We may crumple a bit where ironing is concerned, we may crash and burn whilst cooking dinner and we will almost certainly kick up a stink when it comes to changing nappies but get us Dads near a swing and we come into our own.
Any Dad worth his weight has a ‘swing move’. I’m not talking about throwing some soulful shapes to the 1930’s American music genre; I’m talking about a trademark park swing manoeuvre that sends the little one into a state of swing induced ecstasy.
I’ve seen my fair share of swing moves in my time around the parks. I’ve made notes on some of the more successful techniques, I’ve networked with other Dad’s about what works for them and I’ve even coached one Dad who seemed happy with a basic push technique.
Here are the guidelines for my top 5 swing moves:
(1) The Helicopter – Build up some swing momentum with a few vigorous pushes and then when your child is least expecting it knock their ankles to one side. This will send them into a spin known as The Helicopter. As the child swings back into range push their ankles the opposite way and so on and so forth.
(2) The Grab – This is an oldie but a goodie. I first cut my teeth on The Grab and should be part of every Dad’s repertoire. Build up some swing momentum with a few vigorous pushes and then when your child is at their highest point wrap your arms around the entire swing and your child. Hold them in this position and then when they least expect it release them and wait for the giggles.
(3) The Reverse Grab – As above but the push is delivered from the back of the swing and the grab occurs when your child is at their closest point to where you are standing. You grab around the swing and wrap your arms around your child’s belly. The reverse grab gives an extra element of surprise.
(4) The Ankle Biter – I stole this one from another Dad and is now top of my list. Give the swing a few front-on pushes. Using the element of surprise grab your child’s ankles when the swing is fully extended. This will give your child an immediate shot of adrenalin and leave them begging for more. Hold this position for a while before pushing the child back and forward till holding the ankles for a three count – 1,2,3 and let go.
(5) The Duck, Bob and Weave – Heavyweight boxers duck, bob and weave to avoid losing too many brain cells, it works for Dad’s too. From a kneeling position start pushing the swing. As the child’s feet draw close the onus is on the Dad to duck , bob and weave at the very last moment to avoid getting a little footprint on your face. The child will do everything in their power to land a good kick so be sure to have your wits about you.
What are your swing moves? Have you seen a swing move backfire?
Flogging my blog with Grace at With Some Grace