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View Full Version : Are there many six year olds w/ regular access to swing sets who can't yet swing?


Frylock
10-09-2011, 06:06 PM
My kid still hasn't figured out how to swing his feet to accelerate on a swing-set.

How abnormal is this?

(His four year old sister is a pro at it... :/)

Rand Rover
10-09-2011, 06:30 PM
In my almost three years of kid-having so far, I've determined that the answer to all these sorts of questions is "each kid is different, don't make too much of it." Your 6-year-old may win Olympic gold in gymnastics someday and no one will believe you when you tell them about the swing thing.

carlotta
10-09-2011, 06:31 PM
My five year old with a swingset, a best friend with a swingset, two brothers who learned how to pump by the time they were four, and enough coordination to go along the the top of the swingset hand over hand, has still not figured out pumping the swing. :confused:

Chronos
10-09-2011, 06:59 PM
I don't remember the exact age, but I'm pretty sure I was older than that before I had it worked out, too. I was also a late swimmer and bike-rider (but I was great at tree-climbing).

AClockworkMelon
10-09-2011, 07:16 PM
Have you tried trying to teach him to do it?

Rand Rover
10-09-2011, 07:52 PM
Have you tried trying to teach him to do it?

:rolleyes: You think the OP just stands there with a clipboard and takes notes or something?

Do you have kids?

Cayuga
10-09-2011, 08:01 PM
My daughter was in her 6th year before she finally figured it out.

I wouldn't worry about it until he's at least 15 or so.

Rick
10-09-2011, 08:16 PM
:rolleyes: You think the OP just stands there with a clipboard and takes notes or something?

Do you have kids?

So I'm sitting in the Oakland airport a bit pissed off that my connecting flight is delayed by a hour. I open the dope to pass the time and this post brought a image to my mind that has me giggling like a schoolgirl.
Thanks RR!

samclem
10-09-2011, 08:28 PM
Better suited to IMHO rather than General Questions. Moved.

samclem, Moderator

Frylock
10-09-2011, 08:46 PM
Better suited to IMHO rather than General Questions. Moved.

samclem, Moderator

Okay, but if anyone has any statistical info about this I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Also, thanks for the comforting averrals about your own ages of swinghood and those of your peers. ;)

Yorikke
10-09-2011, 09:10 PM
:rolleyes: You think the OP just stands there with a clipboard and takes notes or something?


Someone has to supervise...

Joe

China Guy
10-09-2011, 09:40 PM
It would be a flag for concern if there are other milestones being missed. Does kidlet have spatial issues? Eg. scared of climbing playground equipment, lack of balance, etc

He's got a 4 year old sister, so it should be pretty easy to peg if there are tons of things sis can do and he can't.

Some kids have terrible spatial awareness or hyperensitive to certain sensations. Recognizing that is going on is half the solution.

Does this sound familiar? Or maybe he just can't swing. ;)

Lasciel
10-09-2011, 10:12 PM
Major late bloomer in spatial stuff here.

I was about 9 when my dad finally snapped and forced me to learn to ride a non-training-wheels bike. It took him an entire weekend.

I remember learning to swing (maybe somewhere around 5-6 years old) by mimicking other kids on the swing-set - when they moved, I'd do what they did, and eventually figured out what the idea was. It took a lot longer before I could make it work on my own. The timing was the main problem.

As far as I can tell, there are no adult repercussions to me being spatially delayed. I don't have any employee reports or nasty neighborhood gossip about how bad it was that I couldn't swing or ride a bike until late childhood, so I'm guessing it's all good.

If it bothers you, and there's other stuff that he can't do (and he notices it, and wants to know what's up) then there are physical therapists that can work on coordination and spatial skills.

MsWhatsit
10-09-2011, 10:14 PM
:rolleyes: You think the OP just stands there with a clipboard and takes notes or something?


Obviously not. iPads are much better for this sort of thing, these days.

aceplace57
10-09-2011, 10:48 PM
Seems easy enough to teach a kid how to use a swing. <shrug> Get on and demonstrate.

Just wait until someone teaches them to jump out of the swing. :D

We called it the parachute game. Get the swing going high as possible and jump. Duck your head as you land or the swing will pop you in the back of the head. :D

Lots of fun.... Never got hurt. I did land in a mud puddle once. I had cleared it a dozen times. One time I misjudged and landed face first in the puddle. My dad had to bring a clean set of clothes to school for me to change into.

Parachute game only works on large playground swings. The tiny back yard ones don't get high enough.

Aspidistra
10-10-2011, 01:15 AM
My extremely physically competent monkeybar-swinging tree-climbing Taller Girl figured it out at around age 7. She had a swingset in the backyard for 2 years of her life, and visited parks regularly in the other years. And we spent effort trying to teach her too, and plenty of "No I can't push you I'm doing <whatever> with your brother/sister try it yourself" moments. She figured it out on her own long after we'd given up trying to teach her.

Her even more physical sister has not, at 6, figured it out. However, her calm sedentary table-activity-loving playgroup best friend had it all worked out at 2 1/2.

Stuffed if I know what the X factor is...

Alessan
10-10-2011, 01:33 AM
My 6-year-old has been climbing playground equipment since long before he could walk, but he lost interest in the swing about two or three years ago, and never bothered learning how to swing himself. I guess he'll have to lie about it in his college application.

minlokwat
10-10-2011, 08:31 AM
As a side note, what name does this action go by in your neck of the wooded area?

Here in Maryland, as Carlotta used the term, we call it “to pump” as in what you holler to your kids as they’re learning the action: “Start pumpin’(g) or Keep pumpin’”

Don’t know if this is universal as my sister-in-law from the midwest said she had never heard to pump used in this way.

