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How do I get my son over his fear of water?

My son is almost 3 and has an extreme issue with water. He has had this issue since he was very little. He has never had an incident happen that would justify his fear...that I know of...so I am not sure what to do to make it better. He doesn't want to have his hair washed, even though we make sure the water doesn't go in his face, and he doesn't like to swim or do anything summer related with water. It is frustrating because I want to help him, but don't want to make it worse by pushing anything either.

 
TitusMom7

Asked by TitusMom7 at 11:27 PM on Dec. 23, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (9)
  • I would expose him MORE often and not play into his fear.... you might start with daily baths... I wouldn't cover his face, get him use to water pouring over him... maybe start with showers and take one together so you can hold him and he can see he is safe. Work on having him put his face int he water in the tub... splash and squirt and play fun games to make him more comfortable. He might hate it at first but he'll learn that he's okay and there is nothing to be afraid of.
    I would also bring him to the pool a few times/week to have him get used to it. I would NOT use any floaty things like water wings or a life jacket... it gives a false sense of security and it doesn't make them any more comfortable. Work on bobs, jumping to you, putting his face in, blowing bubbles and floating.
    The more he does it the less scary it will be and he'll probably really enjoy himself.
    AmiJanell

    Answer by AmiJanell at 10:00 AM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • If somebody other than you bathes baby and got water in his face that can make him afraid of it. I was letting somebody watch my daughter overnight, and she would just dump the water over her head. So after she came home she was afraid of the tub. So for a long time I had to be very careful not to get any water in her face at all. Now she's not so afraid. It might sound weird but she likes it and calms down when I make weird noises when I'm washing her hair. Like "wee uuuu weee uuuu. weee uuuu" she thinks it's funny and it helps take her mind off of getting her hair washed.
    badgirl44654

    Answer by badgirl44654 at 11:36 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • He may just need time, some kids are terrified of the water. wait till he's a bit older for swim lessons, etc.
    jeanclaudia

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 11:34 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • i guess i would go in water with him so he can see its ok , and we both wear life jackets , and move around , and kick around etc...
    letstalk747

    Answer by letstalk747 at 11:36 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • He has gone swimming with us and eventually calms down, but every time we go to do it again, he freaks out again. (And I mean every bath time too...it is baffling)
    TitusMom7

    Comment by TitusMom7 (original poster) at 11:38 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • Are you afraid of water? My Dad was scared of water, which made me scare of water. And I'm still scared of it!
    isabellem

    Answer by isabellem at 11:38 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • I am not and neither is my SO...

    We don't do excessive amounts of activities in water, so I guess it could be lack of exposure, but he does it with the bath too, which is a regular occurrence, obviously.

    I know that his grandma is a bit of a hypochondriac, so he may have picked up on that, I guess...
    TitusMom7

    Comment by TitusMom7 (original poster) at 11:40 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • some in your family said some thing
    with my niece they said if she stayed in bath tub to long she would go down the drain
    it took me while as we watch water go down the drain wow i did not go down and said dad lied
    i once left my kids with baby sitter and found out what she had done to my kids cas had her charge and she never watch my kids again but she done to my youngest scared him ,but you need to talk to him no matter what you will be there for him ,
    if put life jacket on him when he swims he will feel safe
    dutchcanadain

    Answer by dutchcanadain at 11:52 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • my sister in law had the same problem with her little girl. she thought nothing happened to her in the past,but it actually did. her mom used to give her a bath and once she turned on the water and it was so loud and she washed her hair and scared poor girl to death.since then it takes two of them to give her a bath. just try to be very gentle with him in the water,entertain with books,toys,where it says about being in the water it's ok,mommy is here and nothing is going to happen to you. just give it time,it should go away eventually. if it get's worse,go to the specialist in that area,he will know what to do.
    crouse3

    Answer by crouse3 at 12:51 AM on Dec. 24, 2010

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