A holiday is the perfect time to help kids gain confidence in the water

Every parent longs for the day to return when they will be able to sit by a pool and read a book on holiday. You gave up packing the latest Waterstones chart and instead filled that space in your case with armbands, rubber rings, and buoyancy jackets. I remember the first holiday we took with our 7 month-old daughter; while I came back marginally more rested, my husband declared that he felt more like he was on holiday when he was at work!

That heart-in-your-mouth moment when your toddler heads towards the swimming pool, or the soul-destroying refusal to let go of you can feel never-ending; but as Helen’s video shows, gaining confidence in the water doesn’t have to be hard work, and often a family holiday is the perfect time to leap over a particular swimming hurdle. Helen has this to say about the year her 5 year old finally let go of her in the swimming pool:

He was terrified of the water. He would cry before every swimming lesson, and I dreaded taking him on holiday because I knew he would never go in the pool without clinging on to me the whole time. But astonishingly, it only took one day for him to decide he was going in that pool and he was never getting out! The trick was to load him up to the max with buoyancy aids, and make getting in the pool forbidden fun. Gradually he was happy to take off the armbands and jacket, and finally got the confidence to start swimming. And the laughter we shared was so much more fun than the latest bestseller:

Do you have any tricks or tips for helping children to gain confidence in the water?