Before we get started here today, there are two relevant pieces of information you should have: 1. I love a good parenting trick and 2. I was never a fan of endless standing around while pushing children on swings. So I should be ripe to champion any effort to hack this chore. And yet, this video of a parent pushing (well, pulling) their child on a swing from the window of their fourth-floor apartment has me perplexed.
Digg posted this video—via ViralHog—with a question: “We can’t tell if this parenting hack is genius or insane.” Which is Digg’s way of asking us: Is this a hack or is it wack? And people, this is what we’re here for. First, take a look for yourself:
My initial thought is something along the lines of, what the hell is the point of this? It’s not completely clear how that rope is being pulled back and forth, but I think I see a black-gloved hand moving in and out of the window. That can only mean that the standing around and swing-pushing is still happening (rather than having been automated somehow), just from a farther, higher location than is typical.
So then I had to ask myself: What could be the benefit of this method? Is there some chore that needs immediate tending to in the exact vicinity of that window (and only requires the use of one hand)? I can’t imagine they’re washing dishes or doing dinner prep with the other hand. Could they be supervising the cable man? Might they be having an adult telephone conversation, out of earshot of the innocent?
Perhaps a baby is napping and the kid was begging to swing and the parent was like, “You know what? If you can tie a knot, we can make this happen.” And now they’ve still got to do the pulling, but they’ve also reclaimed a few blissfully quiet minutes in their otherwise loud and hectic life. That would be a creative solution that made their day easier and also avoided a tantrum and if that’s not the definition of a parenting hack, then I’m in the wrong job.
So as tempted as I am to scoff at this and label it wack, I’ve got to be fair here. If you happen to be in this exact situation—there is swing a few dozen yards from the window of your home, you have a long piece of rope, your child is old enough to navigate their way to the swing and tie a knot, and you have to (or want to) stay inside—this is the best way to “push” them on the swing.
Of course, you could also teach them how to pump their legs and get swinging on their own, but that’s a hack for another day.