When the Water is Spooky
Get out the candy and costumes; Halloween is almost upon us. Princesses, superheroes, ghosts and goblins may waltz, fly, float (and do whatever goblins do) down sidewalks, tap on doors and enjoy some spooktacular trick-or-treating fun. But in the pool, spooky feelings have no place.
Apprehension around the water is a common feeling for many tots and can be a point of pause for many parents, especially those investing valuable time and money into swim lessons. If the water gives your little one a fright, here are six tips to make the water less spooky for your child:
- Determine why your child is apprehensive.
While some children are too small to adequately describe their feelings, you may have a pretty good idea already. Is swimming new? Sometimes it’s the sights, sounds, feelings and smells associated with a new environment. Sometimes it’s unfamiliar instructors and new friends that they don’t know well (yet). Age and separation anxiety also go hand-in-hand when a child feels uneasy. Time and patience are big factors that play into resolving these issues.
- Join in.
If your child is still too small to swim independently, Parent & Tot classes are available for you to bond with baby as early as four months old. Because water is an adaptive environment, the earlier you and your little one begin consistent swim lessons, the more quickly they will learn to enjoy the water.
- Remain positive.
Every child loves a cheerleader, especially when the one cheering is Mom or Dad. Nothing brings a smile like a happy, confident parent or caregiver encouraging them to continue and praising them for every accomplishment no matter how small (blowing bubbles) or large (perfecting a challenging stroke). As the adult, your ability to remain calm will help your child settle down faster, and your commitment to positivity will help them soar through their newfound swimming skills.
- Practice at home.
Let them play in the water (always while supervised). Between lessons, spend time at splash parks, in baby pools, public pools, the bathtub and shower. Bring toys, let them have fun and practice swimming skills (i.e. holding breath, water submersions, etc.). These are all great places to familiarize them with the water.
- Be consistent with lessons.
We understand that when your child is uncertain around the water, regular swim lessons can be a challenge. However, consistency is key with any life skill, such as reading, writing and swimming! Skipping or discontinuing swim lessons inhibits swimming progression and will extend the time it takes them to learn to swim safely. With 29+ years of swim instruction experience, we know that consistency through Level 6 of the Aqua-Tots Swim Journey is absolutely vital to your child’s lifelong safety in and around the water!
- Trust the professionals.
Our AT-WSI certified instructors are hand-selected and intentionally trained to help children learn to love the pool. They are here to build trust with your child in the water through proven methods, small class sizes and LOTS of FUN! If your child is apprehensive at the beginning, it may be recommended that you sit out of sight until the instructor has a chance to help them discover the fun they will have. For a parent, we understand that may prove to be a challenge, but it is often the best thing for your child. And we all want what’s best for them: A lifetime of safety in the water and all the fun that goes with it!
At Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, we know that raising little ones takes a village, and we’re here to help ensure your child’s safety in the water. We are passionate about teaching little ones to swim, so you can sit back and relax, knowing that this is one plate that you don’t have to spin.