I remember the moments at home when my parents burst through our bedroom doors and said the magic words, “Get up kids, we’re going to the pool!” In a fraction of a second, a sleep deprived little boy transformed into a rocket full of unexplainable joy and excitement!
Walking through the pool gates, it was as if we were entering a new world. It was a bright summer’s day complimented by crisp, clear waters that were practically begging me to jump in. There was just one problem – the deep end was scary and this pool had a lot of it. All of my readiness I had before melted away and fear began to creep its way in…
If your child is anything like I was, then they may have their hesitations about the deep end, but don’t worry! With a little practice and perseverance, they can find themselves diving head first into deep waters in no time! Let’s go over 5 STEPS TO BECOMING COMFORTABLE IN THE DEEP END:
- MONKEY SEE MONKEY DO
- As a parent and/or experienced swimmer, your child is going to trust you to lead the way. Demonstrate each step to them and have them mimic what you do. Prove to them that it’s all possible!
- START SMALL, THINK BIG
- Whether from the pool steps or the edge of the shallow end, allow your child the opportunity to warm up to the water. Let them splash around, blow some bubbles and even invite them to hold their breath underwater. Doing these things will show them that the water is safe and fun to play in! Confidence is key!
- NO MORE FLOATIES!!!
- Once your child gets used to being in the water, take them to the side of the pool and leave behind their floaties. The goal is to reinforce their confidence in their own swimming technique so that they are prepared when a situation calls for it. Have your child hold onto the edge of the pool to navigate around and graduate to learning to float independently. This will continue to build their confidence!
- KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!
- While your child is holding onto the side of the pool, have them repeatedly kick their legs underneath the water. Challenge them to let go of the side of the pool in short bursts, working on treading water. This way they can keep their head above water even if it’s too deep to stand. As they become more comfortable, they can begin to practice kicking toward the wall as a destination. The wall is safety but learning to navigate from deeper waters to safety will keep their confidence rising!
- NEVER GIVE UP!
- Frequency and consistency is the magic recipe! As your child gets used to the routine you can change it up a little bit by slowly moving closer to the deep end. Continue to encourage and remind them that it’s the same technique all throughout!
If you follow these simple steps, your child is sure to become a master of the deep! Keep rooting for them and invite them to have fun. As they grow in confidence, the fear will quickly fade and they will be able to continue to explore all that the deep end has to offer 🙂 !