Courtnie Erickson, FamilyShare
Being a mom is hard enough. But when you have an energetic and active child, it can be even worse. Many young children are naturally adventurous and curious. They love to run, be outdoors and laugh and scream. However, for a mom, this is exhausting and overwhelming.
I am the mom to a one-year-old, energetic little boy. He is constantly on the go and will not sit still for more than five minutes. He moves from one toy to the next, constantly runs and is always loudly babbling his baby talk. Many days, I count down the minutes until bedtime. I’ve even been known to sit and cry because I felt I could not take anymore. I was exhausted, overwhelmed and discouraged. I felt like I was a failure because I just didn’t have the energy to keep my little guy constantly happy.
However, I have made a goal to understand my little man and handle his active spirit better. Here are a few things I’ve learned about how to handle an energetic and active child.
ALWAYS have exercise time
If you have a child that is always on the go, make sure you provide opportunities where he can move freely. Plan time each day for you and your child to exercise together. Exercise is not only a great way for your own body to move and stay healthy, it also helps release stress and built-up energy.
When it is warm outside, my son and I plan our exercise time outside and go for a run. I will take the stroller and let him run next to me and when he is tired or begins slowing down, I’ll put him in the stroller. Sometimes we just go to the park and run around in a grassy area or we will run up and down a nearby sidewalk. If it is cold outside, I will do exercises indoors, even if it is something like squats or jumping jacks. I try to keep my son in the same room while I exercise and he loves to mimic me. Or we make up an obstacle course to complete. These type of active movements help your child release energy and develop healthy exercising habits. Here are some activities to do with your energetic child.
Give your child one-on-one time
In many situations, children simply want your attention. Children may become bored easily and so they look for an easy way to get attention — by being energetic and loud. Provide your child with one-on-one time each and every day. This could be something as simple as reading a book, throwing a ball, playing dolls, etc. Spend a little time with your child and be willing to put away all other distractions.
Watch your child’s food intake
There are many foods that can cause an increase in energy. High sugar content can have many negative consequences for your children, including excessive energy. If you have an active child, closely examine his or her food intake. Does she drink lots of juice? Does she eat lots of candy or sweetened snacks? If so, try to reduce the sugar and other poor eating habits in her life.
Love your child
As I’ve spent much time researching what to do and crying my eyes out because I’ve been so overwhelmed with my child, I have realized that his behavior is normal for a younger child. Young children, and toddlers especially, are constantly moving and exploring the world around them. If your child is always on the go, accept it. Find ways to cope with your own situation and your own child. Most importantly, love your child. Don’t be frustrated and constantly embarrassed by his behavior.
Parenting is no easy task. And when you have a wild child, it can be even more difficult. Know that all is not lost, and you can learn to love and accept your child’s fun and active nature.