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Taming the Energetic Toddler

I am writing this from my desk where it is finally (and I stress finally!) quiet in my house. It’s ONLY 12:15 am … however, this is typically the time when I tend to rally and get my second wind. I have always been a night person, but it definitely is a bit less desirable to stay up until 2:00 am when I have a teething 9 month old and a 3 (going on 15) year old. You just never know when they are going to wake up and need their mama! (Most of the time they need me as soon as I lay my head down on the pillow to go to sleep.)

 By Maria White

My reason for sharing this is to discuss the seemingly boundless energy of my aforementioned 3 (going on 15) year old on a daily basis. The routine of getting her to settle down in the evening is quite a challenging (and may I add exhausting!) task these days. So my husband and I thought that by shortening her naps during the day, coupled with making sure she is as active as possible, would lead to her (fingers crossed!) being tired when bedtime rolled around. In addition to playing and being fairly active during the day at her babysitter’s homes, following are some of the activities we have come up with to try and increase the energetic toddler’s physical activity during the day:

  • Weekly gymnastics class (which she just loves!)
  • Play outside in the evenings (play = games of Red Light, Green Light, Simon Says – remember these?, soccer, races with her cousin, playing catch and doing push ups when she doesn’t catch it)
  • Swimming in the inflatable swimming pool in the backyard
  • Frequent visits to the playground at various parks
  • Freestyle dancing with iTunes streaming through the TV
  • Xbox Kinect Dance games
  • Workout videos with  Mommy (she is actually quite good at following the directions)
  • Walking the dog with Grandma
  • Dancing during the cartoon songs

Overall, I would say that our new strategy is working, however, every night is definitely not perfect. Baby steps … I guess! It looks like my daughter is following in my footsteps when it comes to ‘thriving’ late at night. Let’s just hope that she can turn this around soon!

So, tell me, what do you do to ensure that your child(ren) are expending their excessive energy by the end of the day?

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