I have written before about Mr. J and his fear of water. We had a great summer last year, and he finally was comfortable in the water - but still very fearful of his face/head getting wet.
I had him in swimming lessons in the fall - but they didn't go very well. He was fine in the water, but he wouldn't put his face anywhere near it, or his head - and he refused to jump in.
This summer, I enrolled him in private lessons in someone's backyard - and he did amazingly well (considering where he was starting from) he perfected his kick and made improvements on his floats - but he still would not put his head in.
Last week, I lucked in and got the boys each 2 extra lessons. I am sure the instructor he had was ready to strangle him - but he was very patient with him. Although he never did dunk himself, he very slowly made progress with putting his face in.
Yesterday, hubby's cousin invited us for a pool day at her dad's place. The boys have their puddle jumpers and they were having lots of fun. I always try to entice Mr. J to put his face/head in by making a deal (you put your face in, I will jump in/cannonball in etc). He put his face in, so I jumped in. Then his dad told him that he would get in if he did it again. He did, so his dad upped it by telling him if he put his WHOLE head in, then he would dive off the diving board.
It took quite a few minutes and "practice" but he DID it. Once he did it, he didn't want to stop. He kept doing it, and then having his grandpa count to see how long - he managed to get to 21 seconds!
Watching your child succeed at something they have been scared of, and overcoming that fear is such an amazing feeling. Seeing the pride on his face, and the confidence he gained from it was such a great thing to witness. He was so comfortable, that he was even jumping off the side onto the raft.