Did you ever hear the horror stories of a parent or sibling tossing someone into the water and they learned to “sink or swim.” Chances are, if that happened to you, you’d be less inclined to ever go into a swimming pool or any body of water, right? If you’re getting a new pool constructed by the pool contractors from Advanced Pool Care in Memphis, Tennessee or if you’re going to buy a home with a pool you will want to make certain everyone can swim. Is it easy to teach a child to swim? It could be — depending on the child. You do just need to have patience and let the child develop a love and a healthy respect for the water.

If possible, get your children accustomed to the pool while it’s being built. Take swim lessons. Visit friends who have swimming pools and ask if you can get your kids used to the pool. No matter what you do or how you do it, take it slow. Be patient. Don’t force your child into the water. Don’t plan on swimming lessons when your child is tired or ready for a nap. Don’t make it seem like a “lesson” make it always be fun. Keep any lessons short and stop before your child gets bored.

Although every child is different, don’t imagine he or she will have an immediate love of the pool. They are small and the pool is large. That’s a lot of water and they cannot touch the ground. Keep potential fears in mind and work to ease them. The best and easiest thing to do is to put your child’s lifevest on, hug him close and just walk around in the water. Let him kick his feet and splash.

If he seems comfortable, then turn him around and hold him under his arms — and let him kick. Take a new beach ball or another floaty toy into the pool for fun. Let your child choose his own swimsuit and life vest (if they’re old enough). Again, patience and fun are key.

When you think your child is getting comfortable, ask him if he wants to hang onto the side of the pool and kick his feet. Work your way up to show him how to put his face in the water and blow bubbles. Make it a game.

Is it easy to teach a child to swim?

Once your child loves to hold onto the pool and is comfortable putting his face in the water and blowing bubbles you can work your way up to him jumping to you from the side of the pool. Make certain you catch him and don’t let him go underwater. Work your way up until you are further and further away and he goes right into the water on his own — make sure you tell him it’s going to happen. Again, a fearful child may never learn to love water.

We hate to say it but it could take months before your child is comfortable and having fun in the water. Scaring him could lead eo months and years of damage that may never be undone. Don’t rush. There truly is no reason to rush, right? You’re going to have your swimming pool for years to come — there is time to get everyone into the pool and having fun together.