Originally Posted by glenng910
All good comments - thank you all. For me, coercion is never a good option, and that includes the smallest among us. Fortunately, my daughter heeded the advice, and they are now planning on more water play and less worry about "lessons".
I actually think that a good tool for getting kids used to the water is a bathtub with an overhead shower nozzle. Here are some steps you can try:
1) Get them used to having part of their body underwater (you can make the water as shallow as necessary to get them in and increase it from there).
2) Turn on the overhead nozzle and get them used to the feeling of water running over their head and face.
3) Have them hold a straw in their mouth and use it to blow bubbles in the water.
4) Have them put their mouth under water and blow bubbles that way.
5) Work them up to holding their breath, putting their mouth and nose underwater, and then blowing bubbles as they surface.
6) Have repeat the previous step, but put their entire head underwater. If they don't like putting their eyes underwater, you can either have them close their eyes or wear goggles.
The advantages to using a bathtub are that (a) the child is likely to regard it as a safer environment, and (b) it's easier to make the water temperature comfortable for them.
Let us know how things go!