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Suddenly Nervous? Helping Children with New Swimming Nerves Get Back in the Pool

Suddenly Nervous? Helping Children with New Swimming Nerves Get Back in the Pool
5 February 2015 1274 Views No comments

If you haven't been swimming with your kids for a while, you may find that they are slightly reluctant to get back into the water. Even if they were perfectly happy the last time you headed to the pool, children can be incredibly fickle, so their feelings about the water may have changed.

Whether they've seen something on the TV, heard a story or simply decided that they don't like swimming anymore, it can be difficult to deal with if you've known them to be little water babies in the past.

However, you can get them back into the water and feeling happy about splashing about again with a few simple steps.

Talk to them

If your child seems to have changed their mind about water without reason, it is important that you try and get to the bottom of it. Ask them why they don't want to go swimming, but don't pressure them too much for an answer.

While you shouldn't let them get away with answers along the lines of "I just don't want to," badgering them to give you a more definitive reason can cause more upset and make them more determined.

Once you have a reason, you can assuage their concerns and ensure they know that there is nothing to worry about.

Be patient

This is always a hugely important factor when getting little ones into the water. Losing your temper can lead to them digging their heels in even more, causing your frustration to grow.

For the best results, you need to let your child move forward in their experience at a pace that suits them. This means encouraging them to take the next step, but not forcing them.

Getting angry will just cause upset and can actually set your child back in their swimming ability, as well as make the water seem more negative.

Praise and reassurance

Children respond best to positive reinforcement, so praise them for getting into the water and every swimming achievement. Even if something seems small, you telling them how well they are doing can help them to overcome their nervousness and feel happier in the water again.

If they are still nervous when in the water and swimming, ensure you tell them that everything is fine so that they know they can relax. You should do this in soothing tones, remembering to stay calm yourself so they can react to this.

Ultimately, this will help them to enjoy themselves and forget they were worried in the first place, helping to reinforce the love they had for swimming before.

Stick close

If your little ones are nervous in the water, the last thing they need is for you to disappear when everyone is in the pool. This can cause them to panic, which can serve to reinforce their concerns.

Instead, you should stick close so they can see you while they're swimming and reach out to you if they feel the need. Once they have settled down a bit, you can aim for a greater level of physical distance; however, you should ensure they know what area of the pool you are in so that they can locate you easily.

If they want to stay by your side, allow them to. While you can encourage them to move away from you a bit, you shouldn't force them to as this can cause upset and an increase in nerves.


You can also help to improve confidence and make your little ones feel happier in the water by providing them with a buoyancy aid. Something like the Original Konfidence Jacket can help to make them feel safer in the water by supporting their natural buoyancy.

This will allow them to develop their swimming ability without being obstructed, which will help them lose their nerves. You are also able to remove the jacket's floats one by one, so as to suit their changing needs without having to take away their security completely.