Most children are much more active than adults. It’s hard to keep up with kids, even if you’re in peak condition. It involves not only your physical strength, but mental stamina to keep them entertained.
If you’re having trouble finding a way to keep your overactive child busy, here are some great ways you can give them a little bit more attention and ensure they make good choices and spend their time wisely.
All kids thrive when they understand what’s expected of them. Giving your overactive child a schedule and helping them find structure in their day is one of the best ways to keep them out of trouble and make things easier on you.
Create a calendar that includes physical activities, chores, and independent play. Kids learn in all kinds of situations, so mix it up and offer variety so they don’t get bored, but also make sure they understand the schedule and what you expect out of them.
Stimulate Their Mind
Overactive kids like to use their bodies, but it’s important that they also use their mind. The more challenging the activity, the better. They need mental exercise, too. Puzzles are a great quiet activity for busy kids when you need a break.
Other mind games like quizzes or building sets like Legos can keep your child busy for a while, especially if you give them a task to complete or instructions to follow.
You may also want to try giving them a task that’s both stimulating for them and helpful to you. Organizing a cabinet, cleaning a room, or picking up toys can give them something to do that’s both productive and helps them use their mind and their body.
While children need structure, they also need time to be kids. Going outside solves a lot of problems. If they’re driving you crazy, send them outside. If it’s a nice day, send them outside. If you want to spend some time as a family, go outside.
Outdoor play is an awesome way to keep kids busy and healthy. Invest in the perfect bike or outdoor games like basketball hoops. Provide chalk and other outdoor activities they can do on their own or together.
Even kids need time to relax. Sleep is important for their growth, but even if they don’t sleep, having quiet time everyday to recharge is a great way for you to get some rest, too.
If you’ve long since given up naptime, but you still need a break, try rocking or swinging. Many overactive children like to keep moving. They enjoy engaging their bodies, even when they’re resting. A glider in their room, a porch swing, or a hammock are all great solutions.
Music, dimming lights, and diffusers are also great ways to calm an overactive child when it’s time to rest.
Pick Your Battles
Every parent has this struggle. You can’t possibly do everything, be everything, watch everything, and reprimand everything. As much as you want to be, you’re not a superhero. It’s extremely important that you pick out what’s important and let go of the rest.
If you have an overactive child, you may also deal with some poor decision making or disciplinary problems. As much as they need to learn how to channel their energy, you need to learn how to cope with their activity.
If you focus on what really matters and let the little things slide, you and your child will be much happier.
Ryan Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.