So you’re stuck at home during this quarantine and your kid is driving you crazy…what do you do?! I’m constantly in a state of searching for activities for my high energy kid, Finn. Aside from displaying the Gospel to my kids, it seems like my #1 daily goal is to get energy out of them! God did not grant me children who will sit quietly and color or read books all day. So I’ve had to learn the hard way how to get energy out of my boys through trial and error. This is some of what I’ve learned.
My strategy for the day is typically to feed them, get energy out of them, and then try to have some quiet time. I’ve found that they will play on their own more independently if those two needs are met. Our day starts with breakfast, a short devotional where we read a Bible verse together, and then trying to go for a long walk or some sort of activity (preferably outdoors) that will help Finn burn off some energy.
So, if you’re working from home because of this COVID pandemic, I highly recommend trying to feed and de-energize your kiddos before trying to get some work done. (Another helpful hint for working from home: try to get as much work done as possible BEFORE your kids wake up. Get the hardest tasks done first, right from the start of the day. Trust me. Try it. You can thank me later.)
A few helpful principles for wearing out your high energy child:
- Utilize muscles that aren’t typically used – this is tiring for all of us!
- Challenge them with activities slightly above their ability. If it’s too hard, they won’t want to do it. But if it’s too easy, they won’t burn off as much energy. It’s a balancing act!
- Be okay with repetition – if something works, don’t be afraid to do it again and again…and again. You’ve probably noticed, kids love repetition.
- When in doubt, go outside. Nature is somehow simultaneously stimulating and calming. God is amazing!