Meet the Children

Overcoming the Fear of Swimming Pools Part I

March 4, 2013

This is probably a super overdue post, considering how I have been mentioning time and again about Blake overcoming his fear of swimming pools, and how he has enjoyed swimming and water play ever since.

Blake’s first experience in the swimming pool was probably what got him to fear it in the first place. It was probably too cold for him, and he was too young to know any better. On top of that, we even had him go underwater a couple of times. Haha. Oh, things parents do to teach their children some lifelong skills.

So after dipping Blake underwater over two separate occasions, we decided to give the neck float a try (read about it here), thinking the neck float will give him some sense of security. Boy, were we wrong! After this episode, we decided to stop bringing Blake to the swimming pool.

The sudden thought of aiding Blake to overcome his fear of swimming pools came after we brought him on his first trip to the zoo.

Seeing how he saw other children enjoying themselves at the water playground, but he was too afraid to join in, made me feel that it’s about time to do something about his phobia.

Running towards his safe haven, after spotting Sean sitting some distance away from the water playground.

It had been nearly 10 months since we last went near any swimming pools. It’s about time, right? Besides, swimming is a relatively good sport to pick up, and almost all shopping centres have a water playground now. On top of everything else, I pretty much enjoy going to the swimming club to relax! Hehe. Yes, one selfish reason on my part.

So the first thing I thought of was to buy a nice float for Blake to sit on. We have to start from square one, with just his legs touching the water, and every other part of him above.

I brought Blake along to find the perfect float – one that was cute enough to attract him to, made of good material, and hopefully, can hold up to weights of 18-20kg. Reason for the last criteria? I had NO IDEA how long it will take me to get Blake to overcome his fear of swimming pools, so I’d rather buy a good sitting float which he can use for a long time, than to buy one after another as he grows.

Luck was on our side, and we managed to find it at our first search stop!

On March 1, 2012, I brought Blake to the swimming pool on my own for a trial. He was naturally frightened, and it took me a while to settle him down. But after sitting him in the float, and giving him a piece of fallen flower to hold onto, he became a little more comfortable. I walked him around the pool a few times before attempting to take photos of this memorable moment.

A really nice maid and the little girl she was with came over to play with Blake while I went to get my camera. It was very sweet of them to help me out. I had told them Blake was afraid of the water, and the maid started to drip water onto the float, which made Blake laugh! Hehe.

She was also very kind to help us take a few photos! She said some shots weren’t very nice because Blake wasn’t looking, so she just kept taking until she got a shot of Blake looking into the camera. Super sweet, right? Hehe.

After spending about half an hour walking around the swimming pool with Blake on the float, I attempted to sit him in the shallowest part of the swimming pool, but he was still terrified. So back into the float he went, and we walked around for another 30 minutes before heading to wash up.

Job well done!

I could tell that Blake was mighty pleased with himself that day too. Over dinner, he had a good appetite and was in an extremely good mood!

Daddy and Mommy’s brave boy

After this first attempt of getting rid of his phobia, I decided to bring Blake to the swimming pool at least once a week. I also went on to take him to a couple more places with water play to help speed the process up – will continue this journey I had with Blake in overcoming his fear of swimming pools in the next blog post.

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