From Fear to Joy – Working with the Frightened Child in Swim Lessons

Boy shoes in poolMany children will experience fear and/or demonstrate resistance at some point during their learn to swim journey.

In particular those that have started lessons as a preschooler rather than an infant or taken a break may experience more fear, as might those transitioning out of the parent and child program or that have had a prior traumatic water experience.

Otherwise confident children might also experience a period of fear and lost confidence if there is a change of circumstances in their home life such as moving home, the arrival of a new baby, divorce or illness of a parent.

So how can we best support a fearful child in ways that are respectful and move the child from fear to joy?

Parent pressure can sometimes had an additional layer of stress as you work with a fearful child, especially if the parent becomes impatient and wants the teacher to just “make them do it”.  How can we best manage parental expectations in order to optimise learning outcomes for the child?

You will gain:

  • An overview of the neurobiology of fear and the physiological and behavioural signs of fear as informed by the research of Stephen Porges, PhD and other neuroscientists
  • Practical strategies for helping a fearful beginner get in the water or overcome other overwhelming situations
  • Practical strategies for managing transition out of the parent and child class
  • Practical strategies for managing parental pressure and expectations


Duration of the session (online or onsite)

 The duration of this session can be flexible to suit your needs, from a minimum time of a 60 min presentation including question/discussion time to a half-day interactive workshop comprising 2 x 90 min sessions.