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How to Help Kids Overcome Their Fear of Swimming

How to Help Kids Overcome Their Fear of Swimming

While most little kids naturally love playing in the water, the actual process of learning to swim can range from intimidating to downright terrifying!
If your child is experiencing anxiety about swimming lessons, these tips may help!

Reinforce feelings of safety

It is important that kids learn water safety rules and the reasons behind them.
But some kids do become fixated on the dangerous aspects, and learning to swim feels scary! Some extra reassurance can go a long way.
Let your little one know that you (or the swim teacher) are right there and won’t let them sink, or that they can reach down and touch bottom at any time if they get intimidated.

Build confidence in the water with floaties

Arm floaties can make a huge difference for kids who are nervous about learning to swim.
While they should never be relied upon as a lifesaving device, arm floaties do give kids enough of a buoyant boost to take away the fear of sinking.
With their floaties on and fear gone, your little one can get comfortable in the water and practice basic swimming skills.
Arm floaties tend to be relatively inexpensive and they come in a variety of sizes, from infant floaties to adult-sized arm floaties.

Practice at the beach or the shallow end of the pool

Some kids do much better starting out with swim lessons when they know they can reach a foot down and touch the bottom at any time.
And the basics of swimming are the same in 3 feet of water as in 6 feet, so there’s no reason not to let your kids skip the deep end for now if it’s causing anxiety.
Even just playing on the pool steps or in the surf at the beach can help a particularly nervous child build up enough confidence to venture out a little further.

Invite friends or older siblings along

Many kids are motivated to be more adventurous in the water when they have a friend or sibling along who is already a strong swimmer.
Whether it’s the distraction and sense of comfort from playing with friends, or the desire to compete (or at least keep up!) with their peers,
swimming with other children can sometimes be what helps a timid swimmer break out of their shell a little.

Take it slow

As with every new skill, different children learn to swim at a different pace.
There’s truly no reason to rush a child who is struggling with swimming lessons.
Some children are naturally more sensitive, cautious, or fearful than others, and many do grow out of these tendencies as they get older.
Pressuring a kid who is already anxious about swimming may actually make their anxiety worse.
Keeping a calm, patient, and encouraging attitude is the best thing you can do – even if it seems like your child may stay in the shallow end until college! Celebrate each small victory along the way.

Learning to swim may seem daunting at first, but as your child’s confidence in the water grows, so will his or her swimming skills!
For some kids, it’s a longer process than with others, but you can use these tips (from inviting friends to practicing with floaties on) to help grow your little swimmer’s comfort zone.

written by :
Dani Merriot , blogger for babyfloaties.com

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