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How to Encourage Reluctant Swimmers

Is your child afraid of the water? Do they resist the water with all their might? It may comfort you to learn that you aren’t alone. Many parents have encountered the difficulty of wanting their reluctant child to learn such an important life skill. Thankfully, we have found ways to help encourage them and foster a positive experience in the water.

1. Take Lessons with Friends

If your child is above 4 years old, you may want to call in their friends as positive reinforcement. Most children this age will want to join in on whatever fun their friends are having (although this will ultimately depend on their personality). If their friends enjoy the water, it may encourage him/her to do the same.

2. Play Pool Games

Another tool to try would be playing pool games together with your child. Focusing on the game may help distract their fear and get them to relax in the water. In addition to this, they may eventually associate the water to a place of fun.

3. Find the right teacher

Finding the right teacher for your child can be the key to helping them overcome their fear. Teachers encounter many different personalities: some easily get bored, some are fearless, and some are apprehensive. Make sure their teacher understands their personality type and knows how to adjust their teaching style for the best results, whether in a private session or in a large class.

4. Take a Step Back

It may go against your initial desire to comfort your scared child, but one of the best things you can do is give them space. If you’ve found the right teacher, allow their expertise to engage your child and get them into the water. This will help your child focus on the teacher’s instructions, and may also help build their independence and confidence!

5. Go to the Pool Often

As with many things: the more you do something, the more normal it becomes. Make sure frequent visits to the pool become part of your child’s normal routine. If they fear the water because it’s something unfamiliar, this will help them overcome it.

Give these tips a try and let us know how it goes!


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