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How old was your child when he/she started swimming?

So my son is 3 years old and hates the water. He used to love it when he was a baby. Now he screams when I pour the water over his head in the bath and he refuses to get in any water that isn't shallow enough for him to stand in. I started taking him to swim lessons but he was terrified and just screamed and clung to me the whole time. It kinda seems like it started after he had a really bad ear infection that ended up popping his eardrum. Do you think this could have something to do with it? Should I keep pushing him to learn to swim for his own safety or should I let him decide when he's ready??


Asked by Jessica_1717 at 12:52 PM on Jun. 28, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (9)
  • my husband works at a hotel so we have access to a pool all the time... my daughter was TERRIFIED to the point of screaming and crying whenever i'd try to get her to go. i'd slowly talk her into putting her feet in... sitting down... holding onto the side... etc...

    just try to go slow and make it fun!

    Also i let her pick out her lifejacket (cars of course) and that made her wanan go and try it out... works great and now she swims around the pool like a fish!

    Answer by Ambreelulu at 11:54 PM on Jun. 28, 2008

  • Dilute the apple juice 1/2 water. I think she is wanting the apple juice because it's available. I recommend you change brands as the doctor suggested since I don't know exactly the reason for it. Who wouldn't want juice over most everything else? It's sweet!

    Answer by manna1qd at 1:00 PM on Jun. 28, 2008

  • The ear infection could have caused some of his fear. You could also keep taking him to a pool with other kids and just get in the shallow water and HOLD him and move around in the water. If he see's other kids in the water having fun he should eventually get over his fear of it. But it may take several weeks. And it will be hard to hold a clingy scared child in the water. Also when holding him, dont let the water go over his waist. Some kids are just afraid. He will grow out of it, but it may take time if you dont keep bringing him in the water. just my opinion.

    Answer by vbruno at 1:54 PM on Jun. 28, 2008

  • mine did that as well scream and then i just had to do to clean his hair but he got over in a second it was just the fact that he got older and his personailty changed put earplugs in when he goes in to the waer

    Answer by Patience1 at 2:45 PM on Jun. 28, 2008

  • my son is 2 and i recently took him to the pool for the first time and he cried so bad i felt bad, but then the 2nd time i took my sister and her boyfriend with us and he seen that they were having fun so he decided he wanted to get it, and he got in and he loved it, try taking someone with you that he gets along with to show that its fun.

    Answer by Mommy2aPRINC210 at 2:54 PM on Jun. 28, 2008

  • 5 months old. Both of them. I stood in the pool and dunk them, quickly, and they got used to the water fast. My father had a fit. My son ended getting the nickname FISH!!

    Answer by strozilove at 10:28 PM on Jun. 28, 2008

  • I truthfully think my son is part fish! lol He has always loved the water. The first time he went into a pool was at 6 months old. He learned how to swim, doggie paddle with a Speedo life vest, last summer at 2. Now, this summer he is actually learning to swim without the vest and doing quite well.

    All I can say, is go at your son's pace. You wouldn't want to force him and then cause him to have a fear of water for the rest of his life. This happened to my mom ang at the age of 65 she cannot swim nor will she go in any water that is deeper than waist high.

    Patience is the key.

    Answer by unitsmom at 11:34 PM on Jun. 28, 2008

  • oh and it was all in a matter of a few weeks

    Answer by Ambreelulu at 11:55 PM on Jun. 28, 2008

  • maybe it hurts his ears...check online dr reports google ear infections

    Answer by GoldenWhite at 6:03 AM on Jun. 29, 2008