Hi all, hope this is an ok section to post this. I've name changed since this is pretty outing and I'd rather not be advanced-searchable.
We've been taking our 2yr2m old to waterbabies for about 18 months. He started off hating it but we changed pools and instructors and after a while got to a point where he loved it. In the last few weeks he's become absolutely terrified of the toys, especially when they're floating on the water. He's fine with them when out of the water. He's also fine in the water without toys. He gets really upset by this and it's heartbreaking. It seemed to start at Xmas when he was frightened of the inflatable Santa. For a short while after even the bath was scaring him but that seems to have settled.
WB is expensive but when he's enjoying it, it seems worth it which is why we've persevered so long but it's getting to a point where I feel like we're torturing him!
Anyway my question I suppose is does anyone have any similar experiences of random and inexplicable toddler fears? Is it likely to just go away? Any thoughts on how to help? We've tried floating toys in the bath but he's fine then.
Could you take a term off the classes, take him swimming on your own and perhaps gradually introduce a toy so he can get used to them again? Generally I think talking to him about his fears and never dismissing them with a "that's not scary" should help him get over it in his own time.
This was my reply to another query, but some of it may be relevant. And I often see parents trying to MAKE children enjoy swimming; if they don't want to swim yet, don't try to make them do it.
QUOTE: My theory is that as babies mature, and become more aware to their environment, and start to realise they might have CHOICES in their life, they become less passive and less cooperative.
For a year or two, their little body has been picked up, put down, dressed. undressed, bathed, and stuck into bed, with virtually NO choice or control on their part. At 2 or 3, they realise maybe they can INFLUENCE some of these things!
So I think parents have to be as patient as possible, and accept some of these developing behaviours. Try to avoid 'battles', and use your superior skills and understanding, to smooth their path towards maturity. UNQUOTE.