If you want to teach your child to master swimming, the first thing to do is teach them to LOVE the water. Do not abruptly dunk your child in the water or underwater.
Also, when it comes to safety issues with babies and toddlers around water, take extra precautions including never leaving buckets of water, wading pools, or bathtubs accessible to children.
Have realistic expectations.
One of the first unpleasant aspects of swimming for kids is the sensation of having their ears underwater. So, let them play by listening to the “fishys”. After splashing and kicking the water, put your ear in the water and then the other ear. Ask your child to do the same so they can hear the “fishys” swimming. Make a game of it. Once they are comfortable with their ears underwater, the entire process of going under water will be much less traumatic for both of you.
Remember, they must trust you first. Tell your child you will not do anything without telling them or asking them first. No surprises such as letting them go without their permission. Keep repeating that you will never let go of them as you are slowly moving into the deeper water. They have to trust you. This may take several times before your child is willing to start to learn to swim.
Get them to lean forward rather than backward in the water while holding them and ask them to scoop the water with their hands backward. After they master this, ask them to kick their feet. Actually, arm folates are a great help. Again, this may take a few times or a few weeks. Do not be in a big hurry.
After a week or two of practice, tell you child it is time to go underwater. Is this ok? Tell your child you will count to three and then blow in their face. When you blow in their face it automatically makes them hold their breath. Dunk you head first , come up and laugh. Then ask them to dunk their head in the water after you blow in their face.
Trust, trust, trust is the most important.
Remember your toddler is a small human. Like all of us, toddlers have real fears and need real security in order to grow and learn. SO do not be impatient. This is your job, parents!