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Rides at carnivals and amusement parks are meant to excite and thrill the riders. They assure a tremendous amount of fun with family and friends. However, this is not the case for everyone. Many kids get to the top of the line for a waterslide and start panicking. Even some adults lack the confidence to go ahead and enjoy the experience that water slides have to offer.
If you are caught in a situation where you want your children to let go of their fears or if you want to enjoy that trip to an amusement park with your friends, then here are some strategies that would work.
It is essential to understand what you or your child doesn’t like about a particular ride. It could be the speed, the fear of falling, or a previous traumatic experience that you or your child could have had before. By understanding where the fear stems from, you can take concrete steps to overcome the fear. Study the rides and safety features. You should remember that you are in a safe environment and the reactions on the ride are just to overstimulate your senses.
In order to overcome the fear of water slides, you need to muster up the courage and do it more often. If you are helping your child, then encourage them to do it often either with you, their friends, siblings, or with anybody else they feel comfortable with.
Before taking that water slide, make sure to spend some time exposing yourself or your child to it. Watch others do it for a while or let your child watch how other kids are actually enjoying residential water slides. This will help them prep before actually doing it. The more they see it, the more they will get comfortable around it. Don’t push them in the hope that they would overcome their fears in a go. This strategy doesn’t always work. Sometimes it may turn into a traumatic experience for the kids. Exposure therapy goes a long way in helping your children overcome the fears of water slides.
Negative thinking is another contributor to the fear of water slides. If you keep thinking or negative or worst-case scenarios again and again about going on a scary ride, then you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the ride. Instead of worrying, you should think of having fun while taking the ride and teach the same to the children who think that way.
Before getting on the ride, using some mindfulness techniques either for yourself or for calming your children can actually help. Do some simple exercises to reduce your stress and to feel better as your approach the ride. Controlled breathing and progressive muscle relaxation techniques can help.
The best way to face your fear is to get on board and do it whether it is commercial water slider or a residential one. Get in and do it. Do it over and over again until your fears subside! Follow the posture as instructed by the theme park staff. This will make you feel more secure and you will actually remain safe. Keep your eyes open even if you are tempted to squeeze your eyes shut until it’s over. You will feel more in control of what is coming if you see what is happening around you.
Once you have completed a ride, you need to get back in line and go again. This will help you habituate to it and will make you even more comfortable. Gradually, you will be able to overcome all your fears of enjoying that water slide with your friends and family. Your kids will actually learn to enjoy the entire process by following these few simple strategies.