Is it just me or does it seem like kids these days are just bouncing off the walls?? I don’t even know where they get all this energy, but it’s enough to make us all go insane!! Here are five things we are doing to survive all this motion!
1) Let them move more!
Ok that sounds pretty counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?! For years we tried everything we could think of to get our oldest to stop moving. It turns out though that kids’ brains can’t develop without motion, and different kinds of motion! They need to move!
Between having to sit still for school, church, car rides, and any extra activities, it’s no wonder kids these days are just bursting at the seams with energy! Let them move! Did you know even just 15 minutes of focused motion can have an impact lasting 6-8 hours? It’s true!
2) Give them good fuel
There is much truth to the saying, you are what you eat! But, better than that might be to say that our brain is fueled by what we eat. It is wise to rule out any potential allergies first just in case! If allergies are not in the picture though, it can help to start with good baby steps and replace favorite treats with something that is still tasty but has less sugar in it.
Some of our baby steps have been less sugar and more fruits and vegetables. Another has been transitioning to more single ingredient foods around the house. If it’s not available(like candy or cookies), they can’t eat it!
I like to say that kids have to use extra energy to keep up with their brains! It really does seem like super energetic kids need a little bit more brain power. Giving them protein and foods high in good fats like avocados or butter help sustain for longer periods of time. Smoothies are a fantastic option to get fruits and veggies in for picky eaters! Kids seem to be more interested in trying it if they have a hand in making it too! Cooking together is a wonderful family activity and, it reduces the pickiness all around! This is a great time of year to start planning Farmer’s Markets visits or garden planting!
3) Invest in a few motion-burning toys
I never realized how many awesome toys there are that can be used inside too. I wrote about some of our favorites here that include a balance board, Bilibo, mini trampoline, and a crash pit! Basically, anything that encourages motion in a safe way!
4) Figure out if there is an underlying need.
Earlier this year, we suspected that something was up with our oldest and his nonstop crashing, bouncing, jumping, and running.
It was like we were talking to Dory, but with the brain of a rocket scientist! He couldn’t focus, couldn’t remember what he’d been told three seconds before, and was all over the place! Normal consequences just didn’t click and we were constantly trying to figure out how to get through to him.
A visit to his pediatrician and referral to an OT helped us figure out how to better meet our son’s sensory processing and attention deficit needs. I think the best thing was hearing that motion and behavior are not connected. They really aren’t. For many kids, they could try everything under the sun and still not be able to stop moving.
Lemon Lime Adventure has a fabulous chart that has been really handy, it explains the why’s behind the behaviors & has movement ideas. For our son, he needs to spin, crash, jump and tumble to regulate his body. It sounds funny that spinning would help the brain but it sure does for him! We didn’t even need an official diagnosis to get him started in regular playtime therapy nearby.
If you sense that your kid is a little extra energetic, it could be a great thing to look into! No medicine involved; just fun focused play that really does seem to help! There are a lot of neat ideas here if you’re wondering where to start!
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Laura is a photographer, wife, and mama to three sweet kiddos. Fuzzy socks and vanilla maple lattes are her weakness. She loves writing snail mail letters, random living room dance parties, and cozy, rainy days spent with the ones she loves most. You can, also, find more from her on her blog: Bits of Sweetness.