Swimming is — or should be — fun for the entire family. If you have children, though they may not make the transition from bathtub to backyard swimming pool. If you have invested in a family swimming pool and you have children who aren’t quite so sure about the size of it and don’t want to be in the pool as often as the rest of the family, it can put a damper on the family fun and togetherness you dreamed of. The swimming pool contractors from Express Pool Care offer tips on how to make swimmign fun for your children.

Gone are the days when our grandparents used to toss us into the swimming hole and we “learned” to swim on our own! Those days are hopefully long gone and today’s parents know that it takes paitence and loving coaxing to make the pool a fun place for the entire family.

How to make swimming fun for your children

The first part of making the pool fun for the entire family is to introduce your child to the pool in a fun manner. If she loves the bathtub, chances are she might enjoy the pool — once she gets over the fear that it is so much larger than the bathtub; the bathtub is in a small room and your child can touch the bottom and all the sides. When you take away the safety net of being able to touch the bottom and the sides, your child might become anxious.

The biggest rule of thumb is to NEVER force your child into the pool. Coax them gently and work at their pace. If your child is terrified, don’t fret, it’s normal and it can be conquered, but it will depend on your patience, willpower and time.

Fun ways to get your child used to the pool:

  1. Get goggles. Being able to see underwater may alleviate some of their fear.
  2. Teach them to blow bubbles. Show them how to do it and make it a fun game.
  3. Take one of their favorite toys into the pool.
  4. Bring your child to the pool when he is in a good mood and is well rested.

Be patient 

Just because you loved swimming doesn’t mean your child will like it. Make the pool time fun. Let her go at her own pace. Slow and steady will win this race, for sure.

Slow down

If you take your child into the pool and the first thing that happens is that he starts crying and is unhappy, don’t immediately jump out of the water. Instead, comfort your child and ask what’s wrong. Try to understand what they’re afraid of so you can work with them to address it and make pool time fun.

Consider swim lessons

You may be surprised to find that your child will take better to the water if he is being taught to swim by strangers in a swim lesson. Many times children will pay better attention and be on better behavior if a “stranger” is trying to teach them something. Look for group swimming lessons or hire an instructor to come to your home and provide swim lessons – the entire family may benefit from this type of in-pool acclimation.

If at first you don’t succeed… 

If your child simply isn’t interested, buy an inflatable pool, set it up poolside and let your child play there while the rest of the family frolics in the pool. Make sure your child wears a safety vest even in the inflatable because this will get him accustomed to wearing it and it will become second nature.

The pool will be with your family for decades and if your child doesn’t enjoy it this year, you can always try again next year.