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DS3 terrified of the swimming pool........

(10 Posts)
FAQ Fri 15-Aug-08 15:35:06

took the opportunity while on holiday with a friend last week to take all 3 DS's swimming, as none of them actually "swim" yet - and they're all under 8 obvoiusly going on my own is usually out of the question.

After initial shock of the cold "heated" pool DS1 and 2 had a ball, but DS3 (14 months) just howled, and after 2/3 attempts to gently get him into the water had to give up as he became hysterical.

I want him to get used to the water, but at the same time I don't want to scar him for life. Please tell me that this hysterical screaming is something he'll grow out of? Will it be easier in a few years time once DS1 and 2 are swimming (and older so I can take all 3 together). It wasn't the reaction I was expecting, DS1 went as a tiny baby - hadn't been since but was fine. DS2 hadn't been before, but had been in the (really) cold paddling pool in the garden and was ok with that.

Worryingly he (DS3) also seems to have developed an aversion to the bath since being on holiday too. It was a tiny (too small to sit in really) bath in the caravan under the shower - and he didn't like that, was definitley worse after the swimming experience, but even now we're home again he's getting into a right state when I put him in the bath. He LOVED his baths (couldn't get him out without tears) before we went away.

Habbibu Fri 15-Aug-08 15:40:56

Would it be worth just taking him and sitting on the edge of the pool together - him on your lap, you kicking the water? Talk about the splashes, what you can see, other children. Don't try to get him in the water. Next time, maybe see if you can dip his toes in, keep cuddling, lots of chat and pointing, etc etc. This may make him feel that the pool is an ok, then a nice and fun place to be, and the water bit can come next slowly. Friend of mine has just had this with her dd (21mo) - she went v slowly, and came with me, as dd is a bit of a water baby (swimming the only sport her mother can do, so it's as well!) - think she liked copying my dd too. Good luck. Can you put the other two into classes, and take DS3 at the same time so you have time with him?

crokky Fri 15-Aug-08 15:41:11

My DS did not like swimming at that sort of age. He would be scared and cry in the water. (Even though he had previously been happy going from 6m). Now he is 2.5 and he loves it, we seem to be going nearly every day. I would just leave it, it's likely he'll grow out of it.

Re the bath, perhaps he might like to have a bath sat on someone's knee? Perhaps bath him only if he gets dirty?

FAQ Fri 15-Aug-08 16:07:57

It's hard to try and take him - as I have the other 2 to sort out - it may be a little easier once DS2 starts school full time in October so may try again then.

Classes are fully booked up for terms in advance - and I can't afford it right now anyhow (thankfully DS1 just moving up to Junior school where they have swimming lessons - so he'l be getting some more exposure there).

I tried the just sitting on the side of the pool with him when we first got there - one tiny splash of water on his toes and he howled blush

MadameCastafiore Fri 15-Aug-08 16:17:58

FAQ I ended up sending DS to private swimming lessons - well not on his own but ones I had to pay for where they took him in the pool away from me - I never saw him in the water till the end of term 3 swim gala - bless him he loved it and was so proud after being just like your DS - I think it worked because they just don't really react to the child kicking up they just put them int he water and get them to do everything else the other kids do. He now has his Duckling 1 and 2 badges (I am super proud of him because he wasn;t just scared he was in pain fro his excema when he was little and that gave him the fear of the water!)

Now we are off on our hols 2moro and DS has packed his swimjacket as he is sooo excited about going in the pool!

MadameCastafiore Fri 15-Aug-08 16:19:10

SOrry just read your last post - how about sitting hi int he bath with you and a turkey baster (DS's fave water shooter!) and soe other fun stuff - I got DS a little shaving kit from Letterbox so he could shave like his dad and that went some way to diverting him.

FAQ Fri 15-Aug-08 16:43:32

thing is at 14 months I can't see just putting him in the water working - he was absolutely hysterical - so much so that even when I carried him in my arms to the edge of the pool to speak to DS1 and 2 he was in a right state hmm

MadameCastafiore Fri 15-Aug-08 16:53:12

They are different when they are not with you though FAQ - the ladies who do DSs lessons don't ignore the kids when theyare screaming but gently sooth them whilst still putting them in the water - DS still gets antsy before we go but he comes out laughing and telling me just how much fun he has had and what he has done.

I used to have to have DS peeled off of me by one of the ladies but she said it was normal - now he doesn;t walk through of his own accord theycarry him buthe is nowhere near as bad as he used to be.

FAQ Fri 15-Aug-08 17:15:39

but surely 14 months he's not really going to understand (yes I know they know more than we think - but when all he wants is for mummy to reassure him........)

I just can't see it working with DS3 - not any time soon anyhow - I can hear him in the creche at church when he wants me (and I'm stuck at the organ unable to go and reassure him) and NOTHING works - last few weeks someone has ended up taking him out for a walk in his pushchair in an effort sooth him.. And the people that are trying to sooth him in creche are people he knows (I can always tell if it's someone he doesn't know as well as he gets even more hysterical) hmm

slng Fri 15-Aug-08 18:10:07

FAQ - I went with DS1 three times before he would put his toes in the water. DS2 sat at the side and watch apprehensively for a long time. Last time we went he went on a slide! My DC don't like strangers at all either - once we went into a shop a nice lady said "how cute" and smile at DS2 and he screamed ...

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