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Help Your Children Feel Confident in the Water

Help Your Children Feel Confident in the Water
24 November 2014 1634 Views No comments

It can be difficult to get your little ones into the water if they aren't confident or they don't enjoy it. If they are reluctant to even get their toes wet, it can be difficult to comprehend how you are going to get them to start loving swimming.

If you force your children to get into the water when they don't want to, the chances are that it will make them even more reluctant in the future. This can be incredibly damaging to the development of their swimming skills and could mean that they don't benefit from the exercise.

The key is to make them get into the water themselves with as little fuss as possible. This will mean they are more relaxed and thus more likely to forget the fact they didn't want to go swimming in the first place. Ultimately, this can help them to grow more accustomed to swimming, building up their skills and their confidence as well as their enjoyment.

Make them feel secure

To get your little ones to the stage where they are happy to get in the water, you need to make them feel safe. Their nervousness can be increased exponentially if they don't feel safe in the water, so you need to ensure that they know they are totally secure.

There are several ways you can do this, such as showing them where the pool gets too deep for them, where the lifeguards are, and how they get in and out of the water.

You can also help them to feel better about actually being in the water by providing them with a buoyancy aid. Whether you explain to them exactly how the aid works or introduce them to it by saying it's magic, something like the Original Konfidence Jacket can really help them to feel more safe.

The jacket helps to support their natural buoyancy without limiting their movements, allowing them to swim as normal with extra security. As their confidence grows, you can start to remove the individual floats to help your child rely on their own skills more.

Reward them

One of the worst things you can do is force your child to get into the water. This will upset them and make them more negative about water in the future. Instead, you should be encouraging and praise each small step they take.

Encourage them to get into the water and reward them for every small move forward they make. Even if they just want to sit on the edge of the pool and splash their feet, this is a good step and praising this will help them feel happier.

Eventually sitting on the edge of the pool will become getting in, which will then lead to them swimming. Each of these stages is important when it comes to getting them to overcome their fears and develop their swimming ability.

Make it fun

One of the easiest ways to get children to forget how nervous they are is to get them having fun. Bringing toys – like our Flashing & Floating Blinkies – and playing games will get them involved and teach them to swim at the same time.

If you bring toys that they usually interact with at home and in the bath, this can be really beneficial as they will relate them to feeling safe and happy. This means that they are bringing a bit of home with them to the pool, which will help to reduce their nerves.

Simple games like racing, tag and ball throwing can do wonders for getting a reluctant child involved and enjoying the water. They don't have to swim if they don't want to, and they won't need to go out of their depth; they can just get used to their movements in the water.

If your little ones do get involved in the water and have fun, don't draw attention to the fact that they were nervous in the first place, as this could mean that you have to go through all the same stages the next time around. Instead, reward them for doing well and discuss what they can do next time they go swimming. This will keep them looking forward to their next session.

Go regularly

One of the best ways to help your children overcome their reservations when it comes to the water is to go swimming regularly. Leaving long gaps between trips to the pool could set them back in their development and mean that you have to repeat steps to get them back to where they were.

Going once a week on a set day can set swimming up as part of your usual routine, which can make them more comfortable with it. They know to expect swimming and can therefore look forward to it, rather than you springing a trip to the pool on them and making them nervous.

Regular swimming will also help with the development of their water skills and is a great form of exercise for the winter, when time outside can be limited.