I was able to be there for a recent lesson and was able to help him through his feelings. He did not want to get in the water. His body was stiff and he backed himself up against the wall. The coach was being patient and I got anxious. I didn't want to waste a lesson and I didn't want to make his fear worse.
I took a deep breath and resolved to stay calm. I moved closer to the water talking to the coach and trying to include Charlie. I rolled up my pants and stood on the top step. Charlie wasn't showing signs of getting in, so went over and picked him up and held him while I stood and talked to the coach in the water. We kept bringing Charlie into the conversation and eventually he would responded. A minute later, I felt him wiggle from my arms and he got in the pool. He went on to have a great lesson!
I felt so good! Good that I stayed patient, listened to my instincts, and gave him a chance to do it his way.