Drop Everything and Swing: Snapshot of Parenting with Purpose

Sometimes life gets busy…and hectic…and the days just seem to quickly fly by.  When  I had my second child, the days seemed to be filled with lots of “have to’s” in order to keep life going – laundry, errands, doctor appointments and the like.  As my second child got older, she was toted everywhere that our family’s schedule dictated – to her older brother’s sporting events, school functions, the grocery store, and anywhere else that we all needed to be that week.  And I started to become very aware that being the youngest in the family meant having less control over your time. 
Drop Everything and Swing
So, when my daughter was 4 years old, we came up with a secret way to give her some control over our day.  We create “Drop Everything and Swing”!  It was modeled after the DEAR time that kids have at many schools (DEAR = Drop Everything and Read).  The idea was that when things were crazy, my daughter was given the power to say ‘Drop Everything and Swing’ and we had to do just that!  We’d stop dinner prep and run to the backyard swings.   If we were at her brother’s sports practice, we’d head over to the playground for a few minutes.  Or if we were running errands and she saw a playground, we’d pull over for a quick swing session.
Yes, we talked about the idea that we couldn’t stop to swing if we were expected to be somewhere on time (but we could stop on the ride home).  We also discussed that it was something that we would only use when life got hectic – a special way to slow things down, get outside and just enjoy some time  with each other.
Learning How to Stop and Enjoy Moments in Time Together
My goal was to teach her that sometimes it’s important to just push things aside and enjoy life, “stop and smell the roses”.  And I wanted her to know that she had a voice in the family too.  And guess what?!  During the whole process of teaching her, I was learning myself.  I learned that even young children understand when it’s time to take a break and have some fun.  I learned that giving her a voice and some control over our time meant that she was also more likely to cooperate when we did have a busy day.  Most of all, I learned a lot more about her during our swinging sessions, and she learned more about me too.
How Will You Choose to Slow Down?
Obviously, this technique can be adapted for any child or family.  Maybe you would choose to “Drop Everything and Dance” or “Drop Everything and Play”.  However you choose to slow life down, I know that you and your child will love those few minutes when you get to push the rest of the world aside and just enjoy one another’s company!
This week’s Snapshots of Parenting with Purpose was inspired by Jacquie, a mom who understands that it’s important to give kids a voice and slow down to enjoy each other’s company.  She loves to share ideas and activities that “keep kids creative, curious and connected to the world around them” at Edventures with Kids.  You can also connect with her via Facebook & Pinterest.

Kim's "Spin On It"
Thank you so much Jacquie for sharing an important lesson that many of us with multiple children have come to realize that it's a true balance making sure that all of our children get our fullest attention when they feel it's needed.  I love that you've given your daughter a special way to tell you "I need you Mommy" and you know that if at all possible you're going to give her your undivided attention.  I can imagine she's very good at giving you her full attention as well from learning by example.  I think my daughter will probably choose to drop everything and craft if I ask her what her special time with me could be. 

Here are some of our favorite activities that Jacquie has recently shared on her site Edventures with Kids of ways to start spending those special moments together... 5 Things I Want My Children To Love In November, 17 Fall Outdoor Activities and one of my favorite from our Virtual Book Club last month, Family Conversation Jar.  

Here are some recent Snapshots about this topic!


More resources for Snapshots of Parenting with Purpose
Sometimes you Need to Say Yes from Playing with Words 365
The Positive Roles of a Mother In Law from Kitchen Counter Chronicles
Importance of Male Readers from Learn with Play at Home
Importance of Everyday Moments from Familia&Seoul
Share your Own Snapshot of Parenting with Purpose 


Jacquie@KCEdventures said...

Kim & Amanda - thanks so much for allowing me to be part of your Parenting with Purpose series to share with others. I love reading this series as so many creative and concrete ideas are shared. And I LOVE 'Drop Everything and Craft' - I can see some fun holiday crafts coming out of those sessions :-) Best, Jacquie

The Educators Spin On It said...

We're very thankful for this post Jacquie. It made me reflect as a parent if I've given my own daughter the words to tell me when she needs more attention from me. With an almost two year old in the house it can get a little busy. I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying this series. We're so lucky to have such great guest posting with us! {Kim}

the Monko said...

i love this idea. What a great way to empower a younger child in a busy scheduled day. I'm pinning this to the Sunday Parenting Party and featuring on this weeks SPP post

Ness @ One Perfect Day said...

This is a brilliant idea! I'm a parent to a single child and I am still going to employ this method. I'm pretty sure my son will choose Drop Everything and Dance. This will be so perfect for those times when I'm caught up in the never ending "to do" list and I'm having one of those "in a minute sweetheart" days. Love this series, thank you! I'm featuring this post on my blog today on my Sunday Parenting Party post.

Rebekah said...

Love this simple idea! A great way to connect with your child and not let the rush of the day let it pass by.

I featured your post in this week's Sunday Parenting Party on The Golden Gleam.

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