confidence.
Give them the assurance of your presence throughoutWhen plunging in the pool, children most fear that they might drown. So, the mother or father’s presence can help a lot for them to feel secure. Your presence assures them that if anything wrong happens you are there to get them out of it. Such trust cannot come easily with the instructor. So, parents- baby saviours, make sure you are there and maintain an eye-contact constantly.
Become Role Models
Kids tend to imitate their parents a lot, they are also to pick on their parent’s anxieties and fears. So don’t put up a sad show in front of them. For instance, I refrained from taking my husband to the classes initially because seeing him nervous could also make my boy scared. Make a conscious effort to show a sense of excitement while at the lessons to encourage the child to enjoy the process. Plunge in the water, show them how fun the activity is, and they will follow suit.
Play Some Splashing games
Children can initially be weary of getting their face wet, and this anxiety may even turn into a serious fear if not subdued right at the start. So, have some play with the water to cope up with such anxieties. For example, play peek-a-boo with them. Put your face in the water and then get it out with a loud shout ‘Peek-a-Boo.’ Another game you may play is, well, call it “shampoo.’ In this you pat some water on your cheeks, and have your child imitate you. Then, take some water to wet your head and rinse as if the lather is being formed. Now, to wash it off duck your head in water. If your child follows it throughout, he’s not afraid to get into water now. If not, keep trying.
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Help them get over with the fear of deep waters
Be patient, keep it slow. Don’t expect things to fall into space all too soon. Let them continue their work at the shallow end, until they show confidence of going deep. Discuss the same with the instructor. Let them observe others (could be you) swimming and diving deep. Be appreciative of even the tiniest efforts, that provides the impetuous to go further. Also, make sure your child also learns about PFD (Personal Floatation Device) or simply put, life jacket, so that he knows, safety measures are always available.
Observe and Heed To Their Fears
Last but not the least, always be attentive towards your child’s body language and his complaints or concerns. If the child seems to be in doubt of the instructor, it will show on his face; if he is not comfortable with his costume, you will notice the discomfort. So, make sure you do observe such minute details and work towards removing them as soon as possible. For your child to give his 100% you will have to give your 200%.
To conclude, swimming is one of the most productive skills that your child should learn, and learn as early as possible. Don’t let your anxieties or his fears become an obstacle in the way. Your support and rightful push can help them become a swimming pro. So, don’t wait buy kids swimwear online India and hit it out to the pool with your baby 🙂 Trust me, using the above tips will make the sail smooth all along.