Overcoming The Fear of Swimming

My daughter for many years had a deathly fear of getting her face wet. For me I could not understand this as I was always what I would call a guppy when I entered the water. Yet, for her she would hate to get her face wet in baths, or when we took her to the pool for swimming lessons or just to have fun as a family.

I would encourage her to try to put her face in the water to get her used to the water, but no go, she was having nothing of it. Instead she wanted to do everything her own way, not willing to jump in the water at the pool because of the possibility of her face getting splashed.

You might guess that I was getting a bit concerned and frustrated, because as a parent I know the importance of swimming and how getting in the water necessitates getting your face wet at some point. Swimming lesson after swimming lesson would go by with no results and though I did not want to show my frustration I am sure that it came off.

I would photograph and take video of her swimming attempts hoping to see success, but it was fleeting (yet I still persisted as a good father would). Last summer my mother moved into a new apartment complex that had a swimming pool and as the summer went on and my mom would take the girls over to her house more and more often, they would spend more and more time at the pool. I think my mom finally got to the point where she said sink or swim you will get in there and do something. This additional practice seemed to make the difference and in only a few weeks she came home saying that she swam underwater!

I had to see this for myself and of course had to capture it on film and video. So I went over with them to her house one day adorned with all of the fatherly memory making gear. As I went to the pool I was amazed to see my daughter go right up to the pool’s edge and saying “watch me daddy” she jumped into the pool! After brushing off her face she continued to say “watch me swim underwater” and she did in fact do this as well. Well… call me amazed, but I was so excited to have the camera and video camera going at this point to capture this special memory. I am looking forward to sending this video along with a few others to YesVideo to have them turned into a high quality DVD that we can watch over and over again into the future!


  1. What a wonderful thing to document on video! I bet that seeing her own progress like that is a huge self esteem boost for her. Bravo for doing that for your daughter!

  2. Happy birthday to Clara and Lisa!