Updated: Mar 24, 2021
Building confidence for children to accept (and hopefully enjoy) water on their face and eyes is one of the hardest competencies in learn to swim.
Children don't like water on their face due to the emotional responses it rises in them, and as every child is it's own little person, this will be very different for every child.
How to build confidence in having water on their face
We begin with gradual and frequent activity to have water down their face. Singing songs is a great way for children to feel comforted and at ease followed by water being exposed to their face. In the bath or shower is a great place to start.
Importance is placed greatly upon the same activity being repeated. Children will build confidence from the understanding of an activity and their understanding that they need not be scared.
The once children are accepting of water on the face we want to see them blowing bubbles, and then blowing bubbles while we count to 3, leading up to blowing bubbles with eyes down in the water.
This can take some time, as children will have their own boundaries they are seeking to enforce. Constant support, encouragement and recognition is the way to achieve this in the shortest possible timeframe. Pressuring children through this step can result in a loss of trust and delay progress.
Does having water on my child's face impact water safety if they can still move around the water in a vest?
Whilst vests are great at keeping children safe in the pool at home, if children are not comfortable with their face underwater the risk is higher in the case of an unexpected accident around the water.
Building capability in children to keep their eyes underwater can take time, and the skills and confidence will be developed through children repeating the same activities at their lessons each week.