Also our littl’un learned at about 3 and a half. [shrug] as others have noted, different kids pick up different skills at different ages. No biggie.

Nava
10-10-2011, 08:41 AM
It would be a flag for concern if there are other milestones being missed. Does kidlet have spatial issues? Eg. scared of climbing playground equipment, lack of balance, etc

He's got a 4 year old sister, so it should be pretty easy to peg if there are tons of things sis can do and he can't.

Some kids have terrible spatial awareness or hyperensitive to certain sensations. Recognizing that is going on is half the solution.

Does this sound familiar? Or maybe he just can't swing. ;)

I remember wanting to be big enough to reach the floor on tiptoes with the small of my back on the swing, because from that position you could give the initial impulse and jump to a seated position. Until you were that tall, you still needed someone to give you a first push.

Later, I remember teaching younger kids that wildly swinging your wole body didn't achieve anything beyond making the swing shake - you had to move a certain way.

What I can't remember is how old we all were, but The Kidlet (who's got the coordination of a boiled octopus) still had problems swinging correctly at 5. The Kidlette (who appears to have inherited her mother's physical ability rather than my brother's total lack thereof, hallellujah someone did!) just turned 3 and she's already at the "wish I could reach!" phase.

rhubarbarin
10-10-2011, 08:49 AM
Plenty. If kids can get pushed instead, they don't usually learn til later in life.

My nephew likes swinging, but he just asked (or whined for) adults to push him until he was 6 or 7, and they always did. I used to try to get him to use his legs and he wasn't interested. He's 8 now and while he can swing himself, he still prefers to be pushed.

I mostly entertained myself at that age (my mom was pregnant/having babies pretty steadily from when I was 4 til 7), and I LOVED to swing, so I guess I learned pretty young. We had a swing set at my preschool that I remember spending many hours on, and I had a swing on the big tree in our front yard.

Rushgeekgirl
10-10-2011, 11:58 AM
My little girl just learned this past summer. She'll be seven in December. She's had a swingset since she was four and played on it regularly, but we always had to push until one day she just started doing it herself.

Aestivalis
10-10-2011, 12:07 PM
My son is seven and he just got it recently. My daughter is five and she hasn't figured it out.

Novelty Bobble
10-10-2011, 02:18 PM
As has been said, they are all different.

My little boy was riding bikes without stabilisers when he was 3, but doesn't do jigsaws and refuses to write his name and can't swing himself at 4 1/2.
His sister was swinging at 3 but didn't learn to ride properly until nearly 6 but was putting together 30 piece jigsaws at 18 months.

If you worry about individual accomplishments too much or compare one against the other like for like it'll drive you mad.
Are they happy and active? that's all you need to worry about.

Left Hand of Dorkness
10-10-2011, 02:30 PM
I have a kid in my third-grade class who can only do it if you get him started with a couple of pushes. Not something to worry about unless you really like to worry, IMO.

Feyrat
10-10-2011, 02:54 PM
As a side note, what name does this action go by in your neck of the wooded area?

Here in Maryland, as Carlotta used the term, we call it “to pump” as in what you holler to your kids as they’re learning the action: “Start pumpin’(g) or Keep pumpin’”

Don’t know if this is universal as my sister-in-law from the midwest said she had never heard to pump used in this way.

continuance of minor hijack

I'm from the Midwest (Michigan) and we always called it pumping.

RickJay
10-10-2011, 03:09 PM
My kid still hasn't figured out how to swing his feet to accelerate on a swing-set.

How abnormal is this?

(His four year old sister is a pro at it... :/)
My daughter turns 6 next weekend and still doesn't get it.

She's fine. She doesn't care to learn, that's all.

WhyNot
10-10-2011, 03:13 PM
Seems easy enough to teach a kid how to use a swing. <shrug> Get on and demonstrate.
You'd think, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, this is another in the (very long) list of Parenting Duties that seem so very easy until you try it. Some kids pick up on it right away. Some stare at you like you've grown a cactus out your butt...

The average age for this generally unnoted milestone seems to be about 5, based on a couple of books in my collection and a lot of years of observation. But, as for all averages, there are plenty perfectly normal kids who skew the number down, and others who skew it up. As China Guy said, it's only something of concern if it's part of a larger pattern of missed milestones or developmental delays. A 6 year old kid who can't pump or walk a balance beam 6 feet or stand on one foot for 10 seconds...not a big deal. A kid who can't pump and can't walk a balance beam 6 feet and can't stand on one foot for 10 seconds...now we'd better look a little closer to see what's goin' on.
As a side note, what name does this action go by in your neck of the wooded area?

Here in Maryland, as Carlotta used the term, we call it “to pump” as in what you holler to your kids as they’re learning the action: “Start pumpin’(g) or Keep pumpin’”

Midwest (Chicagoland) here, and it's been "pumping" since at least the mid 70's. :)

LegsAkimbo
10-10-2011, 05:36 PM
This is actually the first time I have ever thought about this, but I suspect that my husband would not be able to generate momentum to swing. We don't have kids. His parents were not even remotely playful people and it's unlikely he ever got on a swing as a child. His father is/says he is extremely prone to motion sickness, and my husband claims to have this same ailment (which mysteriously fails to kick in sometimes when he is having fun with something that should have him barfing....but that's a different topic). His mother protected him from absolutely everything in the world and it seems likely that if he eyed a swing as a child, she would have told him no, he couldn't go on it because it would make him sick like his father. This would explain why once when I instructed him to "scootch" himself forward, "you know, like you do on a swing," he was clueless about what I meant. Maybe he is the oldest person who can't swing back and forth.