How to Teach Your Scared Child to Swim

How to teach your scared child to swim? Or is your child scared of even thought of getting into a pool and swimming? We’ve got some tips from My Pool Guy  to help your child transform from scared to confident!

Take it slow.

There is no need to rush the process of your child getting accustomed to swimming in the water. If you start rushing the learning process, that can make kids uncomfortable — fast. They get stressed, you get stressed and learning is no longer fun. If you want your child to learn to love swimming, you need to keep a positive, patient and non-rushed attitude. It will end up saving you time in the long run.

Life jackets.

In the beginning use life jackets. Put a life jacket during the beginning learning processes will build confidence. Sure, the water may seem daunting, but after your child has learned to play, splash. And enjoy the water without sinking, she then can move on and learn how to move without a life jacket. But, don’t rush the process! Take one step at a time.

Use the shallow end.

Until your child is completely over her fear of water, she can enjoy the shallow end of the pool. Don’t coax her to enter deeper waters. Taking time in the non-intimidating shallow end will help create a fun. And excited attitude about playing and swimming in the water. Again, this is where patience comes in as the parent! And remember — enjoy these moments with your child. She will remember that you taught her one of the most important life skills — swimming!

Create excitement about water play.

If your child is fearful of pools. Try starting with slip in slides, water balloon fights. Associating water with fun helps them build a desire to WANT to swim!

Invite other friends to come along.

Kids are often more brave when their peers are present. I remember taking swimming lessons as a child. When they see their friends moving, diving into the water it would made them want to follow suit. Plus, it would be embarrassing if I didn’t at least try! In some circumstances, peer pressure can be a good thing! Then when your child chooses to learn extra swimming skills, in spite of fears. They will gain even more confidence. And they actually want to progress in this swimming adventure!

Grab some new swimming gear.

Taking your child to the store and letting them choose new swim gear and goggles to match always helps! It builds anticipation for any kids who love getting new stuff! (Which is almost every kid in the universe..ha!) If you’re short on time, you and your child can shop online and get your new swimwear delivered to your door. Kids love surprise boxes for them!

Float first.

As soon as your child is over her fear of the water, remove the life jackets and teach her how to float. It’s the simplest technique and easy to learn. Do not let your child learn the floating process with any floatation aids. Such as padded swimming clothes, life jackets or arm floats. If she learns with those aids, they will have a false confidence. That could lead her into unsafe swimming decisions.

Talk about correct breathing.

Many times kids want to inhale when they come up out of the water instead of exhale. Make sure your child knows to exhale first, and then breathe . If they inhale first, they can get choked — which is super scary to most kids.
Practice breath-holding. Make sure you never encourage her to hold her breath for very long. That could be dangerous and unsafe. Instead, give them a simple goal and help them through it. For instance, you can say, “Hold your breath and go under the water for three seconds. I will count to three out-loud so you will know when three seconds is up.” Keeping it short and simple helps kids see a goal and achieve a goal. It also gives them added security because they know exactly how long to hold their breath. Always assure your child she can come up for any reason, even if it is before the time limit.
Once your kids have overcome their fear of swimming and learned the basics. You can encourage them to move forward by taking extra swimming lessons!