The most simple thing to do is to make sure they never develop a fear. And the way you do that is to start early. Like I said, baths and showers at home.
Children spend 9 months in the amniotic fluid at home. So when they’re born, they’re automatically comfortable in warm water. That’s why water birth works so well. People want to be in water. It’s comfortable for the babies. There are lots of videos online that you can see of newborns being put under running warm water. And they’re as calm as they were in the womb.
So that is probably the easiest way to help them. I would say prevention would be my number one suggestion. Now if you’ve waited until the kid is 2-3 to start lessons or to start showers, the best thing you can do is make it a family activity. Let your kid see you swimming.
If you don’t know how to swim, first of all you should learn how to swim. We do a huge adult program at Swimming in LA. And literally the overwhelming majority of my adult students had parents that were either afraid in water or didn’t know how to swim. And many parents that don’t know how to swim think they’re keeping their kids safer by keeping them away from water because they wouldn’t know what to do if their child got into trouble. They wouldn’t be able to save them themselves.
So the first thing to do is make sure you know how to swim yourself. Next, make it a family activity. Kids do as parents do, not as much what they say. So if they see you having fun, swimming in the water, your child is going to want to swim. It’s going to be something that is inherent to them in the family.