It’s generally agreed that swimming is a really fun activity. Tons of children everywhere love swimming and splashing in the pool. With all of the fun and games that you see other children enjoying when you head to the pool, you might find yourself wondering why your child seems so apprehensive, even afraid of the water. There are a few reasons why that might be the case.
You’re Nervous, So They’re Nervous
If your child’s behavior features a monkey-see, monkey-do element, you’re not alone. Children don’t just copy the things their parents and older siblings do though. They often look to trusted adults to figure out how they should feel and react to things, especially when they’re young. Because of this, if you’re nervous about taking them to the pool or them being in the water, they’ll pick up on that and may end up being nervous themselves.
It’s a New Experience
Some children appear to be fearless and jump into new situations with both feet without thinking about it twice. Other children find new experiences to be scary and may need a little extra patience and support as they adjust. Keep in mind that children (and adults too, if we’re being honest) find comfort in routine and consistency. For this reason, familiar objects and people can make it easier to brave new experiences.
A Previous Negative Experience with Water
A child who has previously had a negative experience with water probably isn’t going to feel too keen on getting in a big pool. Maybe they slipped and fell in the bathtub and got hurt as a result. Maybe they slipped into the toilet when they were potty training. It doesn’t even have to be anything big. If your child has associated the negative experience with water, it’s only natural for them to feel a bit apprehensive about swimming.
As it turns out, there may be more to your child being afraid of the water than simply being afraid for no reason. The specifics may differ from child to child. Understanding the reason behind the fear can help you figure out the best way to help them overcome it. Before you know it, they’ll be eagerly joining in with the other children and everything will be going swimmingly.
So how do you help your child overcome a fear of the water? Read this next: Help Your Child Overcome a Fear of Drowning with Lessons.