While swimming is a terrific activity for kids to learn and enjoy, it’s typical for children to experience anxiety and fears when it comes to swimming lessons in Singapore. It’s important for parents to recognise that these fears are normal and that they can easily be overcome with the right approach. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of the most common fears kids may have when taking swimming lessons, along with tips on how to support their swim lessons and help them overcome their fears!
1. Fear of water
The fear of water is one of the most typical fears that children may experience when learning to swim. Several factors, including a prior unpleasant experience or a general feeling of discomfort near water, can contribute to this anxiety. To help them get over their fear, start by easing your child into the water. Afterwards, initiate fun activities like pouring water and splashing to help them become more comfortable in the water. Keep the activities engaging and entertaining to build their confidence and praise them for their efforts.
2. Fear of deep water
Those who do well in shallow water might react differently when it’s deeper. As such, starting in shallow water and progressively increasing the depth as your child feels more confident will help them conquer their fear. To give them a sense of security in the water, have them practise kicking and floating while holding onto the flotation device or the pool’s edge to help them gain confidence.
3. Fear of submersion
Submersion, or putting their face in the water, is a common fear that some children may possess. Have your child do simple exercises like blowing bubbles or retrieving toys to overcome this fear. Alternatively, try having them hold their breath while submerging their face in the water.
As your child feels more comfortable, progressively increase the depth and duration of the submersion. Again, keep the exercises engaging and fun and consistently praise their efforts to keep them motivated.
4. Fear of failure
Perfectionism is a double-edged sword that affects both children and adults alike. To help your child get over the fear of failure, it is critical that you set attainable goals and give them constant encouragement and validation that they are on the right track. Motivate them to focus on their progress instead of their mistakes and offer positive reinforcement for their efforts. As parents, it’s crucial that you remind them that it takes time and practice to learn to swim and that it’s alright to make mistakes along the way. After all, you can’t taste the sweetness of success without the bitterness of failure!
5. Fear of separation
It’s normal for kids to be emotionally independent of their parents, given they’re just in the beginning stages of their journey of life. As such, your child may be apprehensive about new activities, like swimming lessons, and may need your emotional support and guidance to feel less alone.
To help your child with their fear of separation, you can progressively build up their independence in the water by having them practise swimming with you holding onto them. As they become more comfortable, gradually let go of your hold and challenge them to swim a short distance on their own. Providing encouraging feedback as you do so can help them develop their confidence further.
If there’s anything you can take away from the tips above, it’s the importance of understanding that fears and anxieties are completely normal when it comes to learning to swim. Fortunately, these fears and anxieties don’t have to stay. Remember to keep the exercises engaging and fun, and don’t be afraid to seek the help of a swim instructor if necessary. With persistence and patience, your child will be swimming like a pro in no time!
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