We all probably have memories of swinging so high that the whole swing set jumped. Do you remember swinging and jumping off the swing to see who landed the furthest? What fun we had as kids! We were truly gutsy back then, not afraid of too much. Now, all we want to do is teach our children all these fun things we did. There just happens to be one issue with this; your child is terrified of swings. Is it the swing that he or she is afraid of, or is it heights? Maybe just the motion of the swing? When your toddler was an infant, was there an issue when you used the baby swing?
It Is Not A Mandatory Activity
There are thousands of parents that can not figure this one out. Their toddler was just fine using the infant swing, yet when placed into the toddler swing at the playground, the hysterics begin. I am not talking about myself or daddy laughing hysterically either. Although the truth is known, we did chuckle hysterically when our toddler freaked. Of course, we took her out immediately and calmed her down. After all, there is no requirement in the proverbial baby book that states all babies must swing.
Work At It Slowly
If you have a good tree at home, go to the store and buy a swing that you can hang off a branch. When you’re outside playing with your toddler, let him or she see you on the swing having fun. You can let the toddler see you swing very slowly and gradually build up speed. When your little one watches you having fun, they may ask if you can give them a ride.
Many times a toddler will loosen up and become comfortable with the idea of swinging when on mom or dad’s lap. When mom and dad hold them while swinging, the motion is not so scary as long as you just swing very slow at first. The time will come when they feel a need for speed. Let’s not rush it.
The higher a swing is, the more fear there is likely to be. Honestly, I completely understand. I am terrified of heights. Swings can be lowered or raised whenever the toddler is ready. You can begin with the swing high enough where the toddler can still touch the ground with his or her feet.
Maybe it is not the swing causing the issue. Maybe it is more so the motion. It is possible that your toddler feels funny or maybe dizzy when they move on a toy or playground equipment. The theory can easily be tested when at the supermarket or arcade. Those rides that you drop money into and it moves in circles or bounces up and down see if your little one will take a ride on one of them. This might give you the answers.
Sensory Processing Disorder
If your toddler seems overly responsive to swings, tags in their clothes, or loud noises and crowds, it may be due to a sensory processing disorder. Do Not Panic!!! This is not necessarily a bad thing. Children with sensory processing disorders most often grow up being organized, on task and on time. That is a bonus!!
Help With Sensory Disorder
There are many different options and ways of helping children with sensory disorders. Your child may find soothing music to ease the fears they express. However, most of those will not help when it comes to swings. Other sensory disorders do benefit from sensory rooms or weighted blankets.
Many toddlers feel the need to be in control. Sitting on a swing and being pushed does not give the feeling of being in control. The same as if your toddler is sitting on your lap to swing, it is not them in control. It is mom or dad protecting her or him. All they feel is the motion and as though their tummy is jumping down. This fear of the swing may go away as the child grows more.
Start At The Beginning
If at first, you don’t succeed, take your time, and try again later. Be sure to have a swing set that is adjustable in your yard. Set the swing close to the ground yet with enough room for the swing to move. If you have older children, they could be of help. They can show the toddler how easy it is to swing. Another option is to utilize an old tire by making a tire swing. The older kids will love it, and the toddler may feel safer being able to sit inside the tire to swing virtually.
Make An Offer
Regularly ask your toddler if they would like to ride the swing with you; if not, continue to swing for a while. Again, the toddler may just need time. They may just need to see others having fun.
Let It Go
Trust me, Mom and Dad, this could be just a phase your toddler is going through. It is also possible that your toddler will grow up to be an adult and still not like the swings. Again, every child doesn’t need to enjoy swings. There is no requirement from any famous doctor that states ALL children must swing and enjoy it. So please calm down and relax a bit! So what, the toddler hates the swings, I am positive there are tons of other things that your toddler loves to do, to try and likely enjoys. There are more than likely children who do not like some of your toddler’s favorite activities. Enjoy the idea that your toddler is cautious. That will probably save you lots of stress and gray hair. When your toddler is ready, if he becomes ready to venture onto the swing, do not make a big deal out of it. At the same time, do not ridicule you, toddler, for not trying to swing. No one can force you to partake in any of your fears, why put a toddler through it.