A lot of parents get their kids in the pool before they can even walk.
This is so much harder once bub #2 comes along.
Like so many things with little humans, consistency is key, and when sleep deprivation and toddlers get added to the mix things don’t always go the way you plan.
When my oldest was around 3 I started getting worried that she couldn’t swim.
It wasn’t that I hadn’t worried about it before then, I mean come on, I’m a mum….we worry about everything.
She had 2 younger brothers and I couldn’t face the pool juggling three little humans who couldn’t swim. That sounded like my worst anxiety inducing nightmere.
By the time she was getting some serious time in the pool she was scared. She knew she wasn’t 100% in for this and I was clueless on how to make it easier on her.
Judson Kauffman spent 8 years in the Navy SEALs before swim training potential SEAL recruits, and Earl Walton is a triathlete competitor and coach with 20 years of experience getting people to take the plunge.
Let’s just say these guys know a bit about water.
Here’s 3 things they suggest that’ll help make pool time something to look forward to for your little ones:
Play Dunk Dad
“Psychologically, a child has to want to be in the water. Forcing them won’t help; if something looks fun to a kid, he’ll want to do it, too,” says Kauffman.
He’s really saying that it’s up to parents to show them whey should want to overcome that fear.
Get their attention by playing games and laughing at dad getting tipped off an inflatable toy so they get to see all the fun they’re missing.
It won’t happen straight away but eventually they’ll be too busy playing “dunk dad” to remember how scary the pool seemed yesterday.
Walton’s a big fan of the “Toypedo”. It’s kind of an underwater football that encourages them to follow it and get brave at going underwater.
Now, there’s no need to rush out and buy a Toypedo, even putting something they would have fun with like their fav toys on the step might be enough to get them curious.
My kids LOVE goggles. I never thought of it when they were first starting out, but it seemed obvious once I read this.
Walton suggests trying to get them on them as soon as you can, usually around age 2, because it helps them get more comfortable in the water. The water isn’t irritating their eyes and they don’t feel as disorientated under water.
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Take care of you and yours,