In this current crazy climate of endless TikTok dances, most parents are finding that even their older kids are having difficulty walking through stores without improvised dance moves. My energetic kids are young and not yet obsessed with social media apps. However, their boundless energy still stretches me as a parent. It’s become so habitual, in fact, that I started calling them my “wiggly bears.” Throughout the seemingly constant reminders to calm down a little, I learn more about them and myself every day. I wanted to discuss just a few things I’ve learned about managing and even appreciating my kids’ abundance of energy.
Creating positive distractions
Energetic kids have a way of turning normal activities into rambunctious ones. Simply putting on their shoes in my home can turn into a three-ring circus sometimes. I’ve learned to turn regular activities into contests. It works WONDERS!!
The next time you have toys strewn around the playroom, challenge your kids to see who can put toys in the chest or baskets the quickest. Start the contest with a “ready-set-GO!”, a watch or timer, and as much excitement as you can muster. Trust me – they will follow your lead and treat clean-up like an Olympic sprint! This works with putting shoes on, getting strapped into car seats, you name it. Make something a competition, and watch your kids focus on winning like never before – in a way that channels their energy AND gives you some mental respite.
Redirecting their energy
The really great thing about kids is that they generally love to please their parents. Redirecting energetic kids, whether verbally or physically, is a great way to channel their actions towards more positive ones. Also, doing this regularly may create new systems of thinking and understanding for them.
Let’s say, for example, your wiggly bear loves to jump, all around the house. But, jumping on the couch is a no-no. Instead of getting angry, redirect your kid to a specific place in the house to jump. Create an imaginary “bounce square” in the playroom or other place they spend lots of time. You may even want to participate with them in the special space to encourage the activity. Because Mommy or Daddy does it with them, kids may be more apt to follow their lead. You, awesome parent, get to set the example!
Choosing your battles
Listen, parents. There’s always going to be a place for healthy discipline. Different situations require different responses. I get that. On a regular basis, kids with a lot of energy usually don’t hurt anyone. Why get worked up over a kid simply being a kid?
Kids naturally have a lot of energy. It’s healthy that they do! (Many of us moms are envious of that, actually!) When it comes to your energetic kids, you’re going to have to choose what hill you want to die on. Would you prefer to have an over-energetic kid or a sullen one? Isn’t it better to know your kids are bouncy and happy? I think so. Deep down, I think most parents would.
I’ll admit it is extremely frustrating when my boys are on energy level 1,000 and I need them to be at 2. But, I’m also guilty of telling my boys they’re growing up too fast. I realize there may come a day when I want to hear little feet running around my home, and they won’t be there. So yes, I have little wiggly bears. I’ve learned (and am still learning) to tame it when necessary, and appreciate that my energetic tikes are enjoying their little lives to the fullest.