This post was last updated on June 25th, 2017 at 08:25 pm
I recently learned that kids have irrational fears. I also learned that, to them, they are very rational. I put my son in swimming lessons about 8 months ago for the first time. He was 5 and looking back now I wish I had started sooner. We don’t swim a lot but my dad has a pool, so for safety reasons I think he should know how to swim. Not to mention he loves being in the water. His first session of lessons went well. Then I put him in a new session about 2 months ago. For some reason now he is terrified of putting his ears under the water. He thinks the water won’t come out and he won’t be able to hear. I have no idea where this is coming from, except that one time he got water in his ear in the bathtub. So, going through this experience I have learned a few things that may help others.
- Try ear plugs – This may work for some. It did not work for my son but it is what everyone recommended. I did see some other kids using them so they definitely work, he just didn’t want me to put them in.
- Try a swim cap – While these will not stop the water from going in the ears, it will delay it which will help.
- The big one that worked for my son is cotton balls – Yes, you read that correctly. I took a cotton ball and tore it into small pieces that would fit into his ears. What it does is absorbs the water as it flows into the ears, thus stopping the sensation of feeling the ear fill up. It was like a miracle!
- Keep at it – Don’t let your child quit swimming or even take a break. I am not saying force them in the water, but keep going until he or she gets comfortable. This can take some time and may be excruciating to have patience, but remember this is a REAL fear to them.
- Above all, don’t get mad or disappointed – Unfortunately, I found this hard in the beginning. Because here is my 6-year-old in a class with 3-year-old’s and he can’t do things they can do. That is unfair to compare him to others, and really my fault for not starting him sooner.
Ever since we started the cotton balls, though, he has done great. He even holds his nose and puts his whole face in the water. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I am sure this is the case with any fear a child may have. Keep in mind there were things you were probably afraid of as a kid, and as irrational as they may seem now, they were real at the time.
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosures.