Putting your child in swimming lessons is one of the best things you can do for the child. Since drowning is one of the leading causes of death in small children, the more confident you can get your child in the water, the better. However, not all children enjoy being in the water, and some are afraid. Here are a couple things that you can do to encourage a healthy relationship with water, and help the child to enjoy their swim lessons.
1. Respect the Fear
First of all, it is important that you respect the child's fear of water. In fact, it may be a good thing. Water is in fact dangerous and the child might perceive that. Even though they see other children splashing around and playing it may have no appeal to them because they see it as threatening. Don't tell the child that there is "nothing to worry about" because if they do not practice correct water safety, there definitely is something to worry about.
Instead, reassure the child that they are safe because of their surroundings. Let them know that you will be there the whole time. Explain that the teacher will stay close to them, and that it is only for a short time.
2. Choose A Parent-Child Class
If the child is not enjoying swimming, it may be helpful to choose a class that you two can take together. There are many places that offer classes where the mother or father of the child can swim with them, doing the majority of the instruction with the help of a professional. This may make the child feel more confident as they swim.
If you are unable to take the class with them, perhaps a trusted friend could come. Having a friend there with the child, even a peer, would make it exciting and more comfortable.
3. Try More Recreational Swimming
Many times the child is scared of their lessons because they have limited exposure to water. This is why it is good to try and have time where you can just play in the water. If they don't like swimming pools, use the sprinklers in your yard, go to a splash pad, or play in a wading pool. The more fun you can have around water will show the child that they can have fun swimming and hopefully instill a desire to become an independent and confident swimmer.
By doing these things you can help your child have a positive experience with swim lessons. For more tips, contact a pool like YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.