5yr old won't go near the pool

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-09-2004
5yr old won't go near the pool
Mon, 07-09-2007 - 11:34am

My 5 year old will not go near our backyard pool. Earlier in the summer, we tried swimming without "swimmies". I thought he did pretty good, but I guess the experience scared him, because now he won't have anything to do with the pool.

It's going to be a long summer for him if he won't go swimming. I have tried to coax him back in with swimmies and other floatation devices to no avail. Bribery doesn't seem to work either.

Any suggestions?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2003
Tue, 07-10-2007 - 12:40am

I am thinking it might possibly be the age.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Tue, 07-10-2007 - 3:03pm


Coming from a mom with two daughters that are very afraid of water, I wouldn't push it. I've pushed them, and it just caused more issues. I would go have fun and let him watch. Maybe after a while he'll want to get in and get over his fear.

Our 9-year-old had two pool accidents at the ages of 2 and 3, and it made her really phobic. We tried swimming lessons but she couldn't handle it. She's just now starting to come around somewhat. We've been taking her to the local pool and she wants to wear a life vest but she is now willing to go in the deep part and is getting better every time we go.

My 4-year-old has never had a pool accident, but she's still completely freaked out and we don't know why. We put her in swimming lessons and she lost it so we took her out. We started taking her to the pool with us, and that made things even worse so I've had to quit taking her because she really hates it. She told me just today that she "hates" the pool.

I would just follow his lead. If you push him it will probably only make things worse at this point. When he sees the rest of you swimming around and having fun, then he might decide he wants to join in.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 07-16-2007 - 3:22pm

Maybe he'll go in WITH you until her gets more comfy??? I don't think I'd make a big deal out of it. He'll get in when he is ready, mommy.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2003
Tue, 07-17-2007 - 7:18pm
I agree with not pushing. Offer it up and show him how much fun you are all having. The other poster had some great ideas on having other children there his age that swim. Nothing is better motivation than seeing other kids. If all else fails just let him play on the side in the yard and watch. Trish :)