The fear of young children to water or to bathe in pools and rivers is justified by the feeling of insecurity that the environment offers them. To help them, parents must provide understanding, serve as an example and use the game as a tool.
My son is afraid of water, what to do?
Submerged baths can generate fear in the little ones of the house. This is usually normal because this is a different and uncontrollable environment for any child. Given this, many parents ask themselves: ‘What should I do if my child is afraid of water?’
The fact of floating in the water and not touching the ground is usually an experience different from what children are used to. Also, if the child has had a slight shock of suffocation, he will be afraid to return to the pool or the beach.
In practice, there are mechanisms and exercises that we can put in place to make a child overcome his fears. We, the parents, can transform phobia into fun and enjoyment.
Experiencing the water progressively
It is a mistake to suddenly introduce the children to a submerged bath, in what is an unknown environment for them . In doing so, it is logical that his reaction is one of shock, anguish and fear. Remember that it is a new experience for them.
In this way, the correct thing is to introduce them to the water progressively. First we can start with a small bathtub filled with not very deep water; The idea is that the child at the beginning feels that he has control of the situation.
Next, we can try it with inflatable pools and a little larger containers . This will be similar to the evolution in the child’s walk: first crawl and then walk. Before they can swim, they should experiment more easily and where they perceive minor risks.
“You have to wait two hours after eating to get into the water,” a phrase we have heard more than once in our lives.
Go with him to help him
The parents and other family members represent the security image of every child. In this way, if we participate in an activity, they will try it more easily . Whether it is repetition, curiosity or social integration, sooner or later they will do so.
To serve as an example, the first we must enjoy water are the parents . An excellent idea is to organize games with the children while we bathe; Logically, a manageable depth will be used to make them feel confident.
The first exercises should be done in the comfort of home . After the child feels confident and in a controlled environment, we can go to a children’s pool and, later, to the beach. However, it is advisable that we are always with them.
Always offer security
In the face of fear, any human being needs guarantees . The same happens to children when bathing in pools, lagoons or on the beach. For example, we can introduce children to an area of the pool where there are handles. In these cases, they could be distracted by the grip and even make learning a game. The floats are also an excellent option.
We must remember that, at the beginning, it is necessary for the child to feel that he has where to step . Otherwise, the fear of the unknown will be activated again. Even being a few centimeters from the surface, the child could enter into crisis.
“It is a mistake to suddenly introduce the children to a submerged bath, in what is an unknown environment for them. In doing so, it is logical that his reaction is one of shock, anguish and fear ”
Tips for introducing a child to the submerged bath
Following these suggestions will be very useful in this process that you face with your child:
- Zero scares: we must avoid the startle of the little at all costs. This means preventing them from swallowing water or falling into shallow areas.
- Look for a good temperature: it is to remove any feelings that evoke displeasure, which could increase the alerts in the infant. If we go to a pool or beach, it should be in a warm hour of the day.
- Start with short periods: if the child is very tense, we should not torture him with a long bath . Let it be the child himself who decides when he wants to leave.
The fear of water can be overcome with patience and certain practical exercises.
It is not bad to have respect for water
n the other hand, it is important to understand that children’s fear of certain scenarios is not a negative thing. Quite the contrary, knowing that the little ones are activated by their natural hazard sensors is a good sign. Ideally, these alerts should be moderate and not paralyzed.
There are two types of fear: the evolutionary ones and those that come from traumas . In the first case, everything will depend on the adaptation. On the other hand, if the child has had some fright, the process will be a little longer and difficult to deal with.
Ultimately, let’s not forget that the game will be our best ally . Distraction will be the most efficient motivation our little ones will have; In addition, it will also be the most advisable tool to help them.