Can I Help My Kid Feel Comfortable In The Water?

Humans avoid what they fear as an instinct because that fear saves them from predators by giving them the adrenaline to run. The fear intensifies and lasts longer. A fear that prevents kids from being social and having fun is expected and challenging, but overcoming it is essential! Fear is not life-threatening, so avoidance doesn’t save our lives.

Fears like these often come with anxious thinking, so your child is probably wired anxiously. These tips are gentle, supportive, and nudging just enough.

Taking One Step At A Time

I’ll share how I would approach this with a child, but the truth is, a parent can do it, and it’s much more impactful.

Recognize his experience –   You must understand your child’s fear before addressing it. Explore his fear of water if you haven’t already. What is he terrified of?

Empathize – It can be challenging for adults, but it’s essential to do this before telling him why he shouldn’t be scared.

Motivate him to change – We often project our motivations onto our children, but theirs will be more powerful.

Engage him in action – A proven way to overcome a fear is one step at a time. Fear hierarchy refers to listing steps related to fear in order of how scary each is, from most minor to most terrifying.

Identify the grey area –   Anxiety often leads to black-and-white thinking. Swimming at a pool party or not attending would be the black and white choice in this case.

Parental Anxiety

It’s impossible to offer guidance about a child’s anxiety without addressing the parental concern. Fear may also make us focus too much on caution, causing our child to become fearful.


You can expect your child to swim carefree at pool parties for years. With your love and trust that he can do hard things, you can help him overcome his fear of water one step at a time